Social marketing and food policy in Greece : findings from research with undergraduate students and key stakeholdersKapetanaki, Ariadne Beatrice January 2012 (has links)
Greece, like many other countries, has experienced great changes in food supply, consumption patterns and health outcomes. Famous for its Mediterranean diet, it has actually undergone a modem nutrition transition, and now has high rates of overweight and obesity and increased incidence of non-communicable nutrition-related diseases. This study begins with that reality and the current failure of food policy and nutrition-related initiatives to tackle problems. The study explores whether and how social marketing could remedy this policy deficit and contribute to changing Greek food behaviour. The thesis describes a contextual review of the state of nutritional health, the food system and food policy in Greece and outlines social marketing theory and experience. Two studies were conducted to answer the research questions. The first was a case study conducted on a sample of undergraduate students through nine focus groups with fifty-nine Greek undergraduate students from eight Athenian education institutes to explore the influencers of eating behaviour, the impact of current initiatives and the potential of social marketing. A second study of thirty-two key stakeholders in significant positions in the Greek food system explored through semi-structured interviews the reactions of education institutes, civil society, government and food supply chain representatives to the Greek food situation and the potential of social marketing. The fieldwork studies found that social marketing was not likely to be a panacea but has potential for Greece. The first study found that eating decisions are complex, based on individual as well as environmental factors. Both studies highlighted policy failings in government, while the second study specified the problematic structure of the public sector and a reluctance to confront existing food culture. Both studies found potential for social marketing to help change Greek food culture but its utility depends on factors beyond the realm of food policy alone. Political will, suitably qualified people and changes in the food system are all necessary. The thesis concludes that social marketing would be enhanced by an integrated food policy framework and from a broader understanding of behaviour change in general and of the dynamics of eating behaviour in particular. A new model of this integrated approach is proposed. Greek food policy would be enriched by the citizen-centric approach of social marketing but only if the full 5 Ps that will include "Policy" are applied as the policy element is too easily marginalised. The thesis proposes that food policy be integrated around three dimensions of action: food safety and hygiene, nutrition and environment.
Flexible work arrangements in Greece : theoretical perspectives and evidence from employers and employeesBessa, Ioulia January 2012 (has links)
The thesis examines Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) in the Greek labour market and theoretical perspectives that may explain employers’ and employees’ perceptions of flexible working in Greece. Its objectives are: (1) to contribute to the sociology of work and labour economics literatures, by revisiting theoretical perspectives, applying them to the Greek labour context and adding empirical evidence on different FWAs; (2) to contribute to the literature on flexible working and new forms of management practices, by not only focusing on a context that has been neglected, but also by developing a two-level study of both employers’ and employees’ perspectives; (3) to assess potential implications of flexible working by focusing on the job quality of flexible workers and, in doing so, contribute to the growing literature on the impacts of new forms of work. In Chapter 3, the datasets are presented. First, the fourth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and the second European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) are described and employed to benchmark employee use of FWAs in Greece. Second, a survey conducted in Greece during the period 2010-2011 is described. The resulting Greek Dataset on Flexible Work (GDFW) covers 40 companies and 492 employees. The second part of the thesis reports three empirical studies. In Chapter 4, EWCS and EQLS show that the use of FWAs in Greece is significantly lower (compared to other EU countries) highlighting the question: why is the incidence of flexible working lower in Greece? Four FWAs forms are studied: part-time, temporary, telework and work from home as well as a hybrid category, “no contract”. The findings suggest that part-time, temporary and “no contract” employees characterise a secondary labour market, while telework and work from home, though rare are more noticeable than previously observed in the literature and demonstrate characteristics of a primary labour market. Overall, this first empirical study enabled a reassessment of the research questions, data needed and provided further insights into how chosen theoretical perspectives could be further explored to set hypotheses concerning employers’ as well as employees’ perspectives. The first study (Chapter 5) analyses the GDFW through institutional theory. Its purpose is twofold: first, to examine at an organisational level the environmental factors that may impact on employer offer of FWAs. Second, to explore characteristics, that are directly associated with employee use of / interest in FWAs. Additionally, the relationship between FWAs with Work-Life Balance (WLB) and life satisfaction is examined. Results show that pressures coming from competition, EU, legislation and labour market are significant predictors of employer offer. With regard to employees, the results suggest that the use of FWAs and employee interest in FWAs are associated with: their role in the organisation, tenure and family obligations. Implications of these findings for human resource management, industrial relations and the spread of flexible working in Greece as well as future research are discussed. The second study investigates FWAs quality in Greece through dual labour market theory (Chapter 6). Hypotheses are set and tested using the GDFW. Perceptions of employees and employers on FWAs show that these are associated with low job quality. Flexible workers are mostly females, younger employees and those with lower educational background, suggesting a segmented workforce and a distinction between full-time employees (“insiders”) and flexible workers (“outsiders”). These inequalities are likely to remain, thus showing that convergence in the labour market is a distant European goal. Chapter 7 summarises the research objectives of the thesis. It summarises the results obtained for the Greek case, and compares them to the European context. It further describes how findings may be generalised. Most importantly, it provides the practical implications of the thesis, acknowledges its limitations and addresses how what has been learnt by this research can foster future research.
