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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.

Two Essays on Alternative Mechanisms to Going Public

Floros, Ioannis V. 30 June 2008 (has links)
This dissertation addresses the reasons why private companies that have decided to go public use the alternative reverse merger path instead of the traditional initial public offering. We test the importance of information asymmetry for the decision of domestic and foreign private company owners to go public in the US utilizing the reverse merger path. To measure information asymmetry we use size, profitability, development stage, expenses and financing variables. We conclude that private companies choosing the reverse merger path are highly information asymmetric since reverse merger deals require no offering to be conducted at the consummation of the deal making these companies less reliant on a wide public investor base. This dissertation consists of five Chapters: Chapter One reviews going public and cross-listing literature. Chapter Two presents our empirical findings of domestic reverse mergers-penny stock initial public offerings comparison. Chapter Three analyzes similarities and differences of domestic and foreign reverse mergers. Chapter Four expands our analysis to the international level. Chapter Five states our conclusions.

Three Essays on Corporate Finance: Evidence from Brazil

Braga-Alves, Marcus V. 30 June 2008 (has links)
In this study, we use some relatively unique characteristics of the Brazilian stock market to test corporate governance, capital structure, and payout decisions hypotheses. In Chapter One, we find that a composite index (NM6) that proxy for the main governance practices targeted by Bovespas voluntary reform is statistically and economically related to higher market valuation. We also find that an investment strategy that bought stocks of better governed firms and sold stocks of poorly governed firms would have earned annual abnormal returns of 10.4 between 2001 and 2005. In Chapter Two, we examine how entrenchment is related to capital structure in a market characterized by closely held firms and significant separation between ownership and control. Our results support the hypothesis that entrenched insiders choose less levered capital structures to reduce the probability of bankruptcy or to elude external monitoring by debtholders. In Chapter Three, we examine the relation between firm characteristics and the choice of payout on equity. In Brazil, firms can distribute earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends or notional interest equity. Whereas dividends are not taxed at the personal level, the net tax effect of interest payments is lower because of their deductibility. Our results are consistent with the use of the notional interest on equity because of its tax deductibility despite the personal tax advantage of dividend payments.

Managing Projects with Stochastic Durations

Glowacka, Karolina J. 30 June 2008 (has links)
This research addresses analyzing and responding to uncertainty in projects with stochastic task durations. First we examine the effect of contractor flexibility (or agility) on project completion times. We find that this impact can be significant depending on the size and the structure of the project network. Next we study a stochastic time-cost trade-off problem with penalties for exceeding a project deadline. In considering this problem, we take a contingency approach to decision making where crashing decisions are made dynamically throughout project execution. For serial projects we develop a dynamic programming algorithm as well as a variety of heuristic methods. Extending and modifying these methods for general projects allows us to deal with more complex network structures. Specifically, we propose hybrid dynamic programming/linear programming algorithms and simulation-based algorithms. We perform computational studies to assess the performance of each method and to compare the contingency approach with a static approach (where all crashing decisions are made before the project start time). Finally, we study the case with penalties, incentives, and overhead costs. We find that when the project cost function is not convex, the dynamic programming solution may become non-monotonic, which requires further modification of the methods. We show that the performance of our algorithms does not deteriorate with inclusion of additional parameters. In fact, the gaps between the case with perfect information and the methods presented herein seem to be smaller than in the penalty only case.

Marketing Perspective of Stakeholder Influence On Long and Short-term Firm Financial Measures

