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Theses - Judge Business School


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  • ItemEmbargo
    From relationships to systems: Navigating organizational culture, identity and identification in organizing for pro-social goals
    Gapp, Tirza
    The papers in this dissertation examine, through three related theoretical angles, how actors build, shape, and maintain relationships between organizations and between organizations and individuals to pursue pro-social goals. The lenses of organizational culture as a toolkit (Chapters 2 and 3), organizational identity (Chapter 2), and identification (Chapter 4) are used to shed light on how actors relate to and collaborate with one another in organizing for pro-social goals in the setting of higher education (Chapter 2) and in an impact accelerator supporting social enterprises in low-income countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (Chapters 3 and 4). Jointly, the three papers surface how people develop and/or draw on a clear understanding of the demands, expectations, and potentialities of the organizations they serve, and the cultures and identities from which these arise. This allows actors to interweave demands on, respect and leverage differences between, and steer interpretations and enactments of the cultural and identity dynamics that underpin and propel these relationships. In this manner, actors build, shape, and maintain relationships that advance pro-social goals over time. Importantly, all three papers surface that these relationships unfold in larger ‘systems’ of interconnected cultures and identities (within natural and social systems) with which they interact. As a result, relationships entertained to pursue pro-social goals need to be seen in the larger, complex contexts in which they are embedded. Chapter 2 examines how an organization whose identity is subject to differing, including contradictory, demands stemming from two salient identity referents with which it stands in permanent relationships navigates these demands in the ongoing construction of its identity. Based on a qualitative study in the setting of higher education, the paper uncovers how members of the focal organization construct and sustain an organizational identity simultaneously looking different depending on the identity referent against which it is seen by interweaving (divergent) demands so that the organization can blend into, and thus maintain its relationships with, both referents. The study further adds to our understanding of the linkages between identity and culture by showing how the use of cultural strategies of action enables and enacts identity blending. Chapter 3 investigates how members of different organizational cultures bring these together to successfully address shared pro-social goals over time. Based on extensive observational, interview, and archival data collected with TRANSFORM, a joint initiative between Unilever, the UK’s FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), and EY that supports social enterprises in low-income countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the paper develops as its primary contribution the concept of a bounded, incrementally assembled, and dynamically updated inter-organizational culture. This informs our understanding of organizational action on problems spanning individual organizations and the relationships required to enable and sustain it. Chapter 4 examines how members of a collective entity with which they are connected through a relationship of identification actively shape its identity, and thus the relationship with the collective. Also based on my study of TRANSFORM, the paper theorizes a continually unfolding process of shaping the collective identity, as the target of identification. Members’ understanding of the collective identity as a process evolving over time, that is amenable to influence from them, bolsters and sustains the relationship of identification.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Essays in Applied Microeconomics
    Lyu, Yuan
    This thesis comprises three independent papers on applied microeconomics. The first chapter studies the impact of primary care provider mergers on quality in England. The second chapter investigates the effect of price dispersion on consumer search behavior, drawing evidence from the retail gasoline market in Greece. The final chapter builds on the second, studying the asymmetric price adjustment and the impact of market competition on the asymmetric price adjustment. The details of the three papers are summarized below: The Effects of General Practice Mergers on Quality in England The primary care market has witnessed a growing trend of provider consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, yet the implications of this concentration remain uncertain. This study addresses this gap by providing the first empirical evidence on the effects of provider mergers on quality using evidence from the English primary care market. By analyzing all provider mergers from 2014 to 2018, I find predominantly negative effects of mergers on quality. Clinical quality does not change at best, and patient satisfaction decreases dramatically. Notably, the impact on quality varies based on the size of the general practices involved. Mergers between large general practices show a detrimental impact on quality, while mergers between small general practices may yield quality benefits. Additionally, there is no difference in the quality impact between mergers involving parties in the same geographical market and those in different markets. An exploration of the mechanism reveals that mismanagement, rather than changes in market concentration, drives the observed decline in quality following mergers. The Effect of Competition and Price Dispersion on Search Behavior We investigate the impact of price dispersion on consumer search behavior, while credibly controlling for market structure. Using the retail gasoline market on isolated, oligopolistic markets, as defined by small Greek islands, we exploit an excise duty tax increase policy as a plausibly exogenous shock to price dispersion. We directly measure consumer search using the number of user visits to a price information platform and mobile application. We find that the tax shock increases price dispersion and that in turn causes a short term increase in consumer search. The effect of price dispersion on consumer search remains regardless of market competition level. Asymmetric Pass-Through and Competition We study the pass-through to retail prices of four major changes in taxes for petroleum products (three increases and one subsequent decrease). We use daily pricing data from gas stations on small Greek islands, which define isolated markets with different number of competitors. First, we find that, on average, the pass-through of the tax hikes is five times higher than for the tax decrease. Second, the pass-through of the tax hikes increases with the number of competitors, but that of the tax decrease does not vary with competition (asymmetric competition effect). Third, there is significant asymmetry in the speed of price adjustments. Fourth, the asymmetric adjustment of retail gasoline prices cannot be explained by tacit collusion and the evidence points to search as the most plausible explanation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Essays on Managing Healthcare Ecosystems
    Betcheva, Lidia
