Browsing Logistics, Business & Public Policy Theses and Dissertations by Issue Date
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- ItemModeling the Determinants of Satisfaction and Commitment in Buyer-Seller Relationships in the Less-Than-Truckload Segment of the Motor Carrier Industry(1992) Jarrell, Judith L.; Corsi, Thomas M.; Transportation, Business and Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)Buyer-seller relationships in the U.S. are changing with the advent of closer, longer-term alliances. In establishing and maintaining these alliances, firms need to understand those factors which determine satisfaction and commitment in relationships. Drawing on theoretical and conceptual work based on Resource Dependence Theory and Social Exchange Theory, this dissertation focused on the buyer-seller dyad in the less-than-truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The buyer-seller dyads in this segment are particularly interesting since deregulation has necessitated dramatic changes in these relationships. A system of structural equations modeled the determinants of shipper's satisfaction and commitment in these dyads using a correlation input matrix. The network of influencing factors included: carrier's power, shipper's power, comparison level given an alternative and trust. The analysis allowed an in-depth discussion of the relative importance of each of these constructs and found both shipper's power and comparison level given an alternative to have a great influence on satisfaction; satisfaction and trust significantly affect commitment, with satisfaction being more important, relatively speaking. The managerial implications of this research focused on understanding those factors which are most important in creating satisfaction and commitment in buyer-seller relationships. Carrier's need to dedicate personnel to key accounts in order to display initiative in problem solving and responsiveness to inquiries in order to enhance shipper's satisfaction and willingness to commit to a long-term relationship. Other suggested programs include offering customer-oriented programs such as 1-800 numbers, increased flexibility in pick-up and delivery times, and a willingness to forego some accessorial charges.
- ItemTHE EFFECTIVENESS OF SELLER CREDIBILITY SYSTEMS IN THE ONLINE AUCTION MARKET: MODELING THE SELLER'S POINT OF VIEW(2004-08-06) Zhou, Ming; Windle, Robert J.; Dresner, Martin; Logistics, Business and Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The Internet has turned out to be an appealing place for doing business, with its unprecedented ability to bring together a large number of buyers and sellers, cover a wide scale of market and automate transaction processes, etc. However, this powerful technology of information transformation brings a greater trust problem than corresponding transactions in brick-and-mortar markets, because of the lack of information on product quality and seller honesty. Product information may be selectively disclosed, which increases the chance of fraud and dishonest behaviors. This research focuses on online feedback systems. Analytical models are developed to assess the impact of such feedback systems. Feedback systems, by themselves, are shown to work under certain conditions even in an ideal environment. Influences from incentives for providing feedback, shilling and ID changing are comprehensively discussed. If consumers do value trust, one should expect the more trustworthy sellers to generate higher prices for their products than the less trustworthy sellers. A higher price can offer incentives for sellers to be trustworthy. Following the analytical model, empirical tests of online feedback system are conducted.
- ItemThe Influence of National Culture on Buyer-Supplier trust and Commitment(2005-12-02) Morris, Matthew; Corsi, Thomas M.; Logistics, Business and Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Morgan and Hunt's (1994) Key Mediating Variable (KMV) Model has been demonstrated to be a useful means of exploring relationships between organizations. The model includes such key relational constructs as trust, commitment, cooperation, communication, shared values, and uncertainty, which have been studied extensively in the extant supply chain and marketing literatures. However, at present no comprehensive test of buyer-supplier relationships has used the KMV Model as the basis for analysis. In addition, no multi-industry study has applied the KMV Model to investigate its usefulness in other industries. Finally, the applications of the KMV Model thus far have not included testing for its usefulness across national boundaries. The present study addresses all three of the gaps above. Using responses from U.S.-based purchasing professionals, the current study replicates the KMV Model within a new population and addresses the three gaps: First, by investigating the buyer-supplier relationship; second, by sampling respondents from three industries (fabricated metal products; industrial machinery and equipment; and electronic and other electric equipment); and third, by collecting a sample with an internationally diverse supply base. The findings suggest that the KMV Model remains valid for predicting levels of trust and commitment in buyer-supplier relationships across the three industries. In addition, the analyses suggest that the KMV Model is a reliable predictor for trust and commitment, as well as for their respective sources and outcomes, in differing cultures at the national level.
