Management & Organization Theses and Dissertations

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    MBO Program Characteristics, Type A Personality and Individual Performance
    (1984) Lee, Cynthia; Carroll, Stephen J.; Business and Management; University of Maryland (College Park, Md); Digital Repository at the University of Maryland
    This study sought to explain some of the inconsistent results in the Management By Objectives research by examining the moderating role of the motivational individual difference variable, Type A Behavior Patter, and the mediating role of the cognitive individual difference variable, perceived self-efficacy. Specifically, individuals low in Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP) were hypothesized to respond more positively to various components of Management By Objectives (MBO) programs than individuals high in TABP. This is based on the assumption that Type A individuals generally set higher performance goals, seek performance feedback, and in general, attempt to control their performance situation more than their Type B counterparts. On the other hand, the mediating role of self-efficacy is based on the assumption that certain external environment variables, such as MBO programs, affect performance primarily through influencing an individual's percept of self-efficacy. The results did not support the above hypotheses. The findings, however, provide further support for Bandura's (1977) assertion that self-efficacy has a positive effect on performance. Moreover, the results also supported previous research on the positive effect of quality MBO attributes on performance.
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    The Backhaul Problem and Related Topics in Vehicle Routing
    (1991) Casco, Daniel Orlando; Golden, Bruce L.; Business and Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    The problem studied in this dissertation is a variation of the classical vehicle routing problem (VRP) that has received limited research attention, and concerns the routing of vehicles over a set of mixed customers; that is, some customers are delivery or linehaul points but others are pickup or backhaul points. In contrast to deliveries, when a vehicle services a pickup point, product, bound for the distribution center, is loaded on the truck. Practical considerations usually dictate that the number of backhauls per route is small and they are serviced near the end of a route. The vehicle routing problem with backahuls (VRPB) can be stated as follows: Find a set of vehicle routes that service the delivery and backhaul customers such that vehicle capacity is not violated and the total distance traveled is minimized. In this dissertation, we examine three real-world routing applications with backhauls and several first-generation algorithms designed to solve VRPBs. The key dissertation research objective is to develop new heuristics to solve the VRPB that redress the shortcomings of existing solution methods in dealing with real-world considerations. The four new heuristics developed allow common carrier or supplier deliveries, dedicated backhaul routes, and mixed routes. In order to evaluate their performance, the heuristics were coded in Pascal and a series of computation experiments were performed on a Macintosh platform. The experiments consisted of generating twenty seven hundred random problems covering a range of possible combinations of critical problem parameters. These problems were solved by the heuristics and the main findings are as follows: 1) on average, the new heuristics outperformed heuristics which allow only pure delivery and mixed routes, 2) the effectiveness of the new procedures was found to vary with changes in problem size, the percentage of backhaul nodes, and the delivery node concentration region, 3) the effective of the new procedures was found not to vary with changes in the cost to insert backhaul location in mixed routes, or with changes in common carrier costs, and 4) the execution times to solve 40-node and 100-node problems was found to be less than a minute.
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    The Effects of Appropriately Participative Leadership on the Core Dimensionis of Climate
    (1990) Kidder, Pamela J.; Schneider, Benjamin; Psychology & Business and Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    A field experiment was conducted to determine some effects of the appropriateness of participative leadership styles on the core dimensions of climate. Climate is a construct that has received considerable attention in organizational research. The research on Climate has revealed a core set of issues or dimensions that appear to be useful for capturing employees' perceptions across all or most organizations. Proposed core dimensions of climate have included role stress or harmony in the work environment, job challenge and autonomy, leadership facilitation and support, and workgroup warmth, empathy and cooperation. I hypothesized that leadership style would affect employees' perceptions of these core dimensions of climate. The literature in psychology and organizational behavior shows significant agreement regarding the potential effect of leadership style on climate, but little empirical work has been conducted in this area. The particular leadership style I studied concerned the appropriateness of participativeness of leaders' decision making styles. I carried out a field experiment, using a two group pre- and post- experimental design. The experimental manipulation was a training program in appropriate participative decision making, with supervisors randomly assigned to a training or no training control group. Pre- and post- measures of the core dimensions of climate and decision making style were collected prior to and following the training. Appropriate participativeness in decision making (Vroom & Jago, 1988) was found to predict the three core dimensions of role stress, leadership facilitation and support, and workgroup cooperation, friendliness, and warmth. The quality of the supervisor-subordinate relationship, based on vertical dyad linkage theory, was found to contribute to the prediction of the core climate dimension of role stress. It was concluded that leadership style has an effect on employees' perception of some, but not all of the core dimensions of climate. Implications of these results for research and practice regarding climate and leadership were explored.