    From medical services, community and social care, organ transplantation and blood supply chains, to pharmaceutical innovation, research and development, and manufacturing and distribution, the healthcare ecosystem is wide ranging in both its functions and stakeholders. This dissertation aims to better understand, evaluate, and address major challenges and inefficiencies in this complex system. Through the utilization of operations management concepts, strategies, and methodologies, the dissertation derives and offers insights for key decision–makers and practitioners. The first half of the dissertation lays the groundwork by characterizing healthcare supply chain management and provides a framework that adapts and applies supply chain thinking to the healthcare domain. In the second half of the dissertation, the research focuses in on the pharmaceutical industry and, particularly, to examining recent and major trends in clinical development: the changing nature of clinical research outsourcing, and the decentralization of trials. These trends are assessed by considering the key stakeholders in the ecosystem and the intricacies of their interactions. The main chapters are summarized below. Healthcare supply chains are categorized into four main categories with the primary strategies, challenges, and risks as well as the existing research for each category discussed. For each supply chain, Chapter 2 details at least one efficient and effective strategy that has been used in practice and includes a short discussion on future research. With a focus on healthcare delivery, Chapter 3 offers a primer on supply chain thinking in healthcare, by following a framework that is customer focused, systems based, and strategically orientated and that simultaneously considers clinical, operational, and financial dimensions. The goal is to offer an understanding of how concepts and strategies in supply chain management can be applied and tailored to healthcare by considering the sector’s unique challenges and opportunities. Pharmaceutical (pharma) companies face substantial financial consequences from clinical trial overruns. To offer an analytical perspective on how pharma managers’ choice of outsourcing relationship type with contract research organizations (CROs) can affect clinical development timelines, Chapter 4 explores strategic partnerships (characterized by a pharma company's commitment of future business to CROs) and transactional arrangements (one–off but potentially repeated engagements). The problem is formulated as a three–stage game between a pharma company and CRO. The when and how of strategic partnerships are investigated through the characterization of the conditions under which a pharma company should pursue a strategic partnership with a CRO rather than engage in a transactional arrangement, and in detailing the way that these relationships unfold. The COVID–19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of a conventional site centric clinical trial design and spurred the adoption of decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), trials wherein recruitment and data collection are not restricted to one centralized location. There has been a growing interest in understanding how DCTs can mitigate existing challenges in clinical development, particularly regarding sponsor, site, and participant burdens. Chapter 5 provides an overview on DCTs, emphasizing how they fit into and alter the current clinical development landscape. The chapter puts forward a conceptual framework that employs systems thinking to evaluate the impact of trial decentralization on the ecosystem through a reiterative assessment of stakeholder pain points.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Ecosystems for Responsible Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: Navigating Change and Complexity
    Zankl, Jonah
    This thesis explores the question how do societies support the organization of entrepreneurship and in turn ensure its positive impact on society? Entrepreneurship and social innovation have become increasingly organized as specialized organizational sponsors (e.g., accelerators), entrepreneurial ecosystems (e.g., Silicon Valley, Silicon Fen), and entrepreneurial ideologies (e.g., ‘building unicorns’) have emerged to support and govern these activities. Despite growing scholarly attention to understanding how interactions within entrepreneurial ecosystems and the broader entrepreneurial field unfold, several important questions are outstanding for research and practice. At the field level, disruptive entrepreneurship has become organized under a common ideology, in which founders are encouraged to pursue market reform while allowing for negative externalities to diffuse in society. With increasing societal concern over these externalities, how might societies transition toward a new normal of responsible entrepreneurship? Paper 1, drawing on institutional and paradox theory, introduces a model of the emergence and governance of entrepreneurial disruption. Importantly, we theorize a set of guardrails which aid in the transition toward responsible entrepreneurship, managing the tensions associated with such a change. At a regional level, how do organizational sponsors maintain entrepreneurial ecosystems? Paper 2 draws on a qualitative case study of an organizations activities to deliver a ‘University Enterprise Zone’ which introduces new support and resources to the ecosystem, alongside advancing efforts to structure the ecosystem. The chapter advances a process of entrepreneurial ecosystem vibrancy amidst tensions between coordination and variety. Finally, with respect to scholarship in entrepreneurship and social innovation, Paper 3 explores what methodological opportunities exist to use systems thinking as an orienting research lens. This chapter explores how systems thinking, when coupled with an attention to leverage points, provides novel opportunities for social innovation scholarship by zooming in and out on non-linearities, unintended consequences, thresholds and boundaries, and multi-level and cross-level interaction. Together, this thesis explores three related questions related to contextual understandings of entrepreneurship, while recognizing the tensions that surface in the societal organization of entrepreneurship more generally.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Punishment and Violence in Organisation Studies
    Marrison, Adrian
    This thesis explores the understudied theme of violence and punishment within organization studies. It takes the form of three journal style papers that draw on ethnographic data from two different settings. The first paper explores the use of extreme practices by vigilantes through an empirical case of a British pedophile hunting team, offering a theoretical contrition by showing that these practices are animated by the heroic logic of the vigilante lifeworld and its associated “ways-of-being.” The second paper focuses on why frontline workers use discretion knowing this puts them at risk of blame for straying from the official rules. Using empirical material gathered from a twelve-month ethnography of prison officers, it theorizes that the empowerment these workers gain from using discretion outweighs the risk of managerial discipline they knowingly incur through its use. From the same empirical study of prison officers, the third paper investigates how actors can construct a credible threat of violence in contexts where its exercise would be extremely costly to them. It finds that the officers utilise tough but cooperative prisoners to establish a threat of violence and theorizes that they perform three kinds of social-symbolic work on these prisoners to communicate the credibility of this threat to the inmate community. Each paper offers its own specific theoretical contribution: to vigilantism (unofficial punishment), discretion (the underuse of official punishments/rules), and violence (specifically its threat). Taken together, this offers a body of scholarly work that significantly improves our understanding of punishment and violence within organization research.
