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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Development of a content analysis instrument for the interrogation of environmental narratives

Beck, Almuth Cornelia January 2007 (has links)
The present study explores the development of a content analysis tool to evaluate the quality of voluntary environmental disclosures in annual reports from an investor's perspective. The analysis tool allows coding for three dimensions; narrative content, information quality and news direction. Following tests for reliability and robustness, the method is applied to a sample of 28 companies which have been matched for organisational characteristics. This matching process allows analysing the data from a country, industry and company perspective. The study period includes narratives in annual reports from 2000 to 2004 inclusive, which allows longitudinal assessments of change in disclosure patterns. Issues arising in a study using a sample of narratives of different linguistic origins are discussed and evaluated. The findings reveal that British and German companies appear to provide similar information in disclosure content and quality. There is a significant increase in high information quality disclosures from 2000 to 2004. Nonetheless, the overall level of high quality disclosures remains at a very low level suggesting that companies have ample room for improvement in the information availability of their environmental narratives. Differences in disclosure content are identified, with German companies tending to disclose more information on sustainability issues than the British ones. At the same time, British companies appeared to report more details about the responsibility structures on environmental issues than the Germans. Reporting guidelines are found to have no significant impact on disclosure quality, however, EMAS registration appears to be associated with higher levels of bad news disclosures. Last, but not least, some companies tend to re-use or recycle their environmental disclosures. This finding raises questions about the purpose and use of voluntary disclosures in annual reports.

Images of the transnational corporation : sensemaking by German managers

Litz, Stefan A. January 2010 (has links)
This thesis discusses images of the Transnational Corporation (TNC) based on Bartlett/Goshal's (1989; 1998) proposal to consider the TNC as a particular type of supranational business organizations. The thesis tackles the question: are TNCs perceived by people working for large supranational organizations to be conceptually distinctive from other types of such organizations. For this purpose, several semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers working in Germany for two large corporations, i.e. DaimlerChrysler and Accenture. Interviewees had been challenged to make sense of the idea that their corporation is considered to represent the TNC rather than any other type of supranational corporation. The results of these sensemaking processes (Weick 2000) are compared and contrasted with Bartlett/Goshal's (1989; 1998) conceptualization of the TNC. In addition to highlighting key characteristic attributes of the two companies featuring similarities with Bartlett/Goshal's (1989; 1998) conceptualization of the TNC, important differences have been outlined. The results triggered the development of a typology of subtypes of TNCs, which is proposed in this thesis as the result of conceptual generalization (Yin 2003) from the case studies. The thesis also highlights the differences between the TNC sub-types employing Ritzer's (2003; 2004) conceptual distinction of "grobalization" and "glocalization" processes and Hollingsworth (1991; 1996) distinction between monitoring and support networks. Finally, the thesis discusses Morgan/Kristensen's (2009) suggestion to employ the metaphor of the "court-society" (Elias 1983) in order to generate a particular image of the TNC with the two studied cases and the proposed typology of TNC sub-types.

Essays on corporate risk management

Isin, Adnan Anil January 2013 (has links)
This thesis examines operational and financial implications of jet fuel risk management. The first element of the thesis use global sample of 54 airline companies from 2000 to 2012, resulting in 411 firm-year observations. The results show that hedging strategies are effective at reducing the variability of operating cash flows and capital expenditures. The results also provide evidence that jet fuel hedging is associated with lower fuel expenses as a percentage of operating expenses. Partitioning the sample into the low cost carrier and major carrier business model sub-samples, the study identifies value premium of 5% to 8% of the average total market value associated with hedging for low cost carriers. These results are robust to fixed effects and instrumental variable regressions and empirically support value maximization via hedging when firms have high financial distress costs and significant investment opportunities. Finally it is evidenced that government ownership reduces firm value, capital expenditures, profitability and hedging ratios. However, lower firm values observed for airline companies with government ownership is not associated with their hedging practices. The second element of the thesis conducts two case studies using the fuel consumption data of Turkish Airlines. In one of the case studies a hedging scenario using a spectrum of derivative instruments is compared to a scenario of no hedging. In the other case study a hedging scenario using a spectrum of derivative instruments is compared to the actual hedging program of Turkish Airlines. Results indicate that regardless of the derivative instruments used hedging could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel bill for Turkish Airlines. Needless to say, having saved millions in fuel costs could have significantly improved operational and financial performance of Turkish Airlines. Moreover, the results indicate that the inclusion of non-linear pay-off derivative instruments to a portfolio of linear pay-off derivative instruments significantly reduce the cash flow exposure of the combined portfolio. The third element of this thesis investigates the term, selective hedging, which is a hedging methodology that incorporates managements’ so called market knowledge and expectations. The study aims to add a third dimension, which is the choice of derivative instrument, on the selective hedging argument which is limited to the timing and the magnitude of the hedges. It is acknowledged that the choice of derivative instrument has greater cash flow implications for firms that are dependent on exchange traded derivative instruments with limited and/or no access to over the counter derivatives. These firms generally have insufficient credit rating to be eligible to be counterparty to an arm’s length trades. Commodity end-users such as airline companies constitute relatively little proportion of total oil consumption which is around the 4% of the total world consumption (IATA, 2012). As a result, it is natural to expect the management of these firms with limited and/or no access to over the counter derivatives to take into consideration the market sentiment in their hedging decision. Using the implied volatility functions of oil options on futures traded in NYMEX, this study tests whether the implied volatility observed in oil contracts are loaded with useful information about the direction of oil prices and whether an oil risk hedger can benefit from this information, if any. The results show that the implied volatilities observed in oil markets do not provide privileged information about the direction of oil prices, at least for the short end portion of the contracts. These results might be affected by the time series properties of the observations.

