Recent Submissions

  • Virtual Teams: The Impact of Varying Levels of Virtuality on Project Team Performance

    Arowolo, Adeoluwa; Faculty of Business Programs
    Although virtual teams have existed for over two decades, in recent years the Covid-19 pandemic led to a wider adoption and transition to virtual teamwork by most organizations. Virtuality is operationalized as the proportion of work done remotely or virtually on a project. This research studies the moderating effects of virtuality in project teams on communication frequency, leadership effectiveness, and project team performance. Using the theoretical frameworks of Adaptive Structuration Theory and Transformational Leadership Theory, a survey was carried out that informed this cross-sectional study. Respondents were project team members and managers who were involved in AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) and Finance/IT projects before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study showed that the inverted-u relationship between communication frequency and project performance was preserved in only low virtuality teams, while the shape of the curve was different for high virtuality teams. AEC project performance was also found to be more sensitive to communication frequency, as these projects exhibited inverted-u relationship with performance compared to Finance/IT projects which was more linear. Regardless of the levels of virtuality in project teams, transformational leadership leads to significantly better performance in both types of projects. This study contributes to the body of literature in project management and information systems by measuring one of several dimensions of virtuality in the proposed model and provides insights for project managers in industry to better lead their virtual project teams.
  • Effects of Image Temperature and Types of Messages on Advertisement and Product evaluations

    Feng, Junhui; Faculty of Business Programs
    This study examined the effects of images and messages in advertisement and product evaluations. The study categorized advertisements into two parts: images (warm and cold imagery) and messages (abstract and concrete messaging). It is expected that an advertisement with warm images and concrete messages, cold images and abstract messages is more effective in stimulating positive advertisement and product evaluations. The study also explored the mediating role of processing fluency toward advertisement and product evaluations. Results suggest that a warm image fits better with abstract messages, a cold image fits better with concrete messages, which could generate more positive advertisement and product evaluations. In addition, the effect of the “fit condition” of image and message on advertisement and product evaluations is mediated by viewers’ advertisement processing fluency.
  • COVID-19 news announcements and the foreign exchange markets

    Gholi Panah, Pari; Faculty of Business Programs
    This thesis entails an empirical study investigating the intraday effects of corona-virus pandemic news announcements on FX market price diffusion components, return, and volatility. The study examines explicitly the major foreign exchange market response to the COVID-19 news release, including pandemic figures related to new confirmed cases, number of deaths, progress of vaccine development and administration, government intervention measures to mitigate virus spread, and the World Health Organization senior official speech about pandemic progress. In addition, this paper investigates the context-specific effects of macroeconomic news. In other words, it examines the effects of important macroeconomic news on currency price components prior to and during the pandemic period. The reason behind this is that the literature has reached a clear consensus about macroeconomic news’s significant effects over time. The findings of this research contribute to both the empirical finance literature and the financial industry because they include insights into the behavior of foreign exchange market participants and international finance portfolio managers when analyzing the effects of unprecedented health, social and economic crises. Previous literature shows that the stability of a country’s foreign trade and its external environments impacts the exchange rate return and volatility. COVID-19 made financial markets more volatile as the pandemic increased uncertainty in foreign trade and foreign investment and intensified financial market risks. To have a clear picture of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FX markets, we incorporate all the essential COVID 19 announcements in this study. Our analysis documents that COVID-19 pandemic indicators and government response policies profoundly impact FX market volatility than a return. Also, regarding vaccine development news, there is strong evidence of FX market reaction to phase 3and emergency approval news related to COVID-19 vaccine development news. There is no evidence of market reaction to WHO official speeches about the COVID-19 pandemic in FX markets. The findings reveal that the FX market reacts to fewer macroeconomic news during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the market reaction to US macroeconomic news is still state-dependent.
  • The Logo “Visual Thickness Effect”: When and Why It Boosts Brand Evaluation. Does It Relax the Logo Visual Asymmetry Side-effect?