  • ItemControlled Access
    The Social Construction of Organizational Misconduct: A Systemic View
    Pichler, Rasmus
    The question of how and why organizations engage in misconduct has long fascinated management scholars and practitioners (Palmer, Smith-Crowe, & Greenwood, 2016a; Treviño, Weaver, & Reynolds, 2006; Vaughan, 1999). Hardly a day goes by without newspapers, NGOs, or regulators calling out organizations and their leaders for behaviors – such as environmental violations, fraud, human rights violations, bribery, and others – that cause harm and break the law or violate ethical standards. In this dissertation, I explore how such organizational misconduct is socially constructed and how this social construction affects organizations and their leaders. Conceptualizing organizational misconduct as socially constructed means that misconduct is seen as behavior in or by an organization that actors outside the organization – such as government agencies, social movements, or media outlets – label as violating norms (Greve, Palmer, & Pozner, 2010; Waegel, Ermann, & Horowitz, 1981). The notion of misconduct as being socially constructed in this manner is well-established in neighboring disciplines such as sociology (Grattet, 2011), but its implications have been neglected by management scholars (Greve et al., 2010). I study these implications and develop them into a systemic view of the social construction of organizational misconduct. My aim with this systemic view is to show how social construction of misconduct unfolds through interrelated processes across levels of analysis: decision-making, labeling, and line-shifting. Within organizations, individual leaders engage in day-to-day decision-making, guided by their personal values and the influence of organizational structures they are embedded in. This can lead to behavior that potentially violates norms and is attributable to organizations and their leaders. In this regard, outside actors with authority to sanction behavior – called social control agents – evaluate organizations’ behavior by drawing on macro-level norms. When social control agents then attempt to label behavior as misconduct, contested interactions with organizations accused of misconduct ensue. Beyond this labeling of discrete instances of behavior, norms according to which behavior is labelled as right or wrong are shifted on the broader field level, through an interplay between groups of social control agents and organizations. Each chapter of the dissertation zooms into a part of this overall picture, illuminating it from different levels of analysis. Together, the chapters coalesce into the systemic view of the social construction of organizational misconduct, which is synthesized and elaborated in the final chapter. This systemic view draws our attention to feedback effects between processes on different levels of analysis. It is then leveraged to guide future research towards distinct focus areas that require empirical and theoretical development, as well as to connect misconduct scholarship with other streams of literature.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Regulating contracts in the independent television production industry
    Lourenço, Ana Isabel Príncipe dos Santos da Silva
    This dissertation adopts a socio-legal approach to explore the interaction between regulation and contracts in the independent television production industry. “Regulation” is defined as a system of *ex ante* and *ex post* rules intended to govern behaviour, which involves monitoring compliance and sanctioning, and has a stable source. “Contract” is defined as a mode of coordinating exchange that operates within the framework of rules set by regulation, while itself operating as a source of rules. The dissertation studies the way in which contracts and regulation interact and evolve over time in such a way as to shape industry structure. This issue is first examined at a theoretical level. Two sets of theories are reviewed: new institutional economics, with particular reference to transaction cost economics and norms theory; and autopoietic social systems theory. Despite their different methodological foundations, these theories are shown to be reconcilable and to provide a common set of research questions concerning the interaction of contracts and regulation. The research questions are then explored at an empirical level through the use of a cross-national case study. The study analyses the role of compulsory independent production quotas, licensing models of terms of trade, and social norms in creating competitive markets for television production in the United Kingdom and Portugal. Case study evidence indicates that there has not been a straightforward move from in-house television production to a competitive market in either country. The elements of regulation intended to introduce competition in television production have so far accommodated norms that sustain contractual relationships and which have emerged to safeguard quality in television programming. But as independent production firms increase their commercial orientation, television programming is reconfigured as a commodity, with significant consequences for the concept and practice of public service broadcasting. Changes in terms of trade and legal rules are having an effect on the boundaries of firms and markets, but the norms that sustain contracts in television production are also influencing the way in which legal rules and terms of trade are being redesigned and interpreted. The dissertation demonstrates the role played by both regulation and contract in redrawing organisational boundaries, reconstituting inter-firm relationships and engendering new financial flows, in ways which are fundamentally changing the nature and structure of the television production industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Empirical Studies in Asset Management
    Ohneberg, Elias Leonhard
    The dissertation presents three empirical studies in the field of asset management. The first essay investigates whether within-firm connections alter manager career concerns and if investment distinctiveness, employee risk-taking and fund performance are affected. I measure connectedness using a dataset of within-firm networks based on 13,357 mutual fund managers across 26 years. Well-connected managers within the fund family face lower performance-turnover and -promotion sensitivities. The advantageous treatment enjoyed by better-connected managers in these career altering decisions is associated with lower risk-taking and lower investment distinctiveness of the funds they manage. Funds of better-connected managers deviate less from their peers in systematic factor and sector exposures and exhibit lower risk-adjusted performance. Mutual fund investors are unaware of this phenomenon, illustrated by the lack of a flow differential. The second essay uses proprietary data on self-reported employee reviews from to study the relationship between employee satisfaction and mutual fund performance and size. Using the staggered adoption of Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) laws in the U.S. and variation from mergers between asset management companies to tackle endogeneity issues, we find that employee satisfaction is positively linked to fund performance and size but that only performance-critical employees' satisfaction matters. A one-point increase on the 5-point scale of employee satisfaction leads to a 36bps (36bps) higher annual 3-factor (4-factor) abnormal performance. Furthermore, a one-point increase of employee satisfaction is associated with a 0.2% larger mutual fund size. Finally, while there is a positive effect of employee satisfaction on risk-taking, we cannot establish a causal relationship. The third essay investigates why fund families continue to outsource the portfolio management of their funds to unaffiliated investment advisors despite the well-documented underperformance of outsourced funds. Our empirical analysis shows that investment expertise, or the lack of it, drives the decision to enter an outsourcing relationship and impacts the way fee revenues are shared. Furthermore, market thickness, defined as the number of subadvisors the fund family could contract with, also impacts the fund family's decision to outsource and its relative bargaining power in the resulting relationship. We link the impact of market thickness on the relative power of both parties in the outsourcing relationship to the threat of dismissal of the subadvisor and show that outsourced funds operating in thick markets perform better. Finally, once we account for the initial decision to outsource a mutual fund, we find that outsourced funds do not underperform and are not smaller than in-house managed funds. The fund family lacking the relevant in-house expertise could not have achieved a better performance than the subadvisor and the subadvisor, because of its lack of distribution capabilities, could not have gathered more assets.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Machine Learning for Credit Default Risk