- ItemDRIVERS OF ORGANIZATIONAL MODULARITY IN SUPPLY CHAINS - A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY OF U.S. MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES(2005-12-07) Cheng, Liang-Chieh; Grimm, Curtis M.; Dresner, Martin E.; Logistics, Business and Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation investigates the driving forces behind the emerging phenomenon of "organizational modularity", by which firms create "virtual" organizations through outsourcing functions, by using contract manufacturers, by forming alliances, and by using temporary employment contracts, as they organize their activities within supply chains. Using transaction cost analysis as the overarching theoretical framework for the analysis, a number of hypotheses that relate industry structure to modularity are developed. A large scale industry-level data set is used to test the hypotheses. Statistical results show that heterogeneity of supply sources, and scale economies in focal and downstream industries, are positively associated with greater use of modular forms, whereas other factors, such as the concentration of upstream and downstream industries, are associated with less modularity. In the current outsourcing environment, these findings provide crucial insights to capture the dynamics of the prevalent modular networks.
- ItemRISK MITIGATION IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN: EXAMINING THE ROLE OF IT INVESTMENT TO MANAGE SAFETY PERFORMANCE(2006-06-23) Cantor, David E.; Corsi, Thomas M.; Grimm, Curtis M.; Logistics, Business and Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Safety management in the supply chain is an interesting topic. The existence of unexpected supply chain events makes supply chain decision making difficult. To improve their response to unexpected events such as natural disasters or workplace accidents, managers are beginning to examine the link between information technology (IT) and safety in the supply chain. This dissertation examines the IT and safety link in three main ways. First, in the chapter entitled, "IT Investment and Safety: An Examination of The Impact of Information Technology on Safety Performance in a High Reliability Organization," drawing upon the work of Bharadwaj (2000), a theoretical model that links a firm's investment in IT resources to safety is developed. This model is empirically tested. A key finding is that physical IT resources, human IT resources, and growth in IT resources do contribute to safety performance. The second way that the IT and safety link is examined is through a U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored survey. In the chapter entitled, "Technology Adoption Patterns in the U.S. Motor Carrier Industry," a national survey is conducted to examine the safety technology adoption practices of larger trucking firms. The survey consists of twenty-six leading-edge safety technologies. A key finding is that larger trucking firms and firms that travel long distances are leaders in IT investment. Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm (RBV), the third way that the IT and safety link is examined is in the chapter entitled "Driving for Safety: An Examination of Safety Technology Adoption and Firm Safety Performance in the U.S. Motor Carrier Industry." The RBV framework describes how a firm's internal resources may be used to improve firm performance. Based on an over 50% survey response rate, a key finding is that safety technology resources do contribute to safety performance. It is also discovered that if the firm's top management team is knowledgeable about safety technology practices, the effect of safety technology resources on safety performance increases. Similarly, if the firm's IT staff has technology project management skills, the effect of safety technology resources on safety performance increases.
- ItemJoint Replenishment and Supply Chain Actions in the Retail Grocery Industry: Two Essays(2006-09-15) Donovan, Pamela S.; Grimm, Curtis; Evers, Philip T.; Logistics, Business and Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This study investigated supply chain management practices in the retail grocery industry from two perspectives. First, the operational performance objectives were examined by developing and testing a periodic review, joint replenishment model and heuristic. Joint replenishment policies, designed to coordinate the ordering of multiple items, can reduce inventory costs by synchronizing transportation and replenishment decisions (Cetinkaya and Lee, 2000). A fully specified model was developed taking into account the cost disadvantage of over-declared shipments. Based on the performance of the Full model, a Truck heuristic was proposed to fill a truck with each order. By varying the model parameters, the study demonstrated the large impact transportation costs had on total inventory costs and the viability of the Truck heuristic, even for moderate differences in transportation rates. A simulation study tested violations of the demand normality assumption and found the Full model suboptimized the order interval and base stock levels under non-normal demand conditions. The result was a 2 percent cost increase over the expected costs in the Full model. The primary cost drivers were positive or negative deviations from truckload shipments and higher than expected demand during the order interval and replenishment period. The second essay examined the strategic objectives of the retail grocer using the Schumpeterian perspective to relate supply chain actions, market-based actions, and firm performance in a longitudinal study. A structured content method was used to code articles reporting on supply chain and market-based activities. The study found that higher levels of supply chain and market-based actions, a source of competitive advantage, resulted in higher sales growth. Unexpectedly, firms engaged in a broad range of supply chain activities realized a decline in sales, suggesting that a more narrow focus on specific supply chain programs provided greater financial benefits to firms in the retail grocery industry. An exploratory study using cluster analysis found grocery retailers used a variety of strategies. Larger firms were more likely to focus on market-based strategies and realized the largest sales growth. Smaller firms, on the other hand, tended to choose balanced or supply chain-focused strategies, while still realizing average sales growth.