Corporate default prediction : models, drivers and measurements

Wang, Yangzhengxuan January 2011 (has links)
This thesis identifies the optimal set of corporate default drivers and examines the prediction performance of corporate default measurement tools, using a sample of companies in the United States from 1970 to 2009. In the discussion of optimal default drivers, feature selection techniques including the t-test and stepwise methods are used to filter relevant default information collected from previous empirical studies. The optimal default driver information set consists of quantitative parameters from accounting ratios, market indices, macroeconomic indicators, default history, and firm age. While both accounting ratios and market information dominate the explanatory ability, followed by default history, macroeconomic indicators contribute additional explanation for default risk. Moreover, industry effects show significance across alternative models, with the retail industry presenting as the sector with highest risk. The results are robust in both traditional and advanced random models. In investigating the optimal prediction method, two newly developed random models, mixed logit and frailty model, are tested for their theoretical superiority in capturing default clusters and unobservable information for default risk. The prediction ability of both models has been improved upon using the extended optimal set of default drivers. While the mixed logit model provides better prediction accuracy and shows stability in robustness checks, the frailty model benefits from computational efficiency and explains default clusters more thoroughly. This thesis further compares the prediction performance of large dimensional models across five categories based on the default probabilities transferred from alternative results in different models. Besides the traditional assessment criteria - covering the receiver operating characteristic curve, accuracy ratios, and classification error rates – this thesis thoroughly evaluates forecasting performance using innovative proxies including model stability under financial crisis, profitability and misclassification costs for creditors using alternative risk measurements. The practical superiority of the two advanced random models has been verified further in the comparative study.

Combating poverty and social exclusion in Europe

Duffy, Katherine January 2011 (has links)
No description available.

The successful management of a state-owned company : a case study of Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC)

Al Sayed, Mustafa January 2000 (has links)
This study is based upon a detailed empirical investigation into the development of the petrochemical industries in the GCC1 region in general and on the transformation of Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, Bahrain (GPIC) in particular. GPIC, a government owned company, faced serious financial difficulties arising from a crash in global market prices, impairing its ability to repay bank loans. In addition, the company was forced to employ a contract workforce at exhorbitant costs due to non availability of skilled local personnel. The research addresses the decade from 1988 to 1997 when under a unique style of leadership and management approach, strategic organisational changes were undertaken to improve morale and control costs. The study also identifies key elements which had a strong impact on the creativity and motivation of employees and also upon the organisational culture which eventually transformed the organisation into a world class enterprise. The company's historical narrative is supported by: 1) Technical and financial performance data. 2) Staff surveys assessing employee morale, motivation and organisational culture. 3) Results of benchmarking surveys highlighting technical competence of the company. The focus of this dissertation is to ascertain how creativity, motivation and culture contributed to GPIC's performance. It highlights the fact that any organisation, be it private or government owned, can be made to work effectively and efficiently provided the organisational culture can nurture creativity and motivate the workforce. The study concludes that when an organisational culture is transformed, where the workforce is motivated and creativity is nurtured, business performance is bound to improve.

The public accountability of business associations under conditions of EU policy participation

Barlow, Rachel Ann January 2014 (has links)
Set in the context of wider problems of EU popular legitimacy, the thesis explores a participatory model of EU policy making based around business associations as agents of participation. Policy participation implies public accountability, where there is an abundance of literature on the role of non-governmental organizations exercising mechanisms, but without a specific focus on business associations. This topic addresses the participatory role of business associations acting within an applied public accountability mechanism. The analysis of the literature leads to the identification of an accountability model grounded in the origin of the mandate to act and to judge. Applied to business associations, the model reveals newly combined conditions for the existence of public accountability, pointing notably to the reliance of external processes on internal means and the deliberate choice to act beyond legal compliance. The public quality of the outcome of the application of the model rests on structured deliberation with the wider EU public through active participation of civil society organizations and arises as questions of reputation management are addressed for business associations active in sensitive product or service sectors. As the multiplicity of actors increases, the relationships within the public affairs networks will become more complex, and the dividing lines between private commercial interests, citizens, and the state more blurred. The public accountability credentials of those actors operating through governance models in this specific context allows for clarification of purpose and transparency of outcomes, thereby providing for a model of engagement.