    Shuaib, Adam
    In this thesis, I present three essays examining how machine learning techniques can be used to enhance traditional approaches to credit default forecasting and pricing. In the first essay, we provide empirical evidence in favour of a widespread non-linear, time-varying relationship between sovereign credit risk and macroeconomic fundamentals across OECD countries. Random forests significantly outperform sparse and dense linear predictive models and explain up to 80% of the out-of-sample variation in CDS spreads by conditioning on macroeconomic fundamentals alone. This suggests that non-linearity may represent a key modelling feature in capturing the cross-country variation in sovereign credit risk. A set of pure out-of-sample implementations also suggest that tree-based methods may enable "shadow" sovereign CDS pricing for countries and periods in which reliable sovereign CDS data might not be available. In the second essay, we utilise a unique peer-to-peer (P2P) loan dataset to compare different machine learning approaches to predicting loan default over 2017-2021, a period that covers the Covid crisis. We find that P2P loan default factors appear stable over time, with total borrowing and account age the most important predictors across both pre-Covid and Covid sample periods. We subsequently show that the out-of-sample default predictability of short-maturity loans is considerably lower than for long-maturity loans, particularly during Covid. Higher loan repayment-to-income ratios render short-maturity loans more susceptible to Covid-driven income shocks not captured at loan origination. Furthermore, we document a structural break in the relation between default risk and payment holiday adoption rates for borrowers that are highly uncertain in their ability to repay a loan, consistent with the hypothesis that high degrees of financial uncertainty led to precautionary borrowing and subsequent precautionary payment holiday behaviour during the Covid crisis. In my final essay, I explore whether loan defaults during Covid were primarily influenced by borrower credit histories or income shocks. Monthly post-origination data captures Covid-driven income shocks unseen in borrower credit histories and results in a significant improvement in the ability to predict defaults relative to credit history data alone. This effect is stronger for shorter default windows and shorter maturity loans and helps to minimise information asymmetry between borrowers and lenders. Crucially, credit history data explains only 25% of the mean default forecast during Covid. Considering these findings, I am the first to explore the concept of an interest rate "reset clause" for P2P loans. I show that such a reset clause reduces the number of mispriced loans during both Covid and non-Covid periods, resulting in significant cost savings for lenders and borrowers alike.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Three Essays in Corporate Stewardship
    Zou, Yuxia
    This dissertation consists of three essays that study how companies act as stewards of a responsible financial system. These three essays focus on three key players in the capital market respectively – institutional investors (first paper), public companies (second paper), and audit partnerships (third paper). The first paper starts with the drivers of capital in the financial system – institutional investors – to investigate why and when investment companies delist themselves from United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) but continue to operate. I find that companies are likely to delist earlier when their financial and sustainability performance deteriorates after joining PRI, especially after they are mandated to provide standardized reports on sustainable investment practices. Based on these standardized reports, I further document that companies are more likely to delist when they have weaker management control systems for sustainable investment. Collectively, the results suggest that only companies with internal and external business conditions to pursue both financial and sustainability performance can afford to maintain a public sustainability commitment in the long term. The second paper focuses on the users of capital in the financial system – public companies – to analyse the incentives and real effects of creating a separate corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee on corporate boards. We find that a firm’s decision to establish a CSR committee is shaped by the cost-benefit trade-offs associated with country and corporate characteristics. On average, CSR committees effectively reduce firms’ CSR risk in the long run, however at the cost of operational performance such as profitability and capital investment. The evidence is consistent with firms abandoning CSR-controversial projects under the heightened scrutiny of CSR committees. The third paper turns to the safeguards of capital in the financial system – audit partnerships – to examine how audit partners’ performance management and compensation systems evolved over the past decade under increased public scrutiny on audit quality. Based on internal policies and records collected from the eight largest audit firms in the Netherlands from 2007 to 2017, we find that audit partners’ performance evaluation and incentive structures have substantially increased the focus on audit quality. This evolution strengthens the alignment of goals amongst audit firms, audit partners, capital market and society.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Continuity of Service Provision for Repeat Customers: Empirical Investigations of Continuity of Care in Primary Care Practices
    Kajaria Montag, Harshita
    Many service processes are sequences of independent transactions between customers and servers. In such contexts it is well known that pooling server time and offering an arriving customer the next available server, independently of whether they had seen the customer before, is most efficient. However, when customer episodes depend on one-another, then this is not necessarily the case. Ensuring customers have a dedicated server may offer efficiency advantages. This thesis is an empirical investigation of the productivity advantages of dedicated servers in the context of primary care. In this context, server dedication equates with the notion of continuity of care, which is the extent to which a patient has her consultations with the same doctor. The thesis is composed of two in-depth empirical studies. The first study provides evidence of the productivity implications of relational continuity of care (RC), while the second study addresses the question how practice managers can increase continuity of care. Both studies use a detailed clinical dataset from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink that collects patient-consultation level electronic health records and is representative of the UK population. From its overall database of over 11 million patients spanning 674 practices, our data consists of the entire medical record of 5 million patients who have had contact with primary care between 2007 and 2018 across different providers of care (secondary care etc.). In the first study, I show that continuity of care has a significant productivity benefit. Specifically, due to the trust-based relationship, accumulated knowledge over time and stronger accountability for the patient, the average time to next visit for a patient is longer when patients see their regular provider than after they see another doctor. The data shows that the productivity benefit of care continuity is larger for older patients, patients with multiple chronic conditions, and patients with mental health conditions. I discuss operational and strategic implications of these findings for primary care practices in capitation environments and for third-party payers of their services. This first study suggests that prioritizing continuity of care is an effective strategy to reduce demand for consultations. The second study, entitled “The Operational Determinants of Relational Continuity of Care" builds on the first part and identifies the levers and strategies that primary care practice managers can implement to promote continuity within the constraint of a diminishing workforce. We find that a sustained increase in workload - caused by demand growth - and increasing fragmentation of the workforce - due to a shift to part-time and agency work - induces significant heterogeneity between practices in their ability to provide care continuity. Specifically, these two factors alone explain more than 50% of the decline in care continuity over the ten-year window of the study, with workforce fragmentation having the greater impact. We discuss the implications for workforce management in primary care practices that wish to promote continuity of care.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Three Essays on Machine Learning in Empirical Finance