- ItemStrategic Behaviors and Market Outcomes: Two Essays(2007-04-19) Zou, Li; Dresner, Martin E; Windle, Robert J; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation is comprised of two essays related, broadly, to themes of competitive dynamics and economic consequences. In Essay One, "Many Fields of Battle: How Cost Structure Affects Competition across Multiple Markets," a conjectural variation model is developed to examine what role cost structure and product differentiation play in affecting the mutual forbearance outcome arising from multi-market contact. The analytical results show that the degree of collusion (as measured by the price level) enhanced through multimarket contact is greater when multimarket contact occurs between firms with similar production costs and undifferentiated products. This hypothesis is then tested using data from the U.S. airline industry. The empirical results provide support for the view suggesting that multimarket contact blunts the edge of competition between firms. Moreover, it is found that rival carriers with similar production costs are more likely to experience such collusion facilitating effects from multimarket contact than those with dissimilar production costs. The second essay in this dissertation is entitled, "A Two-Location Inventory Model with Transshipments in a Competitive Environment." In this study, an analytical model is developed to assess the impact of transshipments on inventory replenishment decisions and the implications for firm profitability in a competitive, uncertain market environment. To incorporate the competition between stocking locations, the analytical model developed in this paper uses a marketing variable, customer's switching rate, to measure the probability of an individual consumer choosing an alternative source of supply in the event of stockout. In such an environment, firms not only cooperate through the practice of transshipments but also compete for business. A number of interesting conclusions are drawn from numerical optimization results. For instance, it is found that when firms differ in market demand, small firms benefit more from transshipments than do large firms. In addition, it is shown that there is an inverted u-shaped relationship between transshipment price and the profit improvements that large firms gain through transshipments, whereas such benefits are monotonically decreasing with transshipment price for small firms. These findings provide several managerial implications with regard to the role of transshipment price in creating benefits for participating firms.
- ItemDeterminants of customer partnering behavior in logistics outsourcing relationships: a relationship marketing perspective(2007-04-24) Rossiter Hofer, Adriana; Dresner, Martin E; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Developing close relationships with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) has been acknowledged in the literature as a beneficial strategy for 3PLs and customer firms. It has been shown that customers embedded in close relationships with 3PLs achieve higher levels of operational and financial performance. 3PLs also benefit from engaging in these relationships by generating higher levels of customer satisfaction, customer retention, and referrals to new customers. In order to complement these findings, this study integrates theories and empirical evidence drawn primarily from relationship marketing to develop a model of the antecedents of customer partnering behavior in logistics outsourcing relationships. It is proposed that a combination of key interorganizational conditions and customer characteristics directly impacts a customer's partnering behavior with a 3PL. More specifically, a customer embedded in a relationship with a 3PL in which there are high levels of dependence, trust, and satisfaction, is more likely to exhibit higher levels of partnering behavior with a 3PL. In addition, a customer's prior experiences with partnering, and policy of engaging in interactive relationships with customers, will also positively impact its partnering behavior with a 3PL. Antecedents of dependence and trust are also identified in the model. Data are collected through a web-based survey with customers of a large Brazilian 3PL and the model tested using structural equation modeling. The results support several of the hypotheses proposed in the model. In particular, evidence is found that customer-specific characteristics, such as a customer relationship marketing orientation and prior experience with 3PL partnering, have a positive effect on a customer partnering behavior with a 3PL, above and beyond the effect of interorganizational conditions, as advocated in traditional behavioral models. Contributions of this research include the depiction of the interplay between environmental forces, interorganizational conditions, and firm-specific factors that are hypothesized to impact a customer's partnering behavior with its 3PL. With an understanding of the mechanisms on which a customer's partnering behavior is built, 3PLs can take effective action in the pursuit of the development of closer relationships with their customers, contributing to the maintenance and expansion of their customer base.