Groening, Christopher John 29 September 2008 (has links)
In this dissertation I have three essays. In Essay 1 I focus on two main groups of stakeholders, the investor community and the customers of a firm. I view their interaction through the lens of a third group of stakeholders, managers. Managers, like other humans, have a limited amount of attention that can be applied to firm projects. When attention is spread thin for firms operating in many business segments then managers are unable to adequately address the needs of the investor community and customer stakeholder groups. A tradeoff between these two groups is necessary in this situation. However, when a firm is narrowly focused, doing business in only a few segments, then there is enough managerial attention and the firm should follow a dual emphasis. A firm that has achieved a dual emphasis in this scenario should be able to achieve higher long-term financial results compared to only pursuing customer or investor related projects. Essay 2 continues with the theme of researching multiple stakeholder groups. This essay investigates the interactions of society, the investor community, and the employees of a firm. A firm can address the needs of these groups through corporate social responsibility (CSR) acts, but how does CSR benefit or disadvantage investors? This essay uses signaling theory (Kirmani and Rao 2000) in four common situations to discern the extent that firms are advantaged or disadvantaged by CSR strengths and concerns. CSR signals are divided into external (e.g., environmental issues such as pollution) and internal (e.g., employee issues such as hiring practices) as well as strengths (exceeding legal standards) and concerns (running afoul of the law). These four types of CSR signals, in addition to information from annual reports, customer satisfaction, short-term financial measures, and industry concentration, only sometimes combine to provide strong signals to investors regarding a firms future prospects. Results from this essay show that the best results, from the investment community point of view, can be summarized in three points. First, externally focused CSR activities are assisted by managerial advertising to investors, do not compensate for low short-term financial outcomes, assist firms in concentrated industries, but are detrimental for firms in less concentrated industries. Second, internally focused CSR activities are worse for firms with high (vs. low) levels of customer satisfaction, low (vs. high) levels of industry concentration, and low (vs. high) levels of short-term financial outcomes. Third, internal CSR issues have little importance from an investor point of view. The third essay in my dissertation, once again centers on customers, but also investigates the role that managers and employees have on value creation for a firm. In order to investigate the interactions of these groups, two data sets were used. One was from the German retailing industry and the other from a US banking firm. This allows the results to be generalized to more industries and countries. Results show that 1) The effect of managerial (franchisee) satisfaction on customer satisfaction is fully mediated via employee satisfaction; 2) The effect of customer satisfaction on repurchase intention is strongly moderated by front-line employee satisfaction; and 3) Customer repurchase intentions affect firm revenues. These results suggest that firms seeking to enhance customer satisfaction, repurchase intentions, and profits should not only make direct investments in customer satisfaction, but also indirect investments in human resources, especially in improving satisfaction among front-line employees.

Online Community Referrals and Commitment: How Two Aspects of Community Life Impact Member Participation

Bateman, Patrick J. 29 September 2008 (has links)
The Internet now hosts an ever-increasing collection of tools (e.g., list-servers, discussion groups, chat rooms, bulletin boards, social networking sites, and wikis) that help people connect, communicate, and collaborate. The development of these technological tools, together with the desire to capitalize on the collective efforts of like-minded individuals has led to the formation of a wide variety of online communities. While some community oriented ventures have been extremely successful (e.g., MySpace and Wikipedia), this is not the norm. Online communities are faced with significant challenges associated with attracting and maintaining a voluntary membership base and many fail to do so. The success and failure of these communities lies in their ability to attract and maintain a membership base of users that are willing to participate. A key to attracting and retaining members is to better understand how members join, and how their relationship with the community, impact their behavior in the community. The primary purpose of this dissertation research is to propose and test different aspects of community life that links how people join the community, and the bonds they form with the community, influence their participation in the community. A secondary objective is to expand the conceptualization of participation beyond traditional frequency of contribution constructs, to one that incorporates a wider range of community behaviors that need to be performed by a communitys members. Towards these objectives, this work examines how two different aspects of community life, joining and commitment, affect different aspects of participation, including content provision, content seeking, and informal moderation. The first study draws on literature of word-of-mouth from marketing and organizational recruiting to explain how community joining processes, specifically member referrals, can shape member participation behaviors. The second study, draws on the organizational commitment literature, to theorize how the member-community relationship impacts member participation. Data to test these models proposed in each study was collected from a large community. The community promotes itself as a general discussion community, with the goal of supporting social conversation amongst its members. This dissertation finds that member referrals and community commitment play an important role in members participation within online communities. These factors exert their influences at different stages of a members association with a community. Referrals appear to be most influential at the earliest stages of community life, facilitating the return of members after they join and the level of their participation in the short term. This may be useful in helping communities overcome initial judgments of members with respect to the potential value of the community, giving the community a chance. However, communities must also be able to develop committed members to sustain participation in the long term. The commitment that develops between a member and the community influences members participation, with the various types of commitment (continuance, affective, normative) leading members to participate in different ways. This may be useful in helping community administrators, who face the challenge of achieving an appropriate mix of participation to maintain the quality of the member-generated content pool over time. Taken together the results of the studies presented provide a theoretical foundation for linking relational models of community engagement and content contribution models. In doing so, expands the range of behaviors that should be considered by both researchers and practitioners, and provide a foundation for richer, more powerful, and potentially more useful models of behavior in online contexts.