The central purpose of this thesis is to explore the dimensions of labour market adjustment in Jamaica. The paper adopts a microeconometric approach, relying on new and more detailed Jamaica Labour Force Survey data for the period 1983-2006. Over this period, Jamaica has experienced significant expansion in its external trade which has been characterized by a severe import bias. Also, during this time, Jamaica's agricultural and manufacturing sectors experienced declines in their respective employment shares of 44% and 36% while service sectors expanded. One chapter of the thesis explores the empirical link between expanding trade flows and manufacturing labour market adjustment. The thesis also explores whether and to what extent sectoral labour market adjustment in Jamaica has been accommodated by an accompanying occupational transformation. Central to analyzing the issue of occupational adjustment however, is the careful definition of what constitutes a skill in order to elucidate the role of skill specificity in labour market adjustment. The thesis then investigates the incidence of unemployment in Jamaica in an attempt to identify key factors leading to escape from unemployment within a low skilled, high-unemployment, developing country context. The study finds an important role for worker characteristics, trade and industry information in affecting labour market adjustment in Jamaica. Using occupational skill definitions due to Dolton and Kidd (1998), the study also finds that most of the occupational and sectoral mobility in Jamaica, over the review period, took place among unskilled manual workers. As such, the Jamaican employed labour force experienced very little skill upgrading over the 24 year period covered. The very limited up-skilling observed over the review period was due to the emergence of relatively more highly skilled, sales and distribution related occupations. As far as adjustment costs are concerned, across all mobility types, simple sectoral moves were- in general, relatively less costly; with occupational transformation playing an accommodative role to the sectoral adjustment. Industry information, educational qualifications, geographic location, gender and the degree of skill specificity and were all critical determinants of the type of adjustment observed in the Jamaican labour market. Finally, the thesis underlines the very high incidence of long-term unemployment among uneducated, unskilled, young males in Jamaica. The study reveals negative duration dependence in the Jamaican labour market and suggests a critical role to be played by worker training in affecting unemployment escape probabilities.
Repercussions of the demographic shift for firms include issues such an incremental rise in the average age of the workforce, unequal inflows and outflows of labour and managing organisational skill levels. In the case of Germany, organisational responses to demographic change are exacerbated by a predominant early exit culture, legislation which protects against the dismissal of older employees and related provisions set out in collective bargaining agreements. The aim of the research is to examine how demographic shifts impacted on German companies in the steel, chemicals and utilities sectors. After discussing these challenges, the thesis analyses measures implemented by these firms and explains differences in the responses between the sectors. The empirical findings clearly indicate that far more was being done to prepare for, and to counter, the effects of demographic developments than the extant academic literature suggests. Companies which responded most proactively to demographic change issues perceived this to be part of their role as a responsible and caring employer. The end to the financial support of early retirement by the German government was found to be an important catalyst for firms to develop measures to accommodate older workers, instead of offering them an early exit from the company. Nevertheless, a failure to respond effectively to the end of state-funded support for early retirement, as well as the tendency of some firms to ignore deep-seated motivational issues in older workers, suggests that companies have some way to go before they can be described as effectively tackling demographic change. Hence, this thesis is unable to prove conclusively that critics of the German management of demographic in organisations are wrong in pre-empting that German firms run the risk of falling into a demographic trap (Thun et al, 2007). The thesis frames demographic change within a wider context of organisational shifts, by examining external and internal drivers of change. Variations in responses between sectors are explained by drawing attention to drivers of change within the three industrial sectors which have shaped the behaviour of firms, including past experiences of organisational restructuring. Finally, the thesis makes a number of important theoretical, empirical and practical contributions to the academic literature. The most important contribution is to provide qualitative, empirical data on how firms in Germany are dealing with demographic developments to address gaps in the literature on company responses to demographic change.