    Wang, Jinhua
    The dissertation consists of three essays that contribute to the literature on machine learning in empirical finance. In the first paper, I create proxies for managers’ cultural fit using one of the latest machine learning technologies – the sentence embedding model - by analysing 11.5 million speeches in earnings calls. A better cultural fit is significantly and positively correlated with managerial tenure. I demonstrate that the effect of cultural fit on managerial tenure is causal using random survival forests. Firms that hire culturally disruptive managers have lower future market values and performance. The stock market reacts positively to signals that indicate low cultural dispersion within the firm. In the second paper, we document a gender-based attention effect in the sensitivity of mutual fund flows to fund performance using individual-level fund data from a fintech platform in China. Investors increase (decrease) flows to funds following positive and strong (negative and weak) prior-month performance. However, although there is no significant difference in the performance of male and female managers, the sensitivity effect significantly weakens if the fund manager is female. The effect persists after controlling for the tone of news articles on fund managers, measured using a state-of-the-art machine learning model. Simply put, investors react less to the performance of female fund managers. In the third paper, we document a significant, up to 10-fold increase in the synchronicity of intra-day, ultra-high frequency stock returns over the last decade. This surge in the intra-day synchronicity across stocks coincided with the advent of electronic, automated trading in U.S. markets. Using changes to the S&P500 index, we establish evidence of a causal relationship using a new machine learning tool - causal random forests. When firms are included in this major index, they enter the radar of high frequency arbitrageurs and market-making bots. These automated trading bots, who monitor prices in major securities closely and continuously, increase their quoting activities significantly and cause individual stocks’ returns to synchronize at the microstructure level.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Managing the Old and New: Essays on Responses to Novel Technologies
    Bin Samsuri Welch, Samsurin Welch
    A central challenge for firms is to respond and adapt to technological change. Through three related chapters, this dissertation seeks to advance knowledge with a synthesis view of adaptation by unpacking the mechanisms underlying reshaping of technological frames (Chapter 2), strategizing processes (Chapter 3), as well as a typology of interactive dynamics between actors (Chapter 4). Collectively, these chapters suggest the value of how a synthesis lens and opens opportunities for future research. Paper 1 examines how an emancipatory disruptive technology can be turned to serve the interest of those it was meant to displace. Drawing on a qualitative study of the emergence of blockchain technology, we theorize a process model of disruptive capture through which a technology’s meaning can be transformed from an ideological challenge to corporate domination into a technological tool for capturing value. This study spotlights the agency of incumbent actors in not only making sense of new technologies but also actively reshaping their meaning. We emphasize the synthesis nature of this process; whereby the technology evolves into an emergent combination of established and novel aspects. We posit the value of disruptive capture for firms to take advantage of contentious technologies, rather than rejection or resistance. Paper 2 investigates the tensions managers face with novel technologies that blur traditional notions of industry boundaries. Our qualitative study of an oil and gas corporation responding to emerging digital technologies found that managers faced conflicting environmental velocities, specifically the pace, rhythm, and unpredictability of technological change. This led to clashes in temporal norms and assumptions in the processes of technology strategizing. We show how tensions induced managers to become reflexively aware of the intra-firm plurality of temporal assumptions, and through temporal maneuvering, leverage plurality to their advantage. By focusing on processes (i.e., strategizing for technologies) rather than content (i.e., novel technologies), we extend sociocognitive perspectives of technological adaptation by highlighting temporal complexities in how managers do strategizing. Paper 3 theorizes adaptation to nonincremental innovation as a process of confronting and managing contradictions. Specifically, we argue that nonincremental innovations emerge as contradictions to dominant incumbents along dimensions of resource, strategic cognition, and organizational identity. Drawing on insights from dialectics and paradox perspectives, we develop a typology of how firms respond to nonincremental innovation through conflict, mutual adjustment, assimilation, or synergy. Our theoretical model advances a synthesis view of nonincremental innovations, which departs from dichotomies of incumbent and entrant actors and technologies to emphasize the novel combinations that emerge through their interaction.
  • ItemOpen Access
    When Audiences and Targets Collide: Towards a Relational View of Stigma in and Around Organizations
    Lodge, Jan Stephen
    In recent years, organizational and management scholars have taken a strong interest in the study of negative social evaluations, with a particular focus on stigma that occurs in and around organizations. To date, research in this context has focused on two overarching themes: First, it has examined how the targets of stigma respond to the pressures of social audiences by, for example, attempting to reduce their stigmatization. Second, it has investigated the flipside, namely how audiences decide to and then proceed to stigmatize and sanction targets in the first place. However, in both cases the literature to date has not examined in detail how targets’ or audiences’ interactions and crucially their relationships with one another may shape the process of stigmatization as well as responses to it. Thus, we know little about the drivers and motivations of specific actions and how, in particular, these are influenced by existing relationships between audiences and targets in the context of stigma. The present dissertation addresses this by building a more relational view of stigma in and around organizations. It does so through three studies in different contexts: the first study analyzes how organizations struck by scandal and stigma spillover navigate stigmatization and sanctions from multiple, powerful stakeholders and how their historical relationships influence their actions. The second study, located in the context of an organization that supports ex-offenders back into employment shows how relationships between staff and ex-offenders that may be established with the best of intentions can, over time, challenge and shape interactions between both groups of actors and lead to difficulties. Finally, in the third study, I theorize how organizations, through their members, can form relationships with stigmatized groups and how organizational members’ backgrounds and experiences play into this.
