Logistics, Business & Public Policy Theses and Dissertations

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    (2022) PARK, HYOSOO Kevin; Dresner, Martin; Pan, Xiaodan; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Over the past decade, direct-to-consumer retail deliveries have increased significantly, bolstered by the development of dedicated restaurant and retailer delivery platforms. This dissertation, composed of three essays, examines topics related to the performance of delivery platforms and their retail partners.The first essay compares the impact of delivery partnerships and in-house delivery capabilities on the direct channel sales of restaurant chains. Furthermore, the moderating effects of containment and health measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic are examined. I find that delivery platform partnerships and in-house deliveries both positively impact restaurant sales. However, as containment and health measures increase, impacts from delivery platforms wane. Conversely, in-house delivery becomes more beneficial at impacting restaurant sales as containment and health measures increase. In the second essay, I analyze how delivery platform partnerships affect the sales of both grocery retailers and delivery platforms. Two distinct partnerships stages are assessed: 1) platform access, where a grocery retailer’s same-day delivery is only offered through a partner platform’s website, and 2) usage integration, where the platform’s same-day delivery services are integrated into the retailer’s website. I find that platform access provides positive impacts for online sales of both the retailer and the delivery platform. However, usage integration, the second level of the partnership integration, provides benefits to the retailer’s online channel but not to the platform channel. The third essay analyzes how delivery platform partnerships impact retailer and delivery platform sales and how vertical integration between the two partners moderates these relationships. I find that delivery platform partnerships have a positive effect on both retailer and delivery platform sales. However, these positive impacts depend on whether the two partners are vertically integrated. Without a common ownership structure, delivery platform sales crowd out retailer store sales. Likewise, retailer sales crowd out delivery platform sales without vertical integration.
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    The Competition on Online Marketplaces
    (2022) Su, Hao; Dresner, Martin E.; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation examines competition in online marketplaces using data from the largest online marketplace in the U.S., Amazon.com. The first essay studies direct sales competition between a marketplace operator and third parties that sell their products on the marketplace and examines factors that third-party sellers may use to avoid direct competition with the marketplace operator. I find that third-party sellers can best avoid competing directly with Amazon by selling unbranded products and by marketing products that are fulfilled by Amazon. The second essay investigates competitive results between the marketplace operator and third-party sellers. I find that despite inherent competitive disadvantages, third-party sellers may increase their likelihood of winning the sales competition against the marketplace operator when they offer a lower price than the marketplace operator and when they use the marketplace operator’s fulfillment services. In addition, a third-party seller using direct fulfillment is less likely to outcompete a seller using operator-managed fulfillment services, but it can be more competitive when it offers lower prices and when it sells low-priced products. The third essay investigates how employment of the marketplace’s store banner impacts sales performance for both private label products and non-private label products on an online marketplace. I find that directly branding private labels and using store banners on non-private label products are both associated with greater sales performance. In addition, lower-priced products and non-private label products may achieve greater benefits from store banners. The findings contribute to the online marketplace literature by empirically testing the impact of direct sales, fulfillment services, and store banner use on competition between a marketplace operator and third-party sellers. The findings also contribute to important antitrust considerations.
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    Competition, Firm Financial Pressure, and Location Strategy: 3 Essays on Firm Domestic and International Expansion
    (2022) Jaffe, Roxanne L; Chung, Wilbur; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation examines the relationship between firm capabilities, including firm financial condition, and expansion strategy in a competitive environment. In Essay 1, I build a formal model of firm geographical expansion and entry timing based on Cournot competition that is driven by heterogeneity in firm, location, and competition traits. Using Monte-Carlo simulation, I identify firm best responses and Nash Equilibrium which serve as predictions for empirical inquiry in Essay 2 and Essay 3. Variation in firm traits and location traits lead to different expansion outcomes including whether firms expand at all, whether firms enter a market early or later, and which geographical location firms choose. While similar firms choose similar expansion behavior, as firms’ relative capabilities and revenue pressure differ, staggered entry becomes more appealing, resulting in differential firm profits. Additionally, expansion strategy becomes more nuanced when considering the interaction between firm, competitor, and location traits, both domestically and internationally. I focus on two key mechanisms of interest and test these empirically: revenue pressure in Essay 2, and liability of foreignness in Essay 3. I focus on a subset of propositions that map to my empirical setting: expansion into cities by firms in the micro-mobility industry (scooter, bike, and moped share companies). In Essay 2, the empirical results for US expansion activity support model predictions that more capable firms expand before less capable firms, but that revenue pressure pushes firms to expand earlier than they would prefer. Extending the model to capture international expansion in Essay 3, I find that liability foreignness helps explain the entry timing of firms at the country level, as well as a subset of entry decisions at the city level. This final essay highlights the nuances of various measures of liability of foreignness, as well as the importance of separating out different levels of analysis (e.g., at the city and country level) when examining firm entry decisions.