Eco-product innovation and clean manufacturing technologies : designing support services for small and medium sized enterprises : innovation reportWoolman, Tim January 2011 (has links)
No description available.
Binding through branding : an investigation into the impact of brand experience and brand image on consumers' perception of trust in the context of the UK financial services sectorMoin, S. M. A. January 2016 (has links)
The purpose of this thesis is to understand the impact of brand experience and brand image on consumers’ perceptions of trust in the context of the UK financial services sector. Since the financial crisis in 2008, trust has been an issue for financial services brands with scandals surfacing continually such as the “Libor Scandal” in 2012 (BBC News, 2013); the manipulation of foreign exchange markets by proprietary traders in large banking institutions (Financial Times, 2014); a number of banks being fined a total of £2.7 bn (BBC News, 2013) and so on. In these kinds of scenarios of declining trust, it is of paramount importance that financial services brands not only focus on their brand identity but also consistently deliver a favourable brand experience and build a strong brand image to contribute in the restoration of trust in financial services. Therefore, this study makes a timely contribution by providing a nuanced understanding of how and to what extent brand experience and brand image impact consumers’ perception of trust in the context of financial services from an interdisciplinary perspective. The theoretical model incorporating brand experience, brand image and a number of important interdisciplinary trust constructs has been developed from the interdisciplinary literature on trust and brand (Mayer et al., 1995; Aaker, 1997; McKnight et al., 1998; McKnight and Chervany, 2001-2002; McKnight et al., 2002; Mayer et al., 2007; Ennew and Sekhon, 2007; Ennew et al., 2011; Brakus et al., 2009) through inductive top-down theorising (Shepherd and Sutcliffe, 2011). The model explains the relationship between a number of brand and trust constructs. It proposes that in the context of financial services sector, where the perceived risk is high, trusting belief positively impacts trusting intention (H1); the structural assurance dimension of institutional trust has a positive effect on trusting belief (H2) and on trusting intention (H3); the situational normality dimension of institutional trust has a positive effect on trusting belief (H4) and on trusting intention (H5); the faith in humanity dimension of dispositional trust has a positive effect on trusting belief (H6) and on structural assurance dimension of institutional trust (H7) – whereas the trusting stance dimension of dispositional trust has a positive impact on trusting intention (H8) and on structural assurance dimension of institutional trust (H9). The theoretical model also proposes that a positive brand experience has a positive impact on trusting belief (H10) and likewise a positive brand image has a positive impact on trusting belief (H11). As part of theory testing following an objectivism ontological and positivism epistemological position, a survey-based quantitative approach was employed to test the hypotheses. Under the auspices of a large MNC with offices in the major cities of UK and in many countries of the world, a sample was drawn from its UK based employees, which was reasonably representative of the UK population. As the respondents were asked to answer questions about their main bank, any male or female who lives in the UK and has a UK bank account would qualify as being suitable subjects for this research. A total of 420 paper based questionnaires were distributed to this sample through customer services operatives and managers. Of them 301 questionnaires returned, 300 were usable and one was incomplete, thus resulting in a response rate of 71.46%. The measurement scale for trusting belief was adopted from Ennew and Sekhon (2007) and Ennew et al. (2011) trust index; the measurement scales for brand experience and brand image were adapted from Brakus et al. (2009) brand experience scale and from Aaker (1997) brand personality scale respectively – both of them were further validated in the context of financial services sector. The measurement scales for trusting intention, institutional trust and dispositional trust were developed from interdisciplinary trust literature (Mayer et al., 1995; McKnight et al., 1998; McKnight and Chervany, 2001-2002; Ennew and Sekhon, 2007; Ennew et al., 2011) and further validated. To test the factor structure and