  • ItemOpen Access
    What Explains the Effectiveness of Major Public Project Delivery in Nigeria?
    Jimoh, Ibrahim
    Ten years ago, a study commissioned by the President of the Federal Government of Nigeria identified that 11,886 large government projects of a total of 19,000 since Nigeria’s independence in 1960 not only failed but were abandoned. This abandonment rate of 63% of all government projects implies a severe problem in driving economic prosperity. With the global economic fragmentation, international help is fast disappearing; further adding to this is the COVID 19 pandemic. Project failure in Nigeria contributes to declining government legitimacy. The current investigation focuses on the management needs of government projects in order to succeed --- what resources, governance, and expertise and partnerships can support government infrastructure projects in helping the growing population to achieve economic development: roads, bridges, airports, power generation and transmission, hospitals, telecommunications networks, and so on. Governments are responsible for providing (or enabling the provision of) such infrastructure. Governments that do not offer these infrastructures limit economic and social development. Unfortunately, the ability of successive Nigerian governments to successfully deliver infrastructure development projects has been poor. This investigation asks why this is the case and seeks to offer recommendations to improve this situation. The work approached a mixed-method strategy of investigation: first, a unique detailed data set has been collected with 55 data points each on 19 abandoned and 19 completed projects (where there exists no systematic data on government projects in Nigeria). The econometric analysis of these data identifies the size of the economic levers that the success variables represent – making moderate improvements can (as suggested by the project sample) save hundreds of millions of dollars for a single project. Second, complementing the econometric analysis, 11 detailed case studies (of projects among the 38 on which quantitative data have been collected) demonstrate the causal “stories” of events and show the success drivers "live" – what it “looks like on the ground” when project success variables are missing and how the variables interact. Within about 100 variables that have been identified by previous literature as “generic” error sources in large projects, the investigation empirically identifies a small number of common themes that connect abandoned projects in Nigeria: underdeveloped financial planning combined with centralized decision-making, and corruption. Centralized decision-making (by the president or governor or a small group of connected people) results in projects emerging from the president desk rather than from careful plans. Widespread corruption not only inflates costs but also “poisons” the effectiveness of other management decisions. In order to address the problems, the study recommends several short-term measures, such as high-level political priorities, institutional changes, and portfolio planning and budgeting. Institutionally, the study proposes establishing a new Ministry of Large Projects focusing on Project Execution, project audit, and fraud protection.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Transitioning toward Sustainability: How Corporate Sustainability Strategies Affect Stakeholders’ Actions
    Piyasinchai, Nareuporn; Piyasinchai, Nareuporn [0000-0002-8514-5676]
    Organizations face increasing opportunities and challenges as societies and economies transition toward sustainability. Despite growing scholarly attention devoted to understanding how interactions between organizations and diverse groups of stakeholders affect those opportunities and challenges, a number of important questions remain as to how corporate sustainability strategies affect stakeholders’ actions. For instance, how is corporate adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices perceived and evaluated by stakeholders? And how does public criticism of ESG issues targeted at firms or their peers affect how investors evaluate those firms as well as the heterogeneity in firms’ sustainability practices over time? This dissertation thus recognizes how corporate ESG strategies and communications are multi-directional, originating both inside the firms in attempts to influence external audiences’ evaluations as well as outside those firms in attempts to influence firms’ strategies. Moreover, the impacts of corporate sustainability strategies on stakeholders’ actions are multi-level in nature, ranging from industry-level (Chapter 2), organization-level (Chapter 3), and individual-level (Chapter 4). The findings from the three essays which comprise this dissertation highlight important unintended consequences as organizations transition toward sustainability and inform organizations as to how to more effectively engage in and communicate ESG practices, while contributing new theoretical insights into sustainability research.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Processing Novel and Competing Demands: Essays on Managerial Approaches to Change
    Fraser, Jack
    This thesis uses a socio-cognitive lens to explore managerial responses to novel and competing demands. The dissertation is structured around three chapters, each exploring the mechanisms through which managers understand, make sense of, and process competing demands1. Each chapter focuses on a context in which competing demands emerge from a change in the normal practices and expectations, specifically: industry disruption (Paper 1), planned organizational change (Paper 2), or the implementation of? institutionally complex working practices (Paper 3). In each case, our concern is with the heterogeneity of perspectives that exist amongst managers, the way in which these divergent perspectives interact, and the process through which they influence organizational responses. In doing so, the paper draws on the notions of framing, sensemaking, paradox, temporal structures, and temporal work. While these chapters exist as stand-alone studies, they have mutually influenced each other. The first paper in this collection – ‘Exploring Multiplexed Framing in Incumbent Responses to Digital Disruption’ – addresses the nature and role of framing in managerial responses to disruptive innovation2. Much of the research that applies a framing lens to incumbent responses to disruptive innovation fails to account for intra-firm heterogeneity. To explore the processes involved, we conducted a case exploration of the response of a multinational insurance group to a digitally-led disruption: the rise of online aggregator platforms between 2002 and 2007. Our analysis mapped managerial frames across three dimensions: Challenge Type, Response Urgency and Firm Heritage. This paper introduces the notion of multiplexed framing – accommodating multiple, non-binary frames – and propose that these are holographically distributed through the organization – such that conflicting frames can be held by members of the same organizational department or group. The combination of these two characteristics generates an ambiguity within organizational subunits which allows managers to achieve an equifinal resolution of conflict: selecting the same responses for different reasons. This enables the organization to rapidly trial and shift between different strategic responses. The second paper – ‘The Future is Now: Temporal Work, Sensemaking and Agency during Planned Change’ – explores the process through which competing temporal orientations are reconciled during planned organisational change3. Planned change can trigger substantial uncertainty as managers deal with competing