Variability and Synchronization of M&A and Alliance Behavior: An Entrainment View

Shi, Weilei (Stone) 29 September 2008 (has links)
We extend the M&A and alliances literature to include a temporal perspective focusing on when and under what conditions firms should accelerate or slow down their M&A and alliance initiatives. Using a social entrainment model, we explore the relationship between the temporal properties of variability, synchronization and firm performance. We test our model in the context of the U.S specialty pharmaceutical industry. We find a curvilinear relationship between the overall variability of strategic actions and performance. Establishing internal synchronization increases performance while external synchronization of variability with competitors reveals a more complex picture. Our study further opens the window for understanding the creation of competitive advantage by managing rhythm-type strategic actions against time.

Winners-Take-Some: The Impact of Conversion Technologies on Network Effects in Digital Goods Markets

Liu, Zhechao 29 September 2008 (has links)
Both theoretical and empirical evidence suggest that, in markets with standards competition, strong network effects can make the strong grow stronger and even "tip" the market towards a single, winner-take-all standard. We theorize that the presence of conversion technologies will reduce the tendency towards market dominance in markets for digital goods. We develop three essays to explore this phenomenon within both an analytic and empirical framework. In essay 1 the results from a duopoly model confirm that the existence of a converter can mediate the network effects of a pre-existing installed base. A "winners-take-some" outcome that sustains competition after the entrant enters the market is more likely to arise with lower conversion costs. Surprisingly, higher quality conversion technology does not necessarily enhance the likelihood of the "winners-take-some" outcome. In essay 2 we endogenize the decision to provide a converter and incorporate explicit negotiations between firms concerning the extent of conversion. We find that the Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium involves firms' agreeing on providing converters at a sufficiently low price to all consumers. At this equilibrium, not only the entrant, but also the incumbent are better off since the provision of converters alleviates price competition and leads to both higher product revenues and higher proceeds from the sale of converters. Moreover, under some circumstances the provision of converters is welfare enhancing. In essay 3 we empirically test our hypotheses in the context of the flash memory market where both network effects and high quality digital converters are present. Our results show that the availability of digital converters reduces the price premium of the leading flash card formats more than that of the minority formats. In addition, market concentration decreases as converters become more widely available. Our findings imply that producers of non-dominant standards are better off with the provision of conversion technology, as this technology tends to neutralize the impact of network effects. These findings have important implications for research and practice in IT standards competition and technology adoption as the introduction of conversion technologies provides an alternative mechanism to reduce the social costs of standardization without compromising the benefits of network effects.