to identify poorly-performing items and scale reliability, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was conducted followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) for checking uni-dimensionality and validity (Garbing and Hamilton, 1996; Cadogan et al., 2009) of the measurement scales using Lisrel 8.80. Finally, hypotheses were tested through Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The findings validate the interdisciplinary brand-trust theories: out of eleven hypotheses tested, nine hypotheses were accepted and two hypotheses were partially accepted. The study sheds light on the role of institutional trust and dispositional trust on financial services consumers’ overall perception of trust through influencing their trusting belief and trusting intention; and underscores the importance of having a sound and strong financial structure to engender trust. Furthermore, it reveals that although consumers have noticed the efforts of financial services institutions and regulators in putting an overarching structure for financial systems in place, they are not fully convinced that the current situation is typical and normal. The study found strong links between consumers’ perception of a positive brand image and on their perception of trusting belief. In unveiling the relationship between brand experience and trusting belief, the study found that the affective dimension of brand experience has a significant influence in influencing consumers trusting belief, whereas the intellectual dimension of brand experience is not viewed favourably by the financial services consumers. This research contributes to convergent theories of trust and mutually inclusive theories of trust and brand through adopting an interdisciplinary approach. In particular, it contributes to theory application by operationalising an interdisciplinary brand-trust conceptual model. The findings bring valuable insights that contribute towards the integrated brand-trust literature and validate the interdisciplinary theory of trust that centres around the seminal work of Mayer et al. (1995), McKnight et al. (1998), McKnight and Chervany (2001-2002) and Tan and Sutherland (2004). The research shows the impact of brand experience, brand image, institutional trust, and dispositional trust on consumers’ overall perceptions of trust in the context of the financial services sector. In addition, the study makes a methodological contribution through developing measurement scales for trusting intention, institutional trust and dispositional trust, which are particularly suitable for the financial services sector; and also by validating brand experience and brand image scales for financial services. Due to the divergent interdisciplinary perspectives of trust, the literature on trust still remains divided especially in its conceptualisation of the constructs. Hence this study makes an attempt to bring harmony to an on-going debate around trust. It also incites a debate whether trust in the context of the financial services sector should be conceptualised and operationalised from a single disciplinary perspective or through employing an interdisciplinary approach; and whether the issues of trust and branding should be treated as integrated phenomena or not. The study is of relevance to managers and policy makers, for it will inform them of the importance of institutional trust, dispositional trust, brand image and brand experience on consumers’ overall perceptions of trust; and provide them with more sophisticated measures for brand experience and brand image for financial services, which in turn will create an opportunity for them to develop more effective branding strategy. The measures of trusting intention, institutional trust and dispositional trust that have been developed especially for the financial services sector as part of this study also offer significant implications for practice. In the light of this study, policy makers, commercial organisations and other interested stakeholders in the financial services sector can measure and track trust in a more comprehensive manner than previously. They will be able to monitor changes in perceptions of trust more accurately and in a more regular fashion, understanding the level of changes on each kind of trust and the reasons for these changes in the overall perceptions of trust. This will also help firms to develop a more effective strategy to restore or enhance consumers’ perceptions of trust as it provides policy makers and firms with guidance regarding where a particular focus on types of trust should be given.
