Logistics, Business & Public Policy Theses and Dissertations

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    Platform Design Strategies and Implications for User Behaviors
    (2023) Mudambi, Maya; Viswanathan, Siva; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This work examines how the design, features, and moderation policies of online platforms impact user behavior in myriad ways and have significant externalities on society at large. The first two studies examine the effectiveness of different content moderation policies adopted by user-generated content platforms to address issues related to misinformation and verbal aggression, respectively. The third study examines how the design of financial incentive structures affects the behaviors of users on a crowdsourcing platform. The studies produce theoretical implications regarding human behavior on online platforms, from the spreading of misinformation to interpersonal verbal aggression, to the behavioral response to monetary rewards. I additionally make recommendations for practitioners regarding optimal platform design and policies.
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    Modeling 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.
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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.
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    The Impact of Omnichannel Operations on Firm Performance
    (2020) Ren, Xinyi; Evers, Philip T; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation examines the impact of two different omnichannel strategies that firms can undertake to maintain and expand their competitive positions. These strategies range from the integration of information provided across different channels to the establishment of a new brick-and-mortar (B&M) retail format. Specifically, my research questions center on how firms can benefit from omnichannel operations and the potential costs that come with these strategies. The underlying mechanisms between customer demand, order fulfillment, and inventory management are studied using econometric analysis and data analytics based on a large proprietary dataset collected from the retail industry. The first essay empirically examines the value of pop-up stores with respect to their ability to drive customer demand and fulfill orders. A comparison is also made between pop-up retailing and traditional “permanent” B&M retailing. Building on a quasi-field experiment, I find that having pop-up stores leads to an increase in the overall demand both during and after operations, indicating a spillover effect on demand that goes beyond the pop-up store's limited operational window. From a fulfillment perspective, customers shift from the online channel to pop-up stores when they have urgency in acquiring the purchase. Finally, the results reveal that pop-up stores are not as effective as permanent stores in generating demand; however, the trade-off between revenue and cost still makes pop-up stores an attractive retail format, especially when exploring markets with modest potential. The second essay demonstrates the impact of sharing B&M store product availability on a firm’s website. Specific attention is given to the scenario where a product assortment discrepancy exists across channels, which aligns with the trend of B&M stores getting smaller in order to reduce operational costs. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I find that this information integration strategy leads to an increase in overall sales. At a channel level, customers shift from the B&M channel to the online channel for a wider product selection, except when purchasing products that are associated with high uncertainty. I further evaluate whether the above effects are sensitive to customer-related characteristics and find that both customer distance to store and customer basket size affect the way one responds to the information about in-store product availability and the product assortment gap between channels.
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    (2020) DLima, Rohan Savio; Corsi, Thomas M; 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 the influence of supply chain and operations management executives on the firm’s supply chain strategies. Essay 1 focuses on the differences in the supply chain and operations management role and investigates how these differences impact the firm’s supplier portfolio management strategies. Essay 2, in turn, investigates the impact of a chief supply chain officer on a firm’s inventory investment when the firm pursues a global sourcing strategy. Both Essays 1 and 2 leverage archival data and econometric data analysis to further the debate in supply chain and operations management research. Essay 1 of the dissertation is grounded in upper echelons theory (UET) and analyzes how differences in the supply chain and operations managers on the firm’s top management team (TMT) impact the firm’s strategic supplier portfolio management (SPM). Strategic SPM requires the firm to set up plans for its supply base as a whole as well as the individual relationships with its suppliers. Two of the key aspects of this are the firm’s geographic sourcing strategy that impacts the firm’s supply base and the firm’s supplier relationship strategy that impacts the firm’s relationships with its individual suppliers. These strategic choices impact the firm’s supply chain and operations and will thus be influenced by the supply chain and operations managers on the firm’s TMT. At the same time, the main difference between supply chain management and operations management lies in the focus of each of these disciplines – operations management emphasizes optimizing the firm’s internal cross-functional processes, while supply chain management centers on optimizing processes within the context of the firm as a part of the whole supply chain. So, leveraging UET, I argue that these differences lead the supply chain and operations managers to significantly different strategic SPM decisions. To assess the validity of my claims, I use various econometric techniques