    Eyni, Ardalan; Faculty of Business Programs
    Logos are one of the first elements of brands with which new consumers interact. Thus, the symbolic meanings that a logo implies by its visual characteristics, e.g., circularity vs angularity, symmetry vs asymmetry, etc., can form consumers’ early perception of personality of the associated brand. A considerable body of research studies the key visual elements of logos that influence consumers’ perceptions about the associated brands. The primary aim of this research is to contribute to this body of literature by documenting the logo “Visual Thickness Effect” (VTE) as an understudied but influential visual phenomenon. Using 4685 MTurk participants and 34 fictitious logos, across two pre-studies and five main studies, we find support for the logo Visual Thickness Effect, in that thick logo boosts perception of brand personality, as a result of boosting perception of brand power. Also, the perception of brand power induced by logo thickness is moderated by consumer’s level of perceived power of the self, in that consumers with higher sense of power are less influenced by thickness of logo, as a sign of brand power, when evaluating a brand. Further, the perception of brand power induced by logo thickness is moderated by consumer’s level of visuospatial capacity, meaning that people with higher visuospatial sketchpad are less influenced by thickness of logo, as an extraneous visual stimulus, while evaluating a brand. Also, results suggest that the logo Visual Thickness Effect is at play as long as consumers do not already possess complementary information about the associated brand. Furthermore, we try to contribute to the findings of prior research by suggesting perception of logo familiarity as the underlying mechanism why asymmetric logo attenuates the perception of brands sincerity, competence, and ruggedness. Results show that symmetrical logos can be perceived as more familiar than asymmetrical logos. Findings of this research imply that brands, especially new-to-market brands, might exploit thick logos. This research contributes to the literature for perception of visual elements, logo design, brand evaluation, perception of power, and sensory marketing.
  • Emerging Market Indexes During the Pandemic Period

    Khan, Md Nafeesur Rahman; Faculty of Business Programs
    The thesis empirically examines and analyzes an unusual episode in the behavior of emerging indexes. Specifically, it investigates the sensitivity of high-frequency five-minute interval index price movements to COVID-19-related news announcements and macroeconomic news announcements during the pandemic. The author hypothesized that COVID-19 infection cases, deaths, vaccination counts, major vaccine development announcements, and government response measures related to COVID significantly impact the emerging equity markets’ returns and volatility, namely Argentine, Brazilian, Chilean, and Mexican equity indexes. They also hypothesized an asymmetric effect of macroeconomic news before and during the pandemic. Findings reveal that pandemic cases, vaccination, and death-related news announcements exhibit a statistically significant effect on intraday volatility but not so much on returns. At the same time, government response measures have a more pronounced and significant effect on return and volatility. Additionally, vaccine research & development and approval news increase intraday volatility. Findings also suggest that very few macroeconomic news indicators exhibit statistically significant asymmetric interaction before and during the pandemic, and fewer US macroeconomic news indicators are significant during the pandemic than before. The results support previous findings that US macroeconomic news announcements significantly impact Canadian and Mexican equity indexes, suggesting a linkage between them with US financial markets.
  • Innovation and Stock Returns

    Shahid, Sonal; Faculty of Business Programs
    The main aim of this thesis is to determine the relevance of innovation for the average stock returns, thereby investigating if innovation is one the factors explaining the stock returns. Innovation has been identified as an important determinant of economic growth and has been incorporated in economic growth models. With respect to equity returns, one part of literature identifies innovation as source of increased risk given the uncertainty associated with its outcome while another part of literature finds high innovation to reduce technological risk of a firm. In this thesis, we find that there is a premium to high innovation particularly for small size stocks. The highest innovation stocks earn higher average returns than lowest innovation stocks and this effect is significant and prominent for small size stocks. This persists when innovation is accounted for along with other variables like book to market value, operating profitability and investment. Regressing innovation sorted portfolios against Fama-French 5 factors model generates positive significant alphas for high innovation portfolios, even when controlled for size. Based on this, an innovation factor is constructed that captures the difference between the average return on high and low innovation portfolios. This innovation factor is incorporated in the Fama-French 5 factors model as the sixth factor evaluating if the model better explains the average stock returns. The six factors model incorporating innovation factor is rejected based on the test statistic testing if the alphas produced by the model are jointly equal to zero. However, the six factors model produces lower values of test statistics and alpha based measures used for model comparison, implying an improvement over the existing model.
  • Objects in your rear may be less important than they appear: How objects in candidates’ video interview backgrounds influence interviewers’ perceptions of fit and hiring recommendations.