- ItemSupply Chain Strategy and the Benefits of Information Exchange(2007-06-25) Porterfield, Tobin Edward; Evers, Philip T; Bailey, Joseph P; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation investigates the use of information exchange in industrial supply chain relationships. Specific information exchange characteristics are analyzed to determine their contribution to firm performance from the perspective of both the technology champion firm and the trading partner firm. Longitudinal analyses are conducted using data gathered from an electronically mediated industrial exchange network. This unique dataset, which includes information exchange data for thirty-nine technology champion firms and their electronically integrated trading partners across a two-year observation period, provides distinct insights into the application and outcomes related to information exchange in contemporary supply chains. The analysis of this large volume of information exchange transactions identifies best practices in the use of information exchange and their impact on firm performance.
- ItemFirm Decision Making Under Financial Distress: A Study of U.S. Air Fares and an Analysis of Inventories in U.S. Manufacturing Industries(2007-07-09) Hofer, Christian; Dresner, Martin E; Windle, Robert J; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation investigates the effects of firm financial distress on two key firm decision variables: sales prices and inventories. These analyses contribute to the Structure-Conduct-Performance paradigm literature. Specifically, the feedback loop between financial distress, a result of poor past performance, and two firm conduct parameters, prices and inventories, is explored in great detail. The first essay is motivated by the ambiguity of prior research on the relationship between firm financial distress and prices. The extant economics, corporate finance and strategic management literatures differentially approach this relationship, and empirical research has found only limited, at times ambiguous support for any single theoretical contention. These theoretical perspectives are reviewed and an attempt is made to reconcile the apparent conflict by adopting a strategic contingency perspective that identifies in which way and in what instances firm financial distress may impact prices. The model is empirically tested using data from the U.S. airline industry. The results indicate that firm financial distress and prices are generally negatively related. Moreover, this effect is substantially stronger for firms operating under Chapter 11 protection than for firms approaching bankruptcy. It is further shown that the magnitude of the effect of financial distress on prices depends on firm factors such as operating costs, market power, and firm size, as well as on competitive characteristics such as market concentration and the financial condition of competitors. The second essay analyzes the impact of firm distress on firm inventories and investigates if this relationship is impacted by a firm's power relative to its upstream and downstream supply chain partners. Building on prior work in the economics field, this research is not only based on microeconomics theory, but also draws on inventory theory as well as on prior work on supply chain relationships. A comprehensive inventory estimation model is specified, and novel measures of inventory determinants and power are developed. The hypotheses are tested using panel data from the U.S. manufacturing industry. It is shown that distressed firms hold less inventory and that a firm's power within the supply chain will determine to what extent inventory ownership is reduced during times of financial distress. Implications for supplier selection and supply chain cooperation are discussed. In summary, this research significantly enhances researchers' understanding of why, how, and when firm financial distress affects prices and inventories.
- ItemSupply Chain Disruption Management: A Conceptual Framework and Theoretical Model(2008-11-06) Macdonald, John R; Corsi, Thomas M; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Severe supply chain disruptions have a great impact on the firm. They can cause loss of sales to customers and lead to changes in the design and strategy of the supply chain. This research works focuses on supply chain disruption management. It presents an overall conceptual framework and a theoretical model, highlighting the decision making process of disruption recovery. First, the literature concepts surrounding supply chain disruptions - risk management, mitigation, crisis management, supply chain resilience, supply chain security, business continuity planning, and sustainability - are defined and differentiated, since these concepts often have overlapping factors that can cause confusion. After defining each of these concepts and the latest research findings, a framework for understanding the relationships among the concepts is developed. Second, this framework reveals a gap in the literature surrounding the disruption recovery and decision making process. While an initial disruption management model can be built using factors from the literature, data are collected by conducting multiple interviews and analyzed using a structured grounded theory methodology to produce a more complete model. This also has the effect of building theory from which propositions are developed surrounding discovery of the disruption, recovery team composition, decision making, and others. These propositions can be tested empirically in future research.