to analyze a panel dataset of 14,530 observations of buyer-supplier dyads over four years. This panel dataset is based on consolidated data from Compustat, Bloomberg’s SPLC module and Bloomberg’s executive database. The results provide consistent support for the hypothesized theory that the differences in supply chain and operations management lead to significantly different outcomes. Essay 2 of my dissertation juxtaposes agency theory and upper echelons theory (UET) to analyze how a chief supply chain officer (CSCO) on a firm’s top management team impacts its inventory investment when it pursues a global sourcing strategy. Using Agency Theory, I argue that firm’s pursuing a global sourcing strategy are exposed to increased supply uncertainty from risk sharing and agency problems. This increased uncertainty leads to a need for increased inventory buffers. Next, supported by UET, I build my hypothesis that a CSCO on the TMT results in lower inventory investments by focusing on reducing the firm’s exposure to uncertainties. Furthermore, given their insights into supply chain relationships, CSCOs are uniquely suited to improve collaboration, coordination and information sharing with its global sourcing partners, leading to lower uncertainties and thus lower inventories. To assess the validity of my claims, I use different econometric techniques to analyze a panel dataset of 2,883 observations over five years. I assembled this panel dataset by consolidating data from Compustat, Bloomberg’s SPLC module and Bloomberg’s executive database. I demonstrate that firms with a chief supply chain officer on their TMT have lower inventory investments when the firm pursues a global sourcing strategy.
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    Antecedents and Effects of Retail Shelf Availability
    (2019) Celebi, Heidi; Evers, Philip T; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Retail shelf availability research has been limited by the inability to measure stockouts. Not being able to fully capture stockout occurrences has led to studying either the effects of stockouts or their antecedents. It has also led to using various fundamentally different stockout attributes as measures across studies. The relationship between stockout attributes is not clear, making it difficult to have a consensus on either the drivers or the impact of stockouts. This thesis considers both antecedents and effects of stockouts by incorporating actual stockout events under two different risk pooling methods. The first set of models simulate stockout-based customer switching (the inventory effect) to study pooling by substitution for a retailer setting service level goals for two products. The second set of models study pooling by postponement, termed “instore logistics postponement,” using archival data from a new shelf sensor technology that captures actual stockout events. An extension to the second part of this study examines the nonlinear relationship between stockout attributes. Both parts of the dissertation contribute to the stockout literature in different ways. The simulation work contributes towards reconciling opposing views on the performance effect of risk pooling through substitution, also showing how different performance measures may accentuate or mask the impact of stockouts. The shelf technology work contributes to logistics postponement by studying how a two-tier inventory within the store may affect stockouts along more than one stockout attribute, and whether less frequent but longer stockouts are linked to better performance than shorter but more frequent stockouts.
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    Buy Now, Think Later: Product Returns and Firm Performance
    (2018) Pritchard, Alan Matthew; Windle, Robert J.; Evers, Philip T.; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation studies the short-term and long-term impacts of return policies and feedback text on firm performance. Archival data, text analytics, and econometric analysis are used to further develop signaling theory, transaction cost economics, and procedural justice theory in operations, logistics, and supply chain management. The first essay is motivated by the ambiguity of prior research on the relationship between return policies and demand in the online setting. The return policy components that impact landed prices are identified and the relationships between terms of sale and demand are studied. After controlling for price, a lenient return policy is found to signal the unobservable quality of the seller’s product and demonstrate their capability to properly handle sales, shipping, and returns. A lenient return policy also helps mitigate customers’ risk associated with a mismatch between the product and their expectations and is shown to be positively associated with landed price and demand. The second essay demonstrates that the impact of a customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a seller or their product extends to other customers when their satisfaction or dissatisfaction becomes public knowledge, impacting sellers’ future demand. The impact of negative, trust revoking feedback is shown to differ from the impact of non-trust revoking, negative feedback, such as nonspecific complaints and complaints about price. In other words, the text associated with numerical feedback ratings determines the strength of the negative rating’s impact. Moreover, it is shown that negative feedback can be altered and even counteracted with a satisfactory service recovery, while the variance of complaint types in sellers’ feedback histories is negatively associated with demand. Overall, this dissertation demonstrates the benefits of two signals of quality: a lenient return policy and positive feedback history. Methodological contributions include the use of two original datasets and the combination of text analytics and regression analysis to inform managerial decisions. Managerial implications suggest that firms should take the leniency of their return policies and the strength of their online reputations into consideration when pricing and estimating demand.