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    Decomposing Charismatic Leadership: The Effects of Leader Content and Process on Follower Performance, Attitudes, and Perceptions
    (1992) Kirkpatrick, Shelley Ann; Locke, Edwin; Business and Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    Leadership entails both content and process elements, e.g., what the leader says and how the leader says it. For example, charismatic leaders are theorized to communicate and implement a vision (content) with an enthusiastic communication sty l e (process). In a laboratory experiment with manipulated independent variables and a simulated task, this dissertation separately examined the content and process components of charismatic leadership on performance and attitudes. The content aspect was separated into two parts, vision (versus no vision) and implementation of the vision through task strategies (versus no task strategies). Process was manipulated as enthusiasm level (low versus high). Thus, a 2 x 2 x 2 design was employed. Two trained actors, one male and one female, played the role of leader, a CEO/President of a local printing company. Upper-level business students served as participants and performed a binder assembly task. Students completed questionnaires before each session and at the end of the experiment to assess how they are influenced by the leader. Results indicated that content affected performance and many attitudes and perceptions. Process did not affect performance and affected only a few attitudes and perceptions. Exploratory analyses showed that self-set goals and self-efficacy served as mediators between the content variables and performance. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.
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    (2022) Chen, Mo; Waguespack, David M; Zenger, Todd R; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    In this dissertation, I use archival data and a formal model to investigate how actors (firms) organize their innovation and coordinate in an innovation ecosystem and what the evolutionary outcome of the ecosystem is. Empirically I study Linux Kernel, the most commercially important open-source project. As of 2017, Linux has more than 99% of the market share in supercomputing, more than 90% market share of public clouds, and around 82% market share of smartphone operating systems. With over 1700 subsystems and over 50000 files, the Linux kernel is one of the most complex systems in innovation history. Moreover, unpaid work only contributes 8.2% to Linux kernel development. Ten big corporations contribute around 40% of development efforts (The Linux Foundation, 2017). Characterized by diverse commercial interests and high-level knowledge heterogeneity and complexity, Linux Kernel provides an ideal setting to understand open collaboration and coordination in an ecosystem. The first chapter investigates how individual innovations evolve in a complex ecosystem. While innovation outcomes have been extensively studied in strategy and related literature, prior studies often abstract away from the interdependent nature of innovation within broader assemblies or systems of technologies. Adopting the problem-solving perspective, I study how three types of complexity — technological, cognitive, and incentive — impact the coordination process of a proposed innovation becoming integrated into the shared infrastructure of the ecosystem. By focusing on Linux Kernel development, a rare setting where the technological and actor interdependence are both observable, I provide evidence of how technological interdependence, a critical concept in organization design, is associated with difficulty in reaching satisfactory solutions. The research context provides a setting to study how heterogeneous interests and potential conflicts between system participants impact innovation outcomes. The results also show that cognitive complexity, measured by the uniqueness of innovation, has a U-shaped relationship with innovation integration. In the second chapter of my dissertation, I investigate the tradeoff between discovery and divergence in the open form of collaboration in the innovation ecosystem. Building on the insight from problem-solving literature, I argue that strategic knowledge accumulation, i.e., actors shape knowledge creation based on self-interest, can create potential conflicts between the system and individual actors and thus impact the open innovation outcomes significantly. I then use a simulation approach to investigate the appropriateness of various coordination mechanisms for innovation systems with varying degrees of complexity and different patterns of the same level of interaction. Results show that both the level of complexity and the way the attributions interact impact the effectiveness of coordination mechanisms. Without system-level incentives, granting veto power to the individual actor would increase strategic knowledge accumulation hazard and thus decrease performance when complexity exists. With the system-level incentive, the composite solution and veto power could improve the overall system performance for systems of a wide range of complexity and interaction pattern. Yet modularized or "core-peripheral" systems see the best performance when no coordination mechanism exists. In the third chapter, I explore the evolutionary pattern of an innovation ecosystem and its components. While research has investigated how interdependence at the system-level impacts innovation in the ecosystem extensively, little is known about how micro-structure interdependence and local social environment impact individual components' evolution within an ecosystem. Utilizing Design Structure Matrices (DSMs), I explore the development of the Linux Kernel technological system and the ecosystems it is embedded in. The results, while exploratory, suggest that component level interdependence and the alignment between technological structure and designed communication channel are associated with an increased chance of component survival. The results also show that local environments' social composition, such as commercial participation percentage and concentration of power, have implications for the component survival.