- ItemThe Impact of Globalization on Inventory and Financial Performance: A Firm-Level and Industry-Level Analysis(2009) Han, Chaodong; Dresner, Martin E; Dong, Yan; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation investigates how globalization affects inventory and financial performance from both firm and industry perspectives. Drawing upon elements from classic inventory models, transaction costs, geographic economics, and international business and strategy literatures, this dissertation aims to contribute to the construction of a theory of global supply chain management through an empirical testing of hypotheses on the effects of global sourcing, exports and manufacturing offshoring (i.e., foreign subsidiaries) on inventory performance and financial performance, using data from multinational firms and U.S. manufacturing industries. Motivated by the lack of empirical research on inventory management in a global context, and an uncertain relationship between globalization and financial performance reported in the international business and strategy literature, the first essay examines how globalization affects firm financial performance directly and indirectly through inventory management. Globalization is further examined by a two-dimensional measure: global intensity and extensity. Due to increased uncertainties associated with global supply chains, globalization may significantly increase firm inventory levels. Even though manufacturing offshoring may benefit multinational firms through economies of scale and geographic diversification, escalating transaction costs and shrinking arbitrage opportunities may overwhelm benefits and lead to reduced financial performance. This direct-indirect effect model is tested using a large panel dataset of thousands of multinational firms over 1987-2007, collected from the COMPUSTAT global and segment databases. Essay 1 contributes to the supply chain management literature by providing a two-dimensional measure of globalization: foreign market penetration (depth) and geographic expansion (breadth), and may enhance our understanding of global supply chains. The second essay analyzes the impact of global inbound and outbound supply chains on inventory performance within the U.S. economy. This research argues that global activity (i.e., global sourcing and exports) has offsetting effects on domestic inventory levels: an increasing impact due to risk considerations and a decreasing impact due to cost pressure from rising inventory costs. According to location theory, rooted in geographic economics, and "new trade theory" on intra-firm trade, firms may be able to efficiently allocate inventories to low cost regions along their global supply chains. To the extent that allocative efficiency may only be realized once a certain level of global activity is reached, it is hypothesized that the impact of international trade on domestic inventory is inverted-U shaped. i.e., as globalization increases, inventory levels first increase due to the longer and more complex supply chains, then decrease as firms determine how to more efficiently allocate their inventory across borders. The hypotheses are tested using inventories at all three stages (raw materials, finished goods and work-in-process inventory) and industry operating data from U.S. manufacturers over the period 1997-2005. Regression results indicate a strong invert-U shaped relationships existing between import intensity (measured by imported raw materials as a percentage of industry total cost of materials) and raw materials inventory in days of supply, and between export intensity (measured by exported finished goods as a percentage of total value of industry shipments) and finished goods inventory in days of supply. Essay 2 makes two contributions: theoretically, it is the first effort to connect international trade with inventory performance; empirically, results based on all U.S. manufacturers over a recent nine-year period may provide a benchmark for management when designing global inventory strategy. In summary, this dissertation comprehensively investigates the impact of global supply chains on inventory performance and financial performance in the context of multinational firms and U.S. domestic manufacturers and hence is expected to enhance our understanding of global supply chain management theory and practices.