This thesis presents two studies of computer-mediated non-monetary exchange. The Internet has improved the potential for previously unconnected people to organise into interest groups with the intent of meeting offline. This has resulted in a range of organisations emerging with the explicit aim of helping people to give and share resources. These organisations typically reject money and markets, insisting that social interaction should occur through generosity alone. The first study presents a netnography and depth interviews which reveal how technology is used to enact and influence the management of identity, partner selection, ritual normalisation, and negotiation of property rights. The findings have significant implications for the design and management of systems that encourage non-monetary forms of collaborative consumption. In the second study a longitudinal social network analysis reveals how the social structures involved in these systems have no obvious historical precedent. This has implications for the way in which the social sciences should conceptualise reciprocal economic arrangements. It also raises some sociological implications for the possibility of designing economic systems in the absence of money. Finally, a new approach is proposed which advocates diachronic analysis of property rights as a means to explain how markets and institutions that try to subvert markets exist alongside each other.
An investigation into corporate social responsibility disclosure in the Libyan oil and gas industry using a mixed-methods design : an institutional perspectiveAlshbili, Ibrahem Alshref M. January 2016 (has links)
Given the growing interest in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure (CSRD), especially in developing countries, this thesis adopts neo-institutional theory to investigate the extent and types of CSRD practices and factors influencing its adoption in oil and gas companies operating in Libya. Two methods of data collection were used: namely, semi-structured interviews and annual reports. The semi-structured interviews were conducted first with 14 oil and gas firms’ managers working in Libya, to identify the factors influencing CSRD adoption, and second with 6 external actors to confirm or reject such claims. The second method involved a collection of 106 annual reports for the period 2009-2013, to first identify the extent and types of CSRD practices, and second to proceed with a regression test to assess the relationship between CSRD determinants and the extent of CSRD practices. The findings from the qualitative analysis show that managers perceive a diversity of coercive, mimetic and normative pressures interplay to influence CSRD in the Libyan context. Particularly, the adoption of CSRD is influenced by the state through its governance body - the National Oil Corporation (NOC), foreign business partners, other foreign-owned companies’ behaviour, the need to uphold firms’ reputation, and pressures to meet societal expectations. Other determinants identified include government ownership, parent company factors, board size, board meeting, firm size, age, presence of CSR committee, and profitability. Furthermore, the absence of clear legal requirements, a shortage of knowledge and awareness, the absence of civil society organisations, the absence of the Environmental General Authority’s (EGA) role, and a lack of motivation from the government were found to act as major impediments to CSRD development. The findings obtained from the quantitative analysis show that the level of CSRD is low when compared with Western countries, but in relative terms, the most disclosed types of CSR information were related to the human resources and environment. Moreover, the findings obtained from the CSRD regression model suggest that CSRD practice is positively associated with government ownership, joint venture ownership, foreign ownership, frequency of board meetings, parent company factor, and firm size. However, CSRD has no statistically significant relationship with board size, CSR committee, and age of the company, while profitability is negatively associated with CSRD practices. These results contribute towards the literature adding to the knowledge of CSRD practices’ “implementation”, by empirically providing evidence for the context of CSRD in Libya. This is achieved by explaining how specific external and internal determinants contribute to or impede the development of CSRD practices. These findings, therefore, could be useful to corporate regulators and policy makers in developing a more focussed agenda of CSRD activity, when considering regulations for disclosure.