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    Greenwashing, Firm ESG Strategy, and Employee Impact
    (2022) Barrymore, Nathan; Sampson, Rachelle C; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation studies the causes and consequences of firms’ environmental and social (ESG) actions, with a specific focus on employees. Essay 1 examines greenwashing: when firms present an overly positive view of their environmental and social outcomes. I ask how top managers and investors’ ESG preferences influence companies’ self-reported environmental and social policies, and their independently reported environmental and social outcomes. I find that managers’ ESG preferences, as proxied using their language on earnings calls, correlate with both ESG policies and outcomes. However, investors’ ESG preferences correlate with only policies and not outcomes, suggestive of greenwashing. I conclude that agency issues explain these divergent results.Essays 2 and 3 ask how employees respond to firms’ ESG outcomes and to firms’ pay policies. Essay 2 explores the relationship between a firm’s ESG outcomes and labor productivity. In two contexts, we find that ESG outcomes predict higher labor productivity, but only when there is sufficient information about firm behavior. In one study, the positive impact on labor productivity only exists for large firms. In another study, the positive relationship appears only after a government regulation requiring that firms disclose their carbon emissions. Essay 3 provides large scale evidence on the relationship between wages and employee attrition. We find that paying above median wages for a specific role decreases attrition rates, but only among low and middle wage workers in the US. If stakeholder capitalism is to sustain and integrate into the US corporate system, the movement needs to be based on accurate assessments of environmental and social outcomes. These essays provide an advance in that direction, by using independently reported ESG data to examine how ESG issues impact firm strategy.
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    (2021) Guntuka, Laharish; Corsi, Thomas; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    The two essays of this dissertation focus on supply chain disruptions, with first essay studying the impact of supply chain disruptions on the disrupted firm competitors and the second essay, examining the impact of supply chain complexity on the manufacturing plant’s recovery time from disruption. In Essay 1 of my dissertation, I investigate the horizontal spillover effects of supply chain disruptions to the disrupted firm’s competitors, anecdotal evidence for the relationship between bystander competitor firms’ financial performance and supply chain disruptions (SCDs) of a focal firm is equivocal. Past studies on this relationship have revealed mixed findings. I consider two potential sources of this ambiguity by examining a multitude of SCDs over a 13-year period (2003–2015). I examine the vertical interdependence among competitor firms, along with the visibilities of the disrupted firm, the undisrupted competitor firm, and the SCD event. I investigate the stock market reaction to bystander competitor firms after a focal firm SCD announcement. In addition, I measure operational performance of the bystander competitor firm measured through return on assets (ROA) in the period following a focal firm’s SCD announcement. I find that both performance measures show that bystander competitor firms are positively impacted when their competitor experiences an SCD. I also find that both measures are less positive when there is vertical interdependence between the competitors. These insights help firms to better assess the complexities of their supply chains as well as the connectivity to their competitors as sources of disruption risks. I also find that the stock market reaction is more positive when the event is visible, which suggests that high coverage of a disruptive event should signal a shifting momentum toward the undisrupted competitors. Finally, I find that the operational performance is less positive for very visible undisrupted competitor firms. The Essay 2 of my dissertation examines how supply chain complexity, an important structural characteristic of a supply chain structure, can impact a firm’s supply chain resiliency to a disruption. Many firms continue to struggle to proactively manage the potential sources of supply chain complexity associated with the sourcing, manufacturing, and logistics activities needed to meet customer demand. The purpose of this study, then, is to first, examine the impact of the uncertain environment of the focal site on the likelihood of a site experiencing a disruption. Specifically, I study the peer-to-peer learning from the environment in which the focal site is located. Then, I explore how structural characteristics of the focal site can affect its proactive strategies to avoid disruption along with reactive strategies that aid the site in its recovery process after the disruption. Because firms are increasingly exposed to multiple dimensions of complexity in their supply chain, I theorize on how internal and external structural characteristics impact the likelihood of disruption along with the recovery time if the site goes down due to disruption. Indeed, some firms may have a stronger ability to manage the complexity and risk present at their plant locations compared to the abilities of other firms to manage their complexity. Likewise, I closely look into the role of business continuity management (BCM) plans in the recovery process after disruption. In doing so, I examine the role of strategic, operational, and supplier orientation of BCM plans on the recovery time of the focal site.