- ItemTHE IMPACT OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ON BUYER-SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS.(2010) Ribbink, Dina; Grimm, Curtis M; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In today's economy, an ever-increasing number of companies are dealing with partners from across the world giving rise to the need to understand the impact of cultural differences on business interactions. This dissertation uses two different approaches to investigate the impact of culture in buyer supplier relationships. The first study researches the effect of cultural differences in contractual buyer-supplier agreements using transaction cost as a theoretic lens. A large number of relationships translate into contracts between partners, but very few studies have investigated the effect of cultural differences on these written agreements: This research looks at the level of contract completeness and the option to renegotiate the contract as outcome variables. The study investigates the impact of cultural difference in buyer-supplier relationships using Hofstede's cultural dimensions. The main finding is that contract completeness increases as the cultural gap between the buyer and supplier widens. The results for individual culture dimensions on contract completeness are mixed. Cultural distance impacts the option of renegotiation but the individual dimensions fail to have an effect. Finally, asset specificity has the expected positive effect on the level of contract completeness and the option to renegotiate, while more frequent transactions result in lower levels of contract completeness and fewer options to renegotiate. Overall, these findings emphasize that cultural background is a factor in contractual buyer supplier relationships and need to be taken into account in global supply chain management. The second essay investigates the impact of cultural differences in the context of dyadic buyer-supplier negotiations. It looks at the moderating effect of culture. The study uses an experimental design to investigate these issues. In the simulation negotiation, participants, classified by their country of origin, are asked to take on the role of either a buyer or a seller. They negotiate prices and quality levels for three products. This study finds that cultural differences within the negotiation dyad reduce joint profits when compared to dyads of participants with similar cultural backgrounds. Cultural differences weaken the effect of trust and opportunism on joint profits. Overall, this study concludes that cultural differences as encountered in day-to-day business interactions in global supply chains impose greater challenges.
- ItemPRODUCT VARIETY, SERVICE VARIETY, AND THEIR IMPACT ON DISTRIBUTORS(2011) Wan, Xiang; Dresner, Martin; Evers, Philip; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Despite considerable research relating to product variety, few studies have analyzed the impact of product variety on distributors. Furthermore, compared to research on product variety, service variety has been overlooked in the literature. This dissertation consists of three essays: Essay One examines the direct effect of product variety on sales, its indirect effect on sales through stockouts, as well as the total impact of product variety on sales performance. Essay Two develops a moderated mediation model to investigate how service quality and market performance are affected by service variety and the interaction impacts of different types of services. Essay Three analyzes a dynamic system, which includes influences of product and service variety on demand and costs and their reverse impacts on variety decisions.
- ItemTwo Esays on Trust in Supply Chain Management(2011) Ozpolat, Koray; Dresner, Martin E.; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In this dissertation, I propose that trust is an important yet under-studied concept in supply chain relationships both upstream in a Business-To-Business (B2B) context and downstream in a Business-To-Consumer (B2C) context. In the first essay, I investigate the evolution of trust in buyer-supplier relationships in a VMI setting. Supply chain management literature is rich in pointing to the benefits generated by collaborative supply chain arrangements, however recently the dark side of these collaborative relationships has been reported as well. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to bring in a new dimension - "length of the relationship" to these research models. Using survey data collected from distributors that use VMI, we find that longer relationships are associated with lower levels of distributor trust in the manufacturer. This erosion of trust over time is fully mediated by the distributors' experience of psychological contract violation. Our findings demonstrate that good inventory performance may not be sufficient to maintain trust in VMI relationships, but regular communication between parties, as well as nonverbal documented agreements, may also be needed to maintain trust. In the second part of the dissertation, I study the effectiveness of third-party trust seals that have emerged as a prominent mechanism to enhance trust in B2C online markets. Despite their common use by practitioners, systematic research studies of the effectiveness of trust signals are scarce. Exploiting a unique dataset of over a quarter million transactions across 493 online retailers, this study empirically measures the value and effectiveness of trust seals on the likelihood of purchase by shoppers. The dataset is collected from a randomized field experiment by a large trust seal provider, which enables us to infer the causal impacts of the presence of a trust seal. It is found that the presence of the online trust seal increases the odds of completion of purchase. I further find that online trust seals serve as partial substitutes for both shopper experience and seller size, which makes the seal more useful for first time visitors at a web site and also for smaller online retailers. Interestingly, the effect of the number of trust seals is subject to diminishing marginal returns, such that the presence of additional seals does not necessarily increase cart completion rates.