    Angus-Yamada, Owen; Faculty of Business Programs
    Interviews are widely used by hiring managers to inform their decisions; however, the interview evaluations have been found to be influenced by various factors, including the physical and professional appearance of the candidates. With the growing popularity of video interviews, my research examines how the appearance of video backgrounds, through the presence of personal objects, can influence interviewer judgements. It also adds to the personnel selection literature by testing a theory – the Prototype Match Model – to examine how appearances, more generally influence interviewer judgements. Using an experimental design that controls for the video background and involved 92 undergraduate and graduate students, I found no evidence that the presence of personal objects in the background elicit inferences of personality traits and influence interviewer evaluations. There was, however, some evidence to suggest that a prototype match process occurs in the interview, where the closer candidates match the interviewers’ vision of the ideal employee, the more positive their interview outcomes are.
  • Earnings Announcement Premium: Evidence from the XBRL Mandate

    Hasan, Mohammad Maruf; Faculty of Business Programs
    In 2009, the SEC implemented the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) filings of company reports to facilitate better analysis and interpretation of financial statements. In this study, I analyze whether the XBRL filings has an impact on the earnings announcement premium of the three different sizes (tiers) of XBRL firms. In cross-sectional analysis, I find that there has been a significant increase in the earnings announcement premium for the larger and medium firms in the post-XBRL period, whereas the change in announcement premium for the smaller firms is not significant. I also find that in the post-XBRL period, there has been an increase in abnormal idiosyncratic volatility and abnormal volume for all the three different tiers of firms. Results indicate that announcement premium may have increased as a result of an increase in information asymmetry between the larger and smaller firms in the post-XBRL period as documented by Blankespoor et al. (2014).
  • Silence is Golden? Evidence from Social Disclosure Gap

    Afzal, Muhammad Talha; Faculty of Business Programs
    Social disclosure is available through different internal channels, such as SEC filings, stand- alone sustainability reports, or financial reports and available through external channels, such as business news. Based on analytical models that suggest that investors price social disclosure, as part of their firms’ risk assessment, I analyze whether the social disclosure gap is related to the firms’ cost of equity capital. I employ Latent Dirichlet Allocation, an unsupervised machine leaning technique to compare the thematic content of news articles and company reports, comprising of 5 billion words to compute the social disclosure gap for a sample of 1801 US firms. I find that the social disclosure gap is negatively associated with the cost of equity capital. This result is consistent with the limited attention theory, which suggests that investors tend to focus their attention on the most salient and easily processed social disclosure information and neglect the disclosure gap. I also show that customer awareness and product market competition are channels that link the social disclosure gap to the cost of equity capital. My findings contribute to the debate around the challenges hindering the widespread adoption of sustainability, including the absence of a standard, measurement uncertainty, different measures of materiality, inconsistent reporting methods, boilerplate language, and comparability.
  • Supplier Selection and Relationship Management: An Application of Machine Learning Techniques

    Sepehri, Sepehr; Faculty of Business Programs
    Managing supply chains is an extremely challenging task due to globalization, short product life cycle, and recent advancements in information technology. These changes result in the increasing importance of managing the relationship with suppliers. However, the supplier selection literature mainly focuses on selecting suppliers based on previous performance, environmental and social criteria and ignores supplier relationship management. Moreover, although the explosion of data and the capabilities of machine learning techniques in handling dynamic and fast changing environment show promising results in customer relationship management, especially in customer lifetime value, this area has been untouched in the upstream side of supply chains. This research is an attempt to address this gap by proposing a framework to predict supplier future value, by incorporating the contract history data, relationship value, and supply network properties. The proposed model is empirically tested for suppliers of public works and government services Canada. Methodology wise, this thesis demonstrates the application of machine learning techniques for supplier selection and developing effective strategies for managing relationships. Practically, the proposed framework equips supply chain managers with a proactive and forward-looking approach for managing supplier relationship.
  • Tax Evasion by E-commerce Businesses in Bangladesh