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    (2018) Pan, Xiaodan; Dresner, Martin; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation examines research questions within two streams: (1) consumer behavior and retail operations and (2) Information Technology (IT) and operational performance. Specifically, the first two essays study the impacts of consumer stockpiling behavior on retail operations management using natural experiment methodology. The third essay explores the interaction of logistics IT resources, organizational factors, and operational performance. The first essay examines how environmental stress affects consumer stockpiling behavior using the 2008–2009 financial crisis as a natural experiment. Although overall consumption falls due to budgetary constraints, the essay shows that environmental stress increases consumers’ propensity to stockpile during promotional periods. As consumers exhibit a higher stockpiling propensity, retailers are subject to an increased demand variation between regular and promotional periods, exposing themselves to a higher stockout risk. Moreover, the increase in demand variation is compounded if retailers adopt a randomly-priced promotion strategy. Consequently, a high-low promotion strategy coupled with greater stockpiling propensity requires more safety stock inventory during times of environmental stress due to economic downturns. The second essay explores how retail operations performance varies in the face of consumer stockpiling behavior utilizing hurricanes as a natural experiment. The essay shows that supply-side characteristics (retail network and product variety), demand-side characteristics (hurricane experience and household income), and disaster-side characteristics (hazard proximity and hazard intensity) significantly affect consumer stockpiling propensity as the hurricane approaches. Further, increased consumer stockpiling propensity has an immediate and persistent impact on retail operations, such as higher product availability before hurricanes and lower product availability after hurricanes. Note that this impact depends on store formats. This study suggests retailers need to carefully monitor factors affecting consumer stockpiling behavior during natural disasters. This would allow retailers to better manage their inventories and increase their ability to fulfill consumer demand. The third essay studies the interaction of logistics IT resources, organizational factors, and operating performance. The previous typology of logistics IT resources is extended into four mid-level constructs: operations-focused IT, decision-focused IT, service-focused IT, and IT development capability. The results show that operations-focused IT, decision-focused IT, and IT development capability is more related to superior operating performance than service-focused IT. Moreover, it is shown that organizational factors, such as firm size, firm age, and firm ownership, may enhance or suppress the effects of logistics IT resources on operational performance. In general, logistics firms should carefully manage IT resources according to their particular organizational environment in order to achieve competitive advantage. The findings for the first two essays contribute to retail operations theory by proposing and testing novel questions about the impact of the presence of consumer stockpiling behavior on retail operations management using natural experiment methodology. The findings for the third essay contribute to business logistics theory by proposing a typology for logistics IT resources and testing hypotheses regarding the impact of logistics IT resources on logistics firms’ operational performance.
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    (2018) Martinez, Camil; Dresner, Martin; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation’s main focus is the study of supply chain resilience. The two studies investigate the impact of supply chain geographical locations risks and supply chain resilience on performance and of supply chain risks and disruptive events in resilience strategies. Essay 1 seeks to understand the impact of supply chain resilience strategies on firm’s performance. We utilize a cross sectional data sample from 2014 containing detailed manufacturing location risk data and resilience planning at the location level for 313 publicly traded firms. We look at three supply chain resilience cultural traits, business continuity planning, inventory and financial stability. We find that resilience has a positive effect on firm performance. Essay 2 looks at the impact of two types of supply chain risks (internal and external) and two types of disruptive events (internal and external) in the development of supply chain resilience strategies. We find that external disruptive events have a positive impact on supply chain resilience but internal disruptive events have a negative impact in the development of resilience. However, once a business continuity plan is in place, previous internal disruptive events are associated with more agility. My findings for both essays contribute to the supply chain resilience literature by empirically testing the impact of resilience on performance and the impact of disruptive events on resilience strategies.