- ItemAN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF UNDESIRABLE OUTPUTS ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF UNITED STATES MOTOR CARRIERS(2012) Britto, Rodrigo; Britto, Rodrigo A; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The U.S. economy depends heavily on the trucking industry as it moves 70% of the entire nation's freight. With the inclusion of $295 billion in truck trade with Canada and $195.6 billion in truck trade with Mexico in 2007, it is apparent that any disruption in truck traffic will lead to rapid economic instability (ATA Releases: American Trucking Trends 2008 - 2009, 2008). Yet, the critical nature of the trucking industry comes at a societal price. Indeed, undesirable outputs, e.g., truck crashes and associated injuries and fatalities, have very significant economic and human consequences. This dissertation uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to investigate the impact of undesirable outputs on the productivity of the motor carrier industry during the years 1999-2003. Previous DEA studies at the firm level have focused on the relationship between inputs and desirable outputs. The proposed approach in this dissertation simultaneously considers both the positive and negative outputs. This dissertation addresses two key problems with the DEA analysis technique previously identified by Yang and Pollit (2009): i.e., failure to take into consideration undesirable outputs and the failure to assess the impact of exogenous variables on the DEA scores of individual firms. As a result, this study will provide a new perspective into the productivity of U.S. motor carriers by incorporating both of these considerations into a more comprehensive DEA analysis. It will also provide opportunities to evaluate how individual firms might change their mix of inputs in order to simultaneously maximize desirable outputs and minimize undesirable ones.
- ItemTransport Modal Selection and Inventory Levels in the Context of Global Supply Chains(2012) Ke, Jian-yu; Windle, Robert J.; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In this dissertation, I study the transport modal selection in global supply chains and its effects on operational performance. First, I examine the factors that affect the transport modal selection and propose that revenue drivers and cost drivers of decision makers determine their transport modal selection in pursuit of profit maximization. Then, I study the effects of the use of air shipping in export on shippers' operational performance in terms of inventory levels. In the first essay, this study examines the macro and micro factors that affect the decision of transport modal choice in global supply chains. The factors affecting modal decision are classified as the characteristics of industry, mode, shipment, and region. This study proposes that the decision maker of the modal choice aims to maximize its own profit, taking the revenue drivers and cost drivers into account. The results show that both importers and exporters use more air shipping for high-value products and when there is a positive sales surprise. Large importers and exporters have a smaller proportion of air shipping compared with small ones. While an importer's modal decision is highly associated with demand dynamics, an exporter's decision is more determined by gross margin and cost of capital but less by demand variation. In the second essay, this study examines the effects of air share on manufacturing inventories. As globalization expands a firm's geographic coverage of business, the literature indicates that globalization has led to higher inventory levels due to longer supply chains. The experience in the U.S. domestic market showing that air transport plays a more important role in the practice of JIT after the deregulation in 1978 could be applicable to global markets. This study finds that the usage of air shipping in export can effectively reduce manufacturers' inventory levels at a diminishing rate. In addition, transportation modal selection is associated with profit maximization. It is found that the demand variation contributes to more use of air shipping. In addition, higher gross margins, cost of capital, and the relevance to timeliness facilitate firms to use air shipping to capture the demand and shorten the cash cycle. Furthermore, the industries with larger major players have higher shares of ocean shipping because of risk pooling advantage. For practioners, the results are used to develop guidelines for transport modal decision including the breakeven point of carrying costs based on total cost minimization and optimal air shares based on profit maximization. This study reiterates that a firm should pursue profit maximization rather than total cost minimization only.
- ItemThe Impact of Airline and Customer Characteristics on Airline and Airport Choice(2012) Cho, Woohyun; Windle, Robert J; Dresner, Martin E; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The customer choice of a particular air flight is composed of two choice decisions in a multi airport region. The customer chooses the airline and the airport that best meets their needs. This dissertation is composed of two essays. The first essay examines the airline choice decision and the second essay investigates the airport choice decision. In the first essay the focus is the impact of airline operational quality among airline characteristics. This may include nonstop flight services, service frequency, on-time operations, etc. These factors contribute to the overall utility of airline service. Improvements in operational quality can lead to increases in reliability and convenience. As a result customers will choose airlines that offer higher levels of operational quality. Particularly, some customers are more sensitive to operational quality based on their unique characteristics and tend to have stronger preference for the airlines that provide higher levels of operational quality. This essay examines the following three issues; (1) the impact of operational quality on customer's choice of airline, (2) the moderating role of operations exposure (i.e., the extent to which customers are exposed to service operations) on customer choice, and (3) the moderating effect of customer characteristics on operational quality. The second essay looks at the impact of Low Cost Carrier (LCC) presence at airports and focuses on the following issues: (1) the impact of LCC presence on a route (after controlling for the impact of fares and service frequencies) on a customer's choice of airport, (2) the moderating effect of customer demographic characteristics on airline characteristics, and (3) the moderating role of the customer's geographical location on a customer's choice of airport. Both of these essays will utilize survey data collected from the customers departing from the three airports in the Washington Metropolitan Area. This data includes customers' choice of airline and airport along with extensive information on each customer including trip related information and demographic information.