Politically motivated overseas mergers and acquisitions and stock market reactions : evidence from Chinese central state-owned business groupsWang, Zhenning January 2017 (has links)
Modern corporate governance is most characterized by management, board of directors, shareholders’ meeting, and supervision committee board. However, by investigating functions of the Party Committee, a dominant corporate governance power over modern corporate governance in Chinese central state-owned business groups (CSOBGs) , this thesis explains how Chinese CSOBGs are governed and intervened by Chinese central government and CPC at micro-level, and to what extent and under what situations political events and cadre bureaucratic system intensify the misalignment of interests between agents and principals, and how such corporate governance structure affects SOEs’ investment decisions and investment efficiency. I find that the Party Committee embeds Chinese CSOBGs’ leading executives in Chinese cadre bureaucratic system. Executives’ intention to advancement within the cadre bureaucratic system motivates the political-driven out-bound mergers and acquisitions by Chinese CSOBGs especially during critical political periods around NCCPC . I document a strong positive correlation between the promotion of leading executives of Chinese CSOBGs and the incidence of out-bound mergers and acquisitions during their tenure, and a significant negative 1-year post-acquisition performance. Furthermore, such corporate governance practice exacerbates the misalignment of the interests between non-listed Chinese CSOBGs and their listed subsidiaries, resulting in high leveraged parent tunneling from their listed subsidiaries. I report a statistically significant negative cumulative abnormal return of CSOBGs’ subsidiaries responding to these politically motivated transactions. The negative cumulative abnormal return of listed group affiliates is elucidated by critical political period, subsidiaries’ separation of ownership and control, liquidity, and parent’s leverage. I present that when CSOBGs first declare their proposals of their out-bound mergers and acquisitions, market only responds positively to their subsidiaries that are enjoying greater separation. However, the critical political periods, sensitive investment timing related to executives’ political promotion, wipes the positive influence out. With the worry of group’s tunneling, for subsidiaries with strong liquidity but a highly leveraged parent, the short-term event-driven stock performance is significantly negative. Last, consistent with previous literature, this study provides the evidence that during hot political periods, SOEs and politicians suppress negative information and disclose after the hot political periods. A significant relation between the count of news articles 3 months ahead the announcement and the short-term stock market return of out-bound mergers and acquisitions by CSOBGs is reported. Further more, stock market reactions to these news articles diverse to different political periods. I find the stock return within the event windows is negatively correlated to the news’ sentiment during the hot political periods. It indicates that the market discounts the news’ sentiment even takes them in the opposite way during the hot political periods.
The geography of firm internationalisation in Germany : exploring domestic and foreign heterogeneity across regions and sectorsNguyen, David January 2017 (has links)
The present thesis explores the internationalisation of firms in relation to regionsector characteristics. We focus on outward investment by German firms and classify the heterogeneity across firms, regions and sectors, as well as foreign destinations. The thesis is structured in 5 chapters: a general introduction, followed by 3 empirical chapters and a final conclusion. In the introductory chapter we provide a general conceptual framework and selective review of the literature. Our starting point is that internationalisation is heterogenous across firms as it requires ownership advantages. However, the source of these is less explored and we discuss how regional factors such as the proximity to MNEs can influence foreign expansions. Conceptually we rely on spillover and competition effects and put forward that MNEs can act as catalysts for internationalising domestic firms. Chapter 2 analyses the propensity of German firms to be active as outward investors, exploring and qualifying the heterogeneity across firms, regions and sectors. We find that different forms of proximity matter for the intensive and extensive margins of outward investment by German firms. First, region-sector co-location with MNEs is more important than regional co-location. This lends support to the notion of technological proximity as a facilitator of spillovers. Second, the association between region-sector proximity and the propensity of firms to invest abroad is larger at finer spatial scales. This hints to the tacitness of some knowledge and information about internationalisation processes, as these types of effects and externalities mainly arise between spatially proximate firms. Third, region-sector proximity is shown to matter most when the firm and the proximate MNE are both German-owned. It highlights a potential role of cultural proximity and regional embeddedness for positive externalities or feedback loops to occur. Chapter 3 enquires how destination-specific ties available in the home region in Germany can be leveraged by the internationalising firm when making location decisions abroad. We provide empirical evidence on this by using data on inward and outward investment linkages and migrant networks between a German region and foreign destination. Our findings also reveal that those matter more for likely first-time investors, while within business group experience is not shown to play a role. Using a mixed logit model we further highlight significant heterogeneity across firms in their directionality of outward investments. Larger firms are found to be able to expand to more distant foreign destinations while smaller firms mainly choose European locations. Chapter 4 turns our focus to whole sectors and compares their domestic and global geography. To do so we use detailed geocoded data on the global locations of German manufacturing firms. We reveal that also at the global level there is considerable heterogeneity in the spatial pattern across sectors. The concentration ’intensity’ is also generally higher than at the domestic level and the level of technology in a sector plays a key role for its pattern. While at the domestic level high-tech sectors are found to be the most concentrated, at the global level it is rather low and medium-low tech sectors. At the same time, firms in medium-high tech sectors are the least concentrated in both. As they are often referred to as the ’backbone’ of the German economy, we see potential implications for territorial cohesion and regional disparities.
Page generated in 0.1579 seconds