understandings of how to act in the present while changing in expectation of the future. Left unreconciled, these competing accounts can lead to conflict and breakdowns in the change process as managers prioritise present demands. While ‘temporal work’ to develop coherent links between the past, present and future may help to overcome these tensions, such an approach can be hard to achieve in contexts where the disparity between the present and future is sufficiently large. This paper draws on a participant-observation study of Fincorp – a multinational organization undergoing substantial strategic change – to explore how managers address this challenge. We find that managers overcome tensions between the present and future by engaging in what we call ‘Temporal Reconstrual’ – a kind of “mental time travel” – in which managers make decisions about the present from the perspective of the future, by adjusting their orientation in time. Drawing on literature from temporal sensemaking, neuroscience and cognitive theory, we show how such a process utilizes ‘hindsight bias’ to discount the value of immediate demands. This in turn helps managers progress with change initiatives in spite of irreconcilable tensions between the present and future. This focus on the role of temporality during periods of change and novelty is continued in the third paper of this thesis: ‘Navigating paradoxical tensions through the interplay of temporal structures’. This paper focuses on the interplay of distinct temporal structures amongst managers in a new organization at the boundary of two institutional fields. In these contexts, managers are often required to meet contradictory but interrelated demands. While transcendence – accepting both sets of demands as necessary and complementary – has been shown to be an important response to such paradoxes, achieving it places significant cognitive strain on managers. This is particularly problematic in cases where fulfilling opposing institutional demands is required for the survival of the organization. In these cases, there is little empirical research into the practices that managers resort to when initial efforts to achieve transcendence break down. This paper draws on a longitudinal study of the early phases of operation of a joint-venture spanning two institutional fields. We argue that ‘zooming in’ to focus on the interplay of their underlying temporal structures can unveil novel and surprising sensemaking processes amongst managers navigating paradoxes. Through our analysis, we show that managers deconstructed the opposing poles of the paradox into their respective temporal depth – defined as the span into the past and future that they typically consider – and temporal horizons – measured by the frequency of milestones within this span. Through a process of temporal work, managers on both sides of the institutional divide were able to negotiate a new, shared temporal depth that accommodated the temporal horizons of both sides. We show that this process provided a structure within which to consider the demands on both sides as necessary and complimentary, which was not previously possible.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Essays in Asset Management: Mutual Funds and Exchange-traded Funds
    Zheng, Xinrui
    This dissertation consists of three essays related to fund management, and in particular, mutual funds (MFs) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The first essay studies the decision by an asset manager to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Fund families focus on both revenue generation and cost reduction when making launching decisions, with new ETF launches being driven more by investor demand than past performance. The ETF industry exhibits significant economies of scale and scope, allowing larger families to benefit from specialization while giving smaller families pressure to expand their product line. Competitors tend to follow the asset allocation decisions of the three largest ETF providers, unless when it comes to less liquid or highly concentrated objective markets. Finally, a time-to-event analysis shows that an ETF survives for longer if launched by fund families with larger size and higher fees, and whose initiation is not driven by excessive flows into the family. The second essay studies the effects of managerial turnover and competition on U.S. sub-advised mutual funds (MFs), using changes of subadvisor by 426 funds from January 1995 to December 2016. Sub-advised MFs make turnover decisions based on return-chasing behavior, but these changes neither improve subsequent fund returns and risk measures, nor increase future flows into the fund. Using sub-advisor turnover to change the degree of competition among sub-advisors does not affect the performance of incumbent sub-advisors. Overall, there is no evidence that sub-advisor selection decisions by fund families benefit sub-advised MF's performance. Outperforming sub-advisors with larger style drift are less likely to be hired, and the more a sub-advisor deviates from its investment mandate, the more likely it is to be fired. The third essay uses 2,290 European equity and fixed income ETFs and studies how the replication method affects the tracking efficiencies of ETFs, especially during market crises. Throughout the 20-year sample period 2001 to 2020, there is no persistent evidence suggesting superior tracking performance of synthetic ETFs. I identify 119 benchmarks followed by both physical and synthetic ETFs simultaneously and conduct a difference-in-difference analysis around Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, sovereign debt crisis and COVID-19 outbreak. Synthetic ETFs face steeper declines in tracking efficiencies following a sudden increase in counterparty risk, while they are shielded from liquidity shocks. There is a remarkable drop in tracking performance sensitivity to market distress post the global financial crisis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainable supply chains: Bridging the gap between environmental economics and operations management
    Wijnsma, Sytske
    In 2030, we will reach the deadline of most Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, which represent a universal call to end poverty and protect the planet. The SDGs are distinct from previous environmental and social targets because they recognise that development must balance economic, social and environmental sustainability since interventions in one area may affect outcomes in the others. The goals are therefore an integrated and balanced package and, following that same logic, will require an interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach. This thesis integrates the fields of environmental economics and sustainable operations to uncover novel research questions and to provide more holistic solutions that will advance the attainment of the SDGs. This work focuses in particular on social and environmental issues in supply chain contexts that key organisations have identified as some of the most pressing challenges. The first chapter looks at the triple-A (agile, adaptive, aligned) supply chain framework through the lens of sustainability. The concept of triple-A supply chains is that the best supply chains are not only fast and cost-effective but also agile, adaptable, and aligned. This notion has been studied extensively and has influenced the management approach in leading companies around the world. Yet since the triple-A concept was first developed, supply chains have become increasingly global, connected, and interdependent. The increased complexity of global supply chains has reduced much-needed visibility, further complicating their management, while the growing connectivity and interdependence among