Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Public Communications and the Foreign Exchange Risk Around the Global Financial Crisis

    Wang, Jiayu; Faculty of Business Programs
    This study explores the effect of four public communication attributes and macroeconomic news surprises on the conditional mean, volatility, and the jump components of the euro-dollar, pound-dollar, and yen-dollar foreign exchange rates from November 1st, 2004 to February 28th, 2015. We extract key attributes from central bank senior official speeches and examine their impact on currencies. We show that price diffusion components respond differently to such attributes across economic states. In addition, volatility exhibits the highest response to the four attributes during the US crisis compared to return and jump components. We find that even though the central bank chairman position has significant impact in general on the price diffusion components, some chairmen have no effect. Yet, the name and personality of the central bank officials matter for the foreign exchange market. We also find that the market fluctuates significantly to speeches related to Economy, Monetary, Interest rate and Real Estate Market during the US crisis. Additionally, central banks play important roles in influencing the market. ECB has a significant effect on returns across all three currencies during the US crisis and plays an important role by affecting the volatility during all periods. Moreover, the central bank chairman can generate greater market reaction than the other positions as it consistently increases the volatility across our sample.
  • Is Geographic Diversity Good for International Young Ventures? An Internal Social Capital Perspective

    Liu, Runqian; Faculty of Business Programs
    An increasing number of young ventures are internationalizing their business early in their life cycles and expanding their scope of international activities into dispersed geographic locations. Yet, the performance implication of geographic diversity strategy for international young ventures remains to be studied. This thesis aims to analyze the link between geographic diversity and international performance, as well as the mediating mechanism of internal social capital and contingent effects of organization structure. This study synthesizes the social capital and exchange perspective with the learning advantages of newness view. The hypotheses are tested with an empirical dataset collected in Zhejiang, China. The results indicate that young ventures going into diverse geographic regions accrue superior international market performance and international investment return, and the mediating mechanism of internal social capital is supported for two of the three dimensions. Furthermore, the indirect effects are moderated by the formality and role concentration within the venture. This study contributes to the theoretical development of the burgeoning field of international entrepreneurship.
  • False Discoveries in the Performance of Canadian Equity Mutual Funds

    Tran, Nhan; Faculty of Business Programs
    This thesis assesses the performance of Canadian equity mutual funds over the period 1991-2016 using the False Discovery Rate (FDR) methodolody. We find that around 85% of the sampled funds are genuinely zero-alpha, and the majority of skilled funds lies in the extreme right tail. Overall, false positive rates in the studied population are found to be approximately 20% for gross returns, and 55% for net returns, and respectively 6% and 22% in the case of false negative rates across all factor models. Contrast to negative FDRs, positive FDRs exhibit abnormality among funds from before 2008, and greatly vary across fund groups. In addition, different bootstrap methods confirm the existence of manager stock-picking skill among the fund sample.

    Yan, Xusheng; Faculty of Business Programs
    This study investigates the determinants of oil and Canadian dollar volatilities. We use the multivariate volatility model to examine the simultaneous impacts of OPEC press releases and production decisions, oil and gasoline inventory surprises, and U.S. and Canadian macroeconomic news announcements on oil and CAD returns and volatilities during, before and after the U.S. financial crisis and European sovereign debt crisis. Besides, we apply the impulse response analysis to decompose the exogenous effects into direct and indirect effects resulting from volatility spillover. We find that the effects of OPEC press releases and decisions are more prominent than those of inventory announcements and macroeconomic news. Furthermore, over 50% of the total accumulated effects of OPEC decisions to maintain, on oil volatility are from the indirect effect via volatility spillover of CAD exchange rate during the U.S. financial crisis. Our findings shed light on the dynamic of volatility spillover channel during financial turmoil, which may facilitate the process of investments and policy decision-making, trading strategies of market participants, and the efficiency of stabilizing market volatility in a multilateral setting.
  • Leveraging Mobile App Classification and User Context Information for Improving Recommendation Systems