Biases and Heuristics in Team Member Selection Decisions

Pinto, Jonathan 29 September 2008 (has links)
Although team composition as an antecedent to team performance has been studied extensively, team composition as a dependent variable has been relatively neglected. Recent studies on team member selection assume that a group or an organization is conducting the process and propose elaborate models that include numerous factors along two dimensions: taskwork and teamwork. However, when individual decision makers are forming teams, they adopt a simpler heuristic approach that is based on their relational ties to potential team members. The extent of this relational bias, i.e., the proportion of the team to which they have prior relational ties, is explored in this dissertation. In cases where the decision maker was the team leader, the relational bias was 50% for top-flight professional soccer players choosing their ideal teammates, and 34% for National Football League (NFL) head coaches choosing their coaching staff members. Even in cases where the decision maker was only the selector and not the team leader, the relational bias in the soccer player dataset was 31%. Whether the decision maker was a leader or only a selector was a statistically significant predictor of relational bias. These findings not only support the traditional leadership theories that the leader-member relationship is a central dimension of leadership, but also suggest that relational ties might be important even at the team formation stage. The NFL head coaches dataset provides evidence that team leaders role interdependence is a statistically significant predictor of relational bias not only to the team as a whole, but also to the part of the team structure on which the leaders are more dependent (termed backing-up subunit). Content analysis of soccer players reports of their selections indicates that taskwork-related rationales were primary (58.2% of the total), followed by tie-related rationales (23%) and teamwork-related rationales (18.8%). Further, team spirit, a subcategory of teamwork-related rationales, comprised only 4.1% of the total rationales provided. The results suggest that when individual decision makers are forming teams, they utilize a three-dimensional (rather than two-dimensional) approach that includes consideration of factors related to taskwork, teamwork, and the decision makers ties to potential team members.

Essays on Publicly Traded Family Firms in the United States

Yalin, Mehmet Fatih 29 September 2008 (has links)
Family firms are an important part of the U.S. economy. Using a comprehensive sample of publicly traded family firms in the U.S. this dissertation looks into various aspects of their corporate structure. Specifically, this dissertation studies the industry distribution, capital structure choices, and performance and survival after Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 of family firms. The chapter on industry distribution presents evidence that family firms are less likely to exist in industries where the optimal firm size is larger and more likely to exist in industries with greater amenity potential. Moreover, they are more likely to exist in more mature industries, less likely to exist in industries with more growth opportunities, and less likely to exist in industries with more volatile earnings. The evidence suggests that families choose to set up their companies in industries that require less wealth for control and in industries with less risk, which is consistent with families higher risk aversion compared to atomistic shareholders. The chapter on capital structure choices presents evidence that family firms carry more debt on average than non-family firms. This is consistent with the agency argument that large shareholders are able to better monitor the company and reduce the agency costs of free cash flow; and therefore, increase the capacity for debt financing. There is also evidence that family firms borrow significantly less of highest and lowest priority debt and significantly more of debt with intermediate priorities than non-family firms. This is consistent with higher risk aversion of families compared to atomistic shareholders. Furthermore, family firms carry significantly less short-term debt and significantly more long-term debt. Moreover, they hold significantly less cash and short-term securities while they pay out significantly more of their earnings as dividends. The chapter on performance and survival presents evidence that family firms significantly outperformed non-family firms during the 2.5 years before Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and this outperformance disappeared during the 1.5 years after the Act. There is also evidence that family firms were less likely to delist from exchanges after the Act irrespective of whether the delisting was via acquisition or via other reasons.

Who stays and who leaves? Social dynamics surrounding employee turnover

Shevchuk, Iryna 29 September 2008 (has links)
My dissertation consists of two essays that examine employee turnover as an independent and a dependent variable. In my first essay I examine the relationship between job-related attitudes, such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and employee turnover behavior. In a sample of over 6,000 teachers in 200 public elementary schools, I found significant variability across employee and organizational characteristics in the strength of the relationship between job attitude ratings and turnover. I attribute this variability to two sources: (a) systematic differences in attitude thresholds, i.e. the minimum acceptable level of a job attitude necessary to remain with the organization; and (b) systematic response biases in attitude ratings. I develop a model to determine which characteristics relate to significant differences in attitude thresholds and/or response biasing factors and found that both individual and organizational attributes are distinguishing factors. In my second essay I present findings from three inter-related studies investigating human and social capital as mechanisms that may determine whether and why employee retention is associated with organizational performance. In a sample of public schools I found a linear relationship between employee retention and organizational performance. Further, this positive association is fully mediated by human capital and partially mediated by social capital. In addition, I examined human and social capital at the individual level of employees who remain with the organization versus those who leave. I found that organizational performance suffers most when the employees who leave have high levels of both human and social capital. Finally, I distinguished human and social capital losses based on their specificity: organization-specific versus task-specific. As predicted, the losses of task-specific human and social capital were more deleterious to organizational performance than the losses of organization-specific forms of capital.

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