    Islam, Tanbirul; Faculty of Business Programs
    The unnerving momentum at which digital technology is progressing affects many aspects of business operations. For instance, businesses can now promote and sell their products on social media platforms with ease. Importantly, third world countries such as Bangladesh have been able to share in such technological strides along with more affluent nations. In Bangladesh, a myriad of small businesses have emerged with business models that depend on e-commerce platforms. These businesses are thriving in a fiercely competitive market with many of them importing their goods from the United States. One interesting feature in this marketplace is that the prices are much lower than those offered by brick and mortar stores. To investigate the reasons for this price differential, interviews were conducted with five respondents who operate businesses online and seem to be charging prices much lower than would be expected based on reasonable assumptions about input costs. In addition, to understand the perspective of potential customers, two surveys were conducted related to purchase intentions for two unrelated goods: the iPhone XS and Colourpop Lipstick. The primary objective of the research was to comprehend the price setting procedures adopted by the firms and customers’ willingness to buy products at different prices. My findings revealed that custom tax rates were the major cause for the price differential between brick and mortar stores and social media stores. This became clear from descriptions by the business owners of their procedures to import products in ways that avoid payment of customs tax and in pricing models that clearly do not include customs taxes. The results of the customer study suggest that price is the primary determinant of purchase intentions. Apparently, customers do not mind purchasing from a business that is evading taxes as long as it is cheaper. Importantly, the results indicate that the high tax rates charged by the government discourage citizens from complying with laws.
  • Scheduling Elective Surgeries in Multiple Operating Rooms

    Acarer, Cansin Cagan; Faculty of Business Programs
    This thesis focuses on the problem of designing appointment schedules in a surgery center with multiple operating rooms. The conditions under which overlapping surgeries in the surgeons’ schedule (i.e. parallel surgery processing) at the lowest cost are investigated with respect to three components of the total cost: waiting time, idle time, and overtime. A simulation optimization method is developed to find the near-optimal appointment schedules for elective surgical procedures in the presence of uncertain surgery durations. The analysis is performed in three steps. First, three near-optimal operating room schedules are found for different cost configurations based on the secondary data of surgery durations obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Second, these near-optimal appointment schedules are used to test a parallel scheduling policy where each surgeon has overlapping surgeries scheduled in two operating rooms for the entire session (480 minutes) and only attends the critical portions of surgeries in the two operating rooms. Lastly, another parallel scheduling policy is tested where each surgeon has overlapping surgeries scheduled for half of the session duration (240 minutes) and only has surgeries scheduled in one operating room for the remaining time. These two policies are tested using simulation with scenarios for parallelizable portions of surgeries varying from 0.1 to 0.9 at 0.1 increments and three cost configurations. In the simulated scenarios, the total cost is calculated as the weighted sum of patient waiting time, surgeon idle time, surgeon overtime, operating room idle time, and operating room overtime. Out of the nine scenarios for each policy and each cost configuration, the parallelizable portion of surgeries that result in the lowest total cost is identified. The results from both policies indicate that implementing parallel scheduling policies for surgery types with higher parallelizable portions results in surgeons remaining idle for longer periods during the session. This idle time cost is justified by a decrease in other cost components for surgeries with parallelizable portions 50% or less; however, the total cost is higher for surgeries with parallelizable portions over 50%. In addition, it has been observed that overlapping surgeries with lower parallelizable portions is more expensive than overlapping those over with 50%. Therefore, it is concluded that the surgery types that allow parallel surgery scheduling policies to be implemented at the lowest cost have 50% of their duration parallelizable.

