Browsing Logistics, Business & Public Policy Theses and Dissertations by Subject "Business"
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.