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    The Impact of Executives with Supply Chain Management and Operations Management Experience on Recall Performance and Risk Management
    (2017) Paraskevas, John-Patrick; Grimm, Curtis; Corsi, Thomas; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation investigates the impact of the growing presence of executives with supply chain management and operations management (SCOM) experience on the top management team. My dissertation focuses on two major strategic areas in which an executive with SCOM experience may influence firm strategy and firm performance. The first area I have chosen to study is a firm's propensity to engage in product recalls along with their responsiveness to the quality glitches that lead to recall. The second area of study is risk and resilience within a firm’s supply chain. Essay 1 explores the impact of an executive with SCOM experience on product recall propensity and firm responsiveness. We utilize a unique dataset collected from multiple sources on executives’ backgrounds and product recalls, and we find that firms having top management executives with SCOM backgrounds have fewer recalls and faster recall responsiveness. The findings also indicate that the shortened speed to recall is enhanced when a firm engages in a proactive recall strategy. The second essay studies the impact of top executives with SCOM experience as well as top executives with finance experience. We then propose original hypotheses regarding the impact of these two forms of experience on the firm’s supply chain risk profile. We utilize a dataset of manufacturing locations over a three-year period. Our findings indicate that firms with SCOM experience on their top management teams have lower levels of location risk and higher levels of resilience at their production locations. On the other hand our findings indicate that firms with top management teams with finance experience are more likely to take on location risk at their production locations but are similar to firms with SCOM on their top management team in that they also have high levels of resilience. Lastly we explore the impact of an SCOM executive when the firm uses offshore production. My findings for both essays contribute to upper echelons theory (UET) by proposing and testing novel hypotheses regarding the impact of the presence of executives with SCOM experience and finance experience on recall performance and supply chain risk management.
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    (2016) Wang, Zuozheng; Dresner, Martin; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation investigates customer behavior modeling in service outsourcing and revenue management in the service sector (i.e., airline and hotel industries). In particular, it focuses on a common theme of improving firms’ strategic decisions through the understanding of customer preferences. Decisions concerning degrees of outsourcing, such as firms’ capacity choices, are important to performance outcomes. These choices are especially important in high-customer-contact services (e.g., airline industry) because of the characteristics of services: simultaneity of consumption and production, and intangibility and perishability of the offering. Essay 1 estimates how outsourcing affects customer choices and market share in the airline industry, and consequently the revenue implications from outsourcing. However, outsourcing decisions are typically endogenous. A firm may choose whether to outsource or not based on what a firm expects to be the best outcome. Essay 2 contributes to the literature by proposing a structural model which could capture a firm’s profit-maximizing decision-making behavior in a market. This makes possible the prediction of consequences (i.e., performance outcomes) of future strategic moves. Another emerging area in service operations management is revenue management. Choice-based revenue systems incorporate discrete choice models into traditional revenue management algorithms. To successfully implement a choice-based revenue system, it is necessary to estimate customer preferences as a valid input to optimization algorithms. The third essay investigates how to estimate customer preferences when part of the market is consistently unobserved. This issue is especially prominent in choice-based revenue management systems. Normally a firm only has its own observed purchases, while those customers who purchase from competitors or do not make purchases are unobserved. Most current estimation procedures depend on unrealistic assumptions about customer arriving. This study proposes a new estimation methodology, which does not require any prior knowledge about the customer arrival process and allows for arbitrary demand distributions. Compared with previous methods, this model performs superior when the true demand is highly variable.