    Mingshan, Han Jr; Faculty of Business Programs
    Mobile apps play a significant role in current online environments where there is an overwhelming supply of information. Although mobile apps are part of our daily routine, searching and finding mobile apps is becoming a nontrivial task due to the current volume, velocity and variety of information. Therefore, app recommender systems provide users’ desired apps based on their preferences. However, current recommender systems and their underlying techniques are limited in effectively leveraging app classification schemes and context information. In this thesis, I attempt to address this gap by proposing a text analytics framework for mobile app recommendation by leveraging an app classification scheme that incorporates the needs of users as well as the complexity of the user-item-context information in mobile app usage pattern. In this recommendation framework, I adopt and empirically test an app classification scheme based on textual information about mobile apps using data from Google Play store. In addition, I demonstrate how context information such as user social media status can be matched with app classification categories using tree-based and rule-based prediction algorithms. Methodology wise, my research attempts to show the feasibility of textual data analysis in profiling apps based on app descriptions and other structured attributes, as well as explore mechanisms for matching user preferences and context information with app usage categories. Practically, the proposed text analytics framework can allow app developers reach a wider usage base through better understanding of user motivation and context information.
  • The influence of derivatives usage on firm value

    Lu, Zhangwei; Faculty of Business Programs
    In contemporary business management, an increasing number of firms use derivative instruments to hedge financial risks, including interest rate, foreign exchange rate and commodity price risk. Such hedging activities add to firm value by alleviating market imperfections, the presence of which provides an incentive to hedge. However, derivative instruments can also be used for speculation as well as hedging, magnifying risk and potentially reducing firm value. An awareness of the effectiveness of derivatives usage during various economic periods or in various industries, is also of value and can ultimately result in better hedging and even speculation strategies. In this thesis, we investigate non-financial firms in seven developed countries from 2007 to 2016, and apply fixed effects regression analysis, propensity score matching and difference-in-difference models to examine the relationship between derivatives usage and firm value. The impact of different categories of derivatives usage on firm value is found to differ by country. In particular, although the use of interest derivatives is found to damage firm value worldwide, currency derivative usage appears to increase firm value except in the US and Germany, while the use of commodity derivatives is shown to add to firm value firm only in Germany and Australia.
  • The Effects of Organizational Forms of Mutual Fund Management Company on Mutual Fund Performance

    Han, Xiaoxiao; Faculty of Business Programs
    The organizational form of a company indicates whether it is publicly-traded or privately-held. The effects of the organizational forms on a company’s operations and performances have been well documented. However, because the organizational form of companies in the finance industry is so different from those in other industries, the effect on performance is quite different. There has been little research done to determine how the organizational form of mutual fund management companies affect the performance of their mutual funds. This thesis examines the impact of mutual fund management companies on the performance of their managed funds using data that cover the period 2007 to 2016 on 782 different firms. The results showed that the performance of mutual funds managed by publicly-traded mutual fund management companies was significantly compared to those managed by privately-held companies. Based on the sample data, the hypothesis of this thesis is that publicly-traded and privately-held fund management companies have different incentives and interests that impact mutual fund performance. The thesis also addresses the issues of discontinuous returns and endogenous organizational form variables. The test results examined in this thesis support the notion that mutual funds managed by publicly-traded companies underperform compared to industry benchmarks. In addition, funds managed by publicly-traded management companies perform poorer in general compared to funds managed by privately-held companies.
  • Institutionalizing People: Professional Identity Development of Postdoctoral Scientists

    Pyo, Sonya Sunyoung; Faculty of Business Programs
    Professional identity development has been traditionally studied from a cognitive and discursive perspective that has overlooked how emotional, fragile and unstable identification can potentially be. Building on recent theorizations on emotions and ethos, the institution’s highest ideals, that enrich our understanding of professional identity, I explore the interlevel mechanisms of ongoing management of professional identification in this qualitative study on postdoctoral scientists. Postdocs represent the “in-between” professional, having completed their education but not yet independent scientists, who are continuously revising, expanding and negotiating their identity. Results show that while ethos becomes deeply embedded in identity, it also becomes decoupled from experience. Postdocs manage ongoing identification by resolving this tension between ideals and experience, however, failure to resolve such tensions can lead to disillusionment and exit. This work contributes to the literature by centralizing professional identity around values and emotions and also theorizes on the role of significant others for professional identity and the synergy between the institutions of family and profession.
  • The Effect of Brand Crowding on Brand Differentiation: The Moderating Effect of Product Knowledge

    Lau, Yu Hang Francis; Faculty of Business Programs
    Brand differentiation is a commonly examined phenomenon in marketing. Among the many antecedents of brand differentiation, brand crowding has not been examined, especially in the context of the chocolate industry. This paper proposes that brand crowding has a positive effect on brand differentiation. It further suggests that product knowledge has a positive effect on this relationship while brand differentiation has a positive effect on both brand preference and purchase intention. Chocolate brands are used in one study to test the hypotheses. Examining the relationship between brand crowding and brand differentiation will help marketing managers create strategies to ensure crowding does not have an adverse effect on their brands.

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