    Das, Deepan Kumar; Faculty of Business Programs
    In this study, we examine the relationship of foreign and domestic macroeconomic news announcements and US public communication from senior officials in the Federal Reserve and the US Department of the Treasury with high-frequency exchange rates in 5 emerging currencies over 2010-2017. To be more specific, we investigate the impact of the announcements and communications on return, volatility and price discontinuity (jump) of the emerging currencies. First, we study the return and volatility reaction to the announcements and communication releases, and then analyze the effects of those announcements and communications on jumps and cojumps. We find that a great majority of the announcements and communications have strong impacts on return and volatility, however, only a few of them can trigger jumps and cojumps. Effects of communications and European announcements specifically are more pronounced and consistent on return and volatility adjustments than on jumps and cojumps. Though less in number, US and domestic macroeconomic news announcements consistently affect jumps and cojumps across most of the emerging currencies. Like in previous studies, we observe in ours that currencies are most sensitive to US announcements. Though previous studies cannot establish any significant relationship with domestic announcements, we evidence that currencies have become very responsive to domestic announcements after the global financial crisis in 2008. Most important US announcements, when it comes to affecting return and volatility, are FOMC rate decisions, FOMC meeting minutes, non-farm payrolls, CPI, GDP, ISM, PPI, retail sales and unemployment rates. Jumps and cojumps, on the other hand, exhibit tendency to respond significantly to FOMC rate decisions, FOMC meeting minutes, non-farm payrolls and CPI out of all the US announcements. With regards to domestic announcements, releases on central bank’s rate decision, CPI, trade balance and bond trading are very important.

    Juma, Guliziba; Faculty of Business Programs
    The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationship between a firm’s innovation and Chapter 11 bankruptcy outcome. Innovation is measured as R&D expenditure, the number of patents and the number of citations to capture both input and output of a firm’s innovative activity. We find no significant relationship between innovation and bankruptcy outcome when we relate recent innovation to bankruptcy outcome. However, the relationship between innovation and bankruptcy outcome becomes significant when we consider the entire accumulated innovation prior to the bankruptcy, indicating older patents matter more in bankruptcy. We demonstrate that firms investing more in R&D expenditure and generating a higher number of patents before bankruptcy are more likely to reorganize than be liquidated or acquired. On the other hand, bankrupt firms with highly cited patents are more likely to be acquired than reorganize. Similar to other studies, our empirical results show that larger, more levered and liquid firms are positively associated with successful reorganizations. Finally, firms that file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy and receive debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing during bankruptcy are more likely to reorganize than liquidate or be acquired. Firms file for bankruptcy during the 2008 economic crisis are prone to liquidation. Industry factor only matters for firms in the manufacturing industry, where firms with more innovation are more likely to reorganize than liquidated.
  • Market Reaction to the Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

    Rahman, Mahmud; Faculty of Business Programs
    I investigate the market reaction to the events leading up to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) using short and long window event studies. Using the sample of S&P 1,500 firms, I find positive market reaction to the enactment of the TCJA only in one short window; market reaction to other windows remains weak. This study documents that firms with high marginal tax rate have positive market reaction only in one long window. Further investigation reveals that for the firms with deferred tax assets the market reaction is positive only in one short window and in another long window market reaction is negative. I also find weak evidence that firms with high deferred tax liabilities have a positive market reaction to the passage of the TCJA. In addition, I document that firms with high executive compensation record negative market reactions in the short windows, but no market reaction in the long windows. I finally find that market reaction to the marginal tax rate varies with firm corporate governance only in one short window. Overall, my study contributes to the existing tax and accounting literature by examining investor reaction to the passage of TCJA based on dominant firm characteristics such as marginal tax rates, corporate governance structures, the nature of deferred taxes, and the level of executive compensation for events leading to and after the passage of the Act.

    Wang, Ziwen; Faculty of Business Programs
    This thesis compares the performance of ten well-known asset-pricing models for cross-sectional returns of various portfolios from January 1967 to December 2016. We rely on the distance-based metrics as the primary performance measure and use quantile regressions to compare models at a wide range of quantiles of the asset return distribution. The model performance is examined from both statistical and economic perspectives. We find that the Fama and French (2018) six-factor model reliably outperforms other competing models in pricing the selected portfolios. In particular, both the momentum factor and the value factor are necessary in asset-pricing models to explain the return variations in different quantiles. We also find that the performance of Barilla and Shanken (2018) six-factor model exhibits strong explanatory power in medium to high quantiles, despite some existing findings that their model performs poorly in OLS regressions. Overall, we show that the distance-based metrics coupled with quantile regressions provide a consistent and robust model-comparison methodology that largely enhances the existing OLS-based statistical measures.
  • Does e-Government Always Fit? Moderating Role of Technology-Job Fit on Employee Acceptance of e-Government Technology.