- ItemSUPPLY CHAIN STRUCTURE, PRODUCT RECALLS AND FIRM PERFORMANCE: INVESTIGATING RECALL DRIVERS AND RECALL FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE RELATIONSHIPS(2013) Steven, Adams Brima; Corsi, Thomas; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation is a two-essay study on globalization, sourcing structure and product quality and firm performance in global supply chain management. In the first essay, using a unique archival dataset on firms and their suppliers, the role of supply chain strategies in contributing to product safety and quality, as assessed through product recalls are investigated. The second essay investigates the relationship between product recalls and firm performance. Moreover, the moderating effects on the recall-profitability relationship of supply chain as well as recall management strategies are investigated . Essay 1 investigates how a number of supply chain strategies contribute to product recalls. In particular, I examine how the make or buy decision (i.e., outsourcing), the decision to concentrate the supply base (i.e., use few vs. several suppliers), the use of foreign suppliers (i.e., offshoring), and the extent of global operations, contribute to product recalls. The subject area of product quality and safety failures leading to product recalls is important because product recalls can have a major, negative impact on firm performance. For example, in the event of a product recall, replacement orders may need to be shipped, new suppliers may need to be found and vetted, and marketing expenditures may need to be made to counter negative publicity from the recall. Applying key theories in operations and supply chain management, I find that firms vary greatly in recall propensity and that these variations are related to heterogeneity in outsourcing, offshoring, and supply base concentration. In the second essay, I revisit the recall-performance relationship. First, I investigate the relationship between product recalls and profitability. Firms may choose to try to avoid product recalls by increasing their expenditures on product quality and inspection services. Or, on the other hand, they may emphasize short term profitability by reducing production and inspection costs, thereby increasing the risk of incurring a product recall. Since firms are expected to balance production and quality inspection costs against the costs associated with product recalls in order to maximize profit performance, the recall-profitability relationship is not clear, a priori. I further investigate the moderating effect of global operations, supply base structure and recall strategies on the relationship between product recalls and profit margins. My theory-based research suggests a curvilinear recall-profit relationship and that this relationship depends on key global supply chain practices and recall management strategies.
- ItemGreen Rivalry and Performance(2014) Kumar, Anupam; Grimm, Curtis M; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This study analyzes the competitive interactions between focal and rival firms in the domain of environmental management (EM) practices and the associated impacts on environmental performance and financial performance. Using competitive dynamics and institutional theory as a basis, the study contends that firm performance is impacted by behavior of both focal and rival firms, and perceptions of legitimacy. Our findings indicate that firms competing aggressively do benefit from their proactive approach, but significant dissimilarity of behavior from their rivals tends to negatively impact firm performance bringing issues of legitimacy to the forefront. Subsequently, the study expands the work outlined above with a larger set of performance measures to look at the impact of rivalry on growth and long term shareholder value. Furthermore, this section also looks into the joint impact of environmental behavior and environmental performance on financial performance via a mediating model using various environmental performance measures. The findings indicate a partial mediation between EM behavior and financial performance from EM reputation and EM policy. In the final part of the dissertation, the study presents exploratory work on two future research topics. The first topic expands the work from focal-rival dyads to include supplier networks as well. The second topic lays out a roadmap for future work in the area of credible EM signaling. This topic takes on issues surrounding greenwashing that has been reported in the popular media. Given the visibility on sustainable activities across the entire spectrum, and the burden of green on firms, it is important to understand how firms are responding and if the returns justify their investments. This study contributes to this discourse by tying theory with behavior and adds additional clarity to firm behavior vis-à-vis green. From a methodological perspective, this study uses an original panel dataset using secondary data sources, which adds to the credibility of the results. The study has important managerial relevance at both the firm level and for policy making.