Towards realisation of stable oil prices : an empirical analysis of the impact of OPEC's oil price band/stabilisation policies

Ibrahim, Mas'ud Usman January 2014 (has links)
This dissertation contributes to the literature on the role of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in (de)stabilising oil prices by identifying and critically investigating a gap in the extant literature with respect to OPEC’s actions in the oil markets, vis-à-vis its stabilisation policies. Two research questions were addressed, namely: to what extent could OPEC have stabilised global oil prices within a particular target price band; and to what extent were OPEC’s stabilisation policies rendered ineffective by market forces? Consistent with the positivist’s research paradigm, unrestricted vector autoregressive (VAR) models were applied to monthly data over the 13 year period 2000-2012 on a range of relevant variables identified from the literature. Granger causality tests, impulse response functions (IRFs) and forecast error variance decompositions (FEVDs) were obtained from the VAR estimates to enable a critical analysis to be undertaken of the complex dynamics at play between OPEC and other key market players. The major contributions of the study are: it establishes that OPEC failed over the period 2000-2012 to operate as an effective cartel for controlling oil prices; it provides an innovative contribution to research methodology by utilising VAR impulse response functions and forecast error variance decompositions to describe the complex interactions between various players with diverse objectives in the markets; it contributes to the OPEC cartel literature in a novel way; it should enable regulators to better understand the political, social and economic interaction between key players in the oil markets, thereby increasing chances of policy embracement by all parties; it also makes a theoretical contribution by employing a framework based on target (price) zone theory; and finally it establishes that oil price band policy has the potential to be an important element of price stability in the oil market.

Accounting for behaviours and context in evaluations of complex health interventions

Cravo Oliveira, Tiago January 2014 (has links)
Health care systems across developed countries face a perfect storm of rising demand and constrained funding. Systems have relied so far on short-term fixes but the time for incremental piecemeal solutions is passing. To achieve transformational change and fundamental service redesign, policy makers are resorting to ever more complex interventions. Evaluating their effects is far from trivial. From public health programmes, to integrated and community care services, to electronic health technologies, complex health interventions typically exhibit a large number of components and interactions among them and other parts of the system; involve numerous intricate behaviours by those delivering and receiving the intervention; engage multiple and diverse groups, organisational levels and populations; result in many outcomes, typically with a high degree of variability; and are extensively tailored to local settings and circumstances. Evaluating such interventions is as much about whether they work, as how and why. In this research, I examine the difficulties in using standard economic evaluation methods to assess complex interventions in the outpatient setting, and develop an approach to evaluation which uses methods and techniques that can explicitly address complexity, incorporate preferences and behaviours of patients and carers, and account for wider contextual influences. I apply the suggested approach to the evaluation of teleconsultation in Alentejo, drawing on insights from previous theoretical and empirical research, new econometric and statistical studies, and simulation modelling. The application makes contributions to extant research on behaviour and decision making, and has implications for the evaluation of teleconsultation, as well as for broader discussions of how to assess complex interventions. Complex health interventions have the potential to deliver a revolution in health care, but to achieve it we must be able to identify those that truly work, how and why. It is hoped the approach suggested here will contribute to that objective.

Individual and organizational effects of knowledge production : a multi-level study

Schillebeeckx, Simon J. D. January 2014 (has links)
This dissertation investigates individual and organizational effects of knowledge production in three chapters. I depart from the notion that both interpersonal collaboration between and within organizations as well as recombination of knowledge components are instrumental in the production of new knowledge. The first chapter investigates the origins of collaborative knowledge production in plastics electronics. Using survey data, I explore how individual and organizational characteristics drive collaboration preferences. I avoid looking at established collaborations because these bias collaboration determinants. I find that resource provisioning and social similarity influence preferences and that these effects are moderated by collaboration experience and organizational objectives. Additionally, the study suggests that individuals facing an aspiration gap are more favourable towards collaboration, and proposes that relational capability, in the form of networking skills, openness, and information will moderate this relationship. The second chapter looks at the recombination of knowledge components. Using patent data from US semiconductor firms, we explore how firms build on old knowledge components to create new patented inventions. The findings suggest that familiarity of components contributes to innovative success but that adding novelty to familiar combinations is on average even more successful. We also find that the effects of different types of knowledge recombinations are moderated by the time in between these collaborations as well as by the search for non-domain specific knowledge. The final chapter posits that the search for knowledge components and the search for collaboration partners should not be understood as two isolated determinants of invention. I submit that finding knowledge components (objects) or knowledgeable partners (holders) can be construed as alternative solutions to the same knowledge problem and describe a process model of invention as escalating recombinant search. The dissertation ends with a reflexive conclusion on the contributions made in these three chapters.

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