    Belkhiria, Fares; Belkhiria; Faculty of Business Programs
    E-government technologies have widely been praised by academics, policy makers and the public. However, despite that many governments heavily invest in these technologies, they still struggle to implement them into their organisations because of employees not accepting them. In my study, I argue that this is due to the lack of “fit” of these technologies with the structure, processes, and practices of the employees. Against this backdrop, my study draws from organisational job fit, task-technology fit and technology acceptance literatures to examine the “Technology-Job fit” construct and explore its moderating role on how employees of government organisations perceive and adopt e-government technologies. I test my model on a sample of 347 employees of different government organisations in a developing country (Thailand). I find that employees’ judgements and satisfaction regarding a technology are significantly moderated by their perception of fit of the technology with their job. My study presents several contributions to research, policymaking, and practice of e-government and technology acceptance.
  • Learning Product Attributes from User-Generated Content for Dynamic Promotion Strategies

    Abduvaitova, Lola; Faculty of Business Programs
    One widely adopted product attribute classification in the literature is the “Search” versus “Experience” dichotomy. Because the costs involved in searching and experiencing products vary across consumers and over a product’s life time, it is important for marketers to understand consumers’ evaluation of these attributes in order to formulate scalable and dynamic promotion strategies. This thesis attempts to address this challenge by proposing a text analytics framework for understanding consumers’ evaluation of product attributes to support agile promotion strategies. In the past, researchers have attempted to classify entire product categories as search or experience via questionnaires or using quantitative approaches by analyzing review star ratings. This thesis uses objective consumer reviews and text mining techniques to extract product features that can define search or experience attributes. A hybrid of unsupervised and supervised learning techniques was used to generate labelled training data from eight different product categories of Amazon and train classification models to determine the likely position of a product within the search-experience product classification spectrum. Extensive experiments using best-case and worst-case scenario were used to improve the accuracy levels of decision-tree based classification models and demonstrate the scalability of the text analytics framework. The proposed approach also incorporated a mechanism to aggregate the scores that the model gives to each individual review in order to determine the likely position at a product level. It is also shown that a product’s position in the search-experience spectrum may change during its review cycle, indicating that marketers need to investigate reviews for any periods of interest to develop effective promotion strategies in a more agile fashion. From a theoretical view, the text mining approach significantly adds to the existing body of knowledge in the classification of product attributes for supporting promotions. In addition to detecting dominant signals for search and experience positions, marketers can uncover a great deal of contents to formulate more specific advertising messages.
  • Idiosyncratic Momentum and Option Markets

    Guo, Songchan; Faculty of Business Programs
    This study examines whether the idiosyncratic momentum strategy can generate excess returns following the emergence of traded options. Portfolios are formed based on past residuals of the Fama-French three factor model in idiosyncratic momentum, while those are formed based on past total returns in traditional momentum. We find that the idiosyncratic momentum profits show attenuation since options started trading in 1996. Our results show that momentum returns for stocks with options in idiosyncratic momentum are positive and significant for three, six, and twelve months following the formation date, while those for stocks with options in traditional momentum are insignificant or even turn to negative. We also find strong evidence that the enhanced information efficiency led by allowing short selling has more impact on traditional momentum returns than on idiosyncratic momentum returns. Overall, our results show that the idiosyncratic momentum strategy demonstrates an even bigger challenge to the conventional asset pricing literature.
  • Impacts of Top Five Executives’ Compensation on Employee Wages

    Li, Qianqian; Faculty of Business Programs
    This paper studies the impacts of incentive compensation to the top five executives on employee wages. We employ pay-performance sensitivity (PPS) to measure executive incentive compensation. Using data for firms from Wharton Research Data Services over 1992 to 2017 period, we find that there exists a negative relation between executive incentive compensation and employee wages. In addition, we examine the impacts of executive incentive compensation on employee wages in different industries and find that the impacts are more severe in non-technology firms than in technology firms. Finally, we show that the executives with higher incentive compensation are more likely to suppress employee wages in financially distressed firms. Since the impacts of incentive compensation to top five executives on employee wages are similar to those to CEO, top executives appear to work together as a team, which supports executive compensation as team perspective. Furthermore, firm performance may not be promoted by granting high incentive compensation to executives.

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