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    Interorganizational Innovation: The Role of Suppliers in Enhancing Buyer Innovation
    (2016) Elking, Isaac; Grimm, Curtis M; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation explores the effect of innovative knowledge transfer across supply chain partners. My research seeks to understand the manner by which a firm is able to benefit from the innovative capabilities of its supply chain partners and utilize the external knowledge they hold to increase its own levels of innovation. Specifically, I make use of patent data as a proxy for firm-level innovation and develop both independent and dependent variables from the data contained within the patent filings. I further examine the means by which key dyadic and portfolio supply chain relationship characteristics moderate the relationship between supplier innovation and buyer innovation. I investigate factors such as the degree of transactional reciprocity between the buyer and supplier, the similarity of the firms’ knowledge bases, and specific chain characteristics (e.g., geographic propinquity) to provide greater understanding of the means by which the transfer of innovative knowledge across firms in a supply chain can be enhanced or inhibited. This dissertation spans three essays to provide insights into the role that supply chain relationships play in affecting a focal firm’s level of innovation. While innovation has been at the core of a wide body of research, very little empirical work exists that considers the role of vertical buyer-supplier relationships on a firm’s ability to develop new and novel innovations. I begin by considering the fundamental unit of analysis within a supply chain, the buyer-supplier dyad. After developing initial insights based on the interactions between singular buyers and suppliers, essay two extends the analysis to consider the full spectrum of a buyer’s supply base by aggregating the individual buyer-supplier dyad level data into firm-supply network level data. Through this broader level of analysis, I am able to examine how the relational characteristics between a buyer firm and its supply base affect its ability to leverage the full portfolio of its suppliers’ innovative knowledge. Finally, in essay three I further extend the analysis to explore the means by which a buyer firm can use its suppliers to enhance its ability to access distant knowledge held by other organizations that the buyer is only connected to indirectly through its suppliers.
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    Foreign Direct Investment and Political Uncertainty
    (2015) Elwakil, Omar Sherif; Dresner, Martin E; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Recent developments in the general equilibrium theory of multinationals emphasize the importance of multilateral considerations. Yet, existing explanations and corresponding estimations of FDI patterns have largely limited political and institutional investment impediments to a bilateral framework. Through the application of spatial econometric techniques, I demonstrate that the presence of both domestic and regional political uncertainty generate real options effects that lead to the delay or redirection of foreign direct investment. The magnitude and direction of these effects is conditional upon the host country regime type and the predominant multinational integration strategies in the region. Comparing these results with FDI of U.S. origin, I find evidence for divergent investment behavior by U.S. multinationals during regime changes in partner countries. Additionally, I find no evidence that multinationals from developing countries are more likely to complete cross-border deals in environments characterized by greater political risk or political uncertainty.
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    (2015) Sweeney, Kevin Donald; Windle, Robert J; Business and Management: Logistics, Business & Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Providing higher levels of product variety has long been shown to generate increased revenues for both retail and manufacturing firms. However, recent research has also shown that higher levels of product variety can have a negative impact on firm operational performance. This dissertation is a two essay study using archival data provided by a single retail firm based in Shanghai, China, on the effects of product variety on retailer inventory levels, stock out rates, and sales. The first essay examines how product variety, as measured by the number of SKUs carried in the retailer’s product category assortment, affects inventory levels, stock out rates, and sales. The second essay investigates whether different types of product variety (namely brands, sizes, and product lines) impacts store inventory levels, stock out rates, and sales differently. The first essay investigates how the size of the product assortment impacts inventory levels, stock out rates, and sales. Greater product variety has the potential to generate higher revenue for the retailer, but also brings the potential for more complications in inventory and supply chain management processes. While previous research has examined this relationship within a manufacturing context, no research has investigated the tradeoff in a retail context. Also, this research is the first to consider the impact of product variety on a firm’s inventory levels. This is an important inclusion as inventory levels directly impact the stock out rate of a retailer. Furthermore, this paper investigates whether characteristics of a product category, such as the hedonic or utilitarian nature of the product category, moderate the relationship between product variety, operational performance, and sales. Using simultaneous equations and a three stage least squares regression methodology, results suggest that product variety has a positive relationship with inventory levels, stock out rates, and sales. Finally, the relationship between a product categories’ stock out rate and sales is stronger for hedonic product categories than utilitarian product categories. In the second essay, this dissertation examines whether the relationship between product variety, inventory levels, stock out rates and sales differs between different types of product variety. In particular, this essay investigates whether brand variety has a larger impact on retailer inventory levels, stock out rates, and sales than do size variety or product line variety. Again, using a simultaneous equation model and a three stage least squares methodology, the results suggest that brand variety is associated with higher inventory levels, lower stock out rates and higher sales than size or product line variety in the retail context.
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    Green 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.
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    (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.