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