different stakeholders have led to many unforeseen environmental and social issues. In light of these new challenges and demands, we revisit the original triple-A definitions and expand these concepts for a more socially and environmentally conscientious world. This new framework can help firms see sustainability as a new opportunity rather than an additional constraint. We also discuss potential enablers of and barriers to sustainable triple-A supply chains and give an overview of sustainability topics yet to be explored in the supply chain literature. The second chapter takes a unique look at the effect of waste regulations on the economic and environmental performance of the reverse supply chain. The project was motivated by my collaboration with Europol, the European Law Enforcement Agency. Every year, the world produces over $62.5 billion worth of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste), but only 10% of that is recycled in compliance with regulations. To minimise the negative impact of unwanted waste disposal methods such as dumping and export, policymakers have implemented or increased the enforcement of laws designed to combat them. Even so, violations are rampant as proprietary information and a high degree of heterogeneity between firms render monitoring imperfect. Decentralised waste disposal chains, a common form of inter-business organisation, compound this problem as firms also have limited information available on the other chain partner, therefore creating complex interactions between firm behaviour and policy interventions. Against this background, we analyse the effects of policy options on firm profits and compliance. Our analysis reveals that primarily focusing on penalizing dumping by treatment operators can worsen waste chain outcomes. Solely focusing on penalizing low-quality waste exports, a common intervention in practice, can also backfire. Instead, penalizing manufacturers for downstream dumping should be given consideration. In addition, the asymmetry in export burden between waste quality levels should be reduced, which improves both waste outcomes and treatment operator profits. My third and final chapter focuses on alleviating poverty of rural smallholders. The project was built on findings from a research visit to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, the global environmental authority within the United Nations system, and from a continuous collaboration with the UNEP-WCMC, the conservation unit of the UN. Over 70% of the poor live in rural areas in developing countries and smallholder farmers are among the poorest. Since hundreds of multinational buyers have made commitments to source responsibly and poverty eradication is a fundamental objective of the SDGs, the importance of addressing rural poverty in a sustainable manner is self-evident. Traditionally, rural smallholders were primarily viewed as farmers, but development projects have shown that smallholders typically pursue a diverse portfolio of activities to complement their farming income. We therefore explore the link between rural poverty and livelihood composition, a factor rarely captured in current poverty analyses. Using a sample of over 4,000 rural smallholders across 16 developing countries, we explore the poverty impact of compositional aspects of household income, explicitly differentiating between income derived from environmental, farm, and non-farm sources. Our findings have important implications for how we understand rural livelihoods and how policymakers and buyers of commodities can improve the ability of smallholders to develop value-creating portfolios. With under ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we have entered a decade where ambitious action is crucial. My research advances the attainment of these goals by applying frameworks in operations management, such as sustainable supply chain management, to challenges identified in Environmental Economics, such as illicit waste management and poverty. I hope that this thesis and the work built on it will help accelerate progress on the SDGs by showing the benefits of an integrated approach.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Enabling Conditions for Organizational Learning: A Study in International Business Ventures
    (Centre for International Business and Management) Drummond, Aldemir Jr
    The significance of international business in the world economy has greatly increased since the beginning of the 1980s, mainly as a consequence of the expansion in the flow of foreign direct investment. Declining costs of transportation and advances in information technology have allowed transnational corporations to spread the production of goods and services around the world. Increasing competition has represented a continuous pressure on organizations for faster or better adaptation to a changing environment. Despite these pressures for change, organizations also need some stability in order to make sense of both the direction they want to take, and the actions which can help them to keep the course. Knowledge about an organization's internal affairs and its interaction with the external environment has become a main source of competitive advantage. The process by which organizations create or acquire this knowledge has been called organizational learning. This dissertation seeks to identify and discuss some key factors which facilitate the occurrence of organizational learning in International Business Ventures (IBVs), here understood as the involvement of foreign investing companies in host countries, with some degree of management that is shared between nationals of both local and foreign countries. The dissertation describes four in-depth case studies in two IBVs, one located in the UK and the other in Brazil. The first company is a subsidiary of Toshiba, which produces television and air conditioner sets for the European market. The second company is a joint venture between Toshiba and Semp, a local company, which produces television sets, VCRs and audio equipment for the Brazilian market. Due to the lack of empirical research in the field of this study, data collection and analysis followed the broad lines of the grounded theory approach. Two processes of organizational learning occurring during the last few years in each company were identified and reconstructed through semi-structured interviews with their key participants. Data about the companies and the processes was supplemented with the use of secondary sources. Througout the whole study particular attention was directed to the context where the processes developed. All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were then qualitatively coded in order to help the identification of the main themes and categories related to the objective of the study. Literature was reviewed during all stages of the research in order both to stimulate theoretical sensitivity and to enhance the generalizability into theory of the main findings of the study. Some of the main areas of contribution from the research include: the relationship between time and behavioural/cognitive changes in processes of organizational learning; the relationship between time and acquisition of tacit/explicit knowledge; the analysis of outcomes as moments in a process, and their use as leverage for continuous learning; the importance of control for guiding the process and evaluating its outcomes; communication as a major difficulty in the work of cross-cultural teams, and strategies to overcome such difficulties; and the relationship between local and foreign knowledge for the management of IBVs. In addition, the analysis of processes of organizational learning and the attention given to their context represent a methodological contribution of the study.