• 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.
    • Scheduling Elective Surgeries with Emergency Arrivals in Operating Rooms

      Xiao, Yao; Faculty of Business Programs
      With the growing rate of surgical expenditures, improving operating room efficiency has become one of the most important targets for health care providers. Any delays, cancellations, or no-shows, result in increased costs for a hospital. In addition, it is difficult to predict the length of surgery procedures due to the variability inherent in surgery procedure times and account for emergency cases. Effective appointment schedules, which minimize the costs of patient waiting time and surgeon idle time and overtime, play an important role in terms of improving efficiency in hospital operating rooms. This research is to develop scheduling policies for elective and emergency surgeries with the objective of reducing waiting time, idle time and overtime. Simulation-based modeling is used to formulate and evaluate different scheduling policies under different operating conditions including different distributions for surgery duration, multiple types of surgical procedures, the arrival of emergency cases and different levels of cost coefficients for idle time and overtime. These factors have not been simultaneously studied in prior studies. The modeling framework is able to account for the significant uncertainty and complexity present in this problem setting. Historical surgery procedure data over a two-year period from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) database is used to provide empirical support for the input parameters of the model and validate the efficiency of the different scheduling policies.
    • Search engine advertising in web retailing : an efficiency analysis

      Mokaya, Brian O.; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      This study examines the efficiency of search engine advertising strategies employed by firms. The research setting is the online retailing industry, which is characterized by extensive use of Web technologies and high competition for market share and profitability. For Internet retailers, search engines are increasingly serving as an information gateway for many decision-making tasks. In particular, Search engine advertising (SEA) has opened a new marketing channel for retailers to attract new customers and improve their performance. In addition to natural (organic) search marketing strategies, search engine advertisers compete for top advertisement slots provided by search brokers such as Google and Yahoo! through keyword auctions. The rationale being that greater visibility on a search engine during a keyword search will capture customers' interest in a business and its product or service offerings. Search engines account for most online activities today. Compared with the slow growth of traditional marketing channels, online search volumes continue to grow at a steady rate. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, spending on search engine marketing by North American firms in 2008 was estimated at $13.5 billion. Despite the significant role SEA plays in Web retailing, scholarly research on the topic is limited. Prior studies in SEA have focused on search engine auction mechanism design. In contrast, research on the business value of SEA has been limited by the lack of empirical data on search advertising practices. Recent advances in search and retail technologies have created datarich environments that enable new research opportunities at the interface of marketing and information technology. This research uses extensive data from Web retailing and Google-based search advertising and evaluates Web retailers' use of resources, search advertising techniques, and other relevant factors that contribute to business performance across different metrics. The methods used include Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), data mining, and multivariate statistics. This research contributes to empirical research by analyzing several Web retail firms in different industry sectors and product categories. One of the key findings is that the dynamics of sponsored search advertising vary between multi-channel and Web-only retailers. While the key performance metrics for multi-channel retailers include measures such as online sales, conversion rate (CR), c1ick-through-rate (CTR), and impressions, the key performance metrics for Web-only retailers focus on organic and sponsored ad ranks. These results provide a useful contribution to our organizational level understanding of search engine advertising strategies, both for multi-channel and Web-only retailers. These results also contribute to current knowledge in technology-driven marketing strategies and provide managers with a better understanding of sponsored search advertising and its impact on various performance metrics in Web retailing.
    • Self concept, acculturation, and fashion orientation

      Hu, Xiaoyu; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2010-10-25)
      The research begins with a discussion of the worldwide and the Canadian market. The research profiles the examination of the relationship between a person's self concept (as defined by Malhotra) and fashion orientation (as defined by Gutman and Mills), and to understand how these factors are influenced by acculturation, focusing in-depth on their managerial implications. To study these relationships; a random sample of 196 ChineseCanadian female university students living in Canada was given a survey based on Malhotra's self-concept scale, and the SLASIA acculturation scale. Based on multiple regression analysis, findings suggest that the adoption of language and social interaction dimensions of acculturation constructs have significant effects on the relationship between self concept and fashion orientation. This research contributes significantly to both marketing theory and practice. Theoretically, this research develops new insights on the dimensionality of fashion orientation, identifies various moderating effects of acculturation on the relationship of self concept and fashion orientation dimensions, and provides a framework to examine these effects, where results can be generalized across different culture. Practically, marketers can use available findings to improve their understanding of the fashion needs of Chinese-Canadian consumers, and target them based on these findings. The findings provide valuable implications for companies to formulate their fashion marketing strategies for enhance fashion orientation in terms of different dimensions, based on different levels of acculturation.
    • A stochastic dynamic programming approach for pricing options on stock-index futures

      Kirillov, Tymur; Faculty of Business Programs (2012-03-21)
      The aim of this thesis is to price options on equity index futures with an application to standard options on S&P 500 futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Our methodology is based on stochastic dynamic programming, which can accommodate European as well as American options. The model accommodates dividends from the underlying asset. It also captures the optimal exercise strategy and the fair value of the option. This approach is an alternative to available numerical pricing methods such as binomial trees, finite differences, and ad-hoc numerical approximation techniques. Our numerical and empirical investigations demonstrate convergence, robustness, and efficiency. We use this methodology to value exchange-listed options. The European option premiums thus obtained are compared to Black's closed-form formula. They are accurate to four digits. The American option premiums also have a similar level of accuracy compared to premiums obtained using finite differences and binomial trees with a large number of time steps. The proposed model accounts for deterministic, seasonally varying dividend yield. In pricing futures options, we discover that what matters is the sum of the dividend yields over the life of the futures contract and not their distribution.
    • Stock market reactions to changes in the FTSE SmallCap and S&P/TSX SmallCap indices

      Li, Boya; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      Stocks added to (deleted from) the Russell 2000 and the S&P 600 indexes experience positive (negative) abnormal returns following the announcement. However, researchers disagree on whether these abnormal returns are permanent or temporary and offer competing explanations. I address this controversy by examining market reactions for firms that are added to or deleted from the FTSE Small Cap index (the main testing sample) and the S&P/TSX SmallCap index (the comparison sample). For the main testing sample, all stocks except pure additions, experience a permanent price change that is accompanied by a permanent change in liquidity. However, for the comparison sample, abnormal returns over the announcement period fully reverted within 30 days. In further examination of stock liquidity for the main testing sample, sample stocks experience permanent change in liquidity. Taken together, the observed results support the price pressure and liquidity hypotheses.
    • 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.
    • Towards a better understanding of the relationship between speed of internationalization and performance outcomes among young international ventures

      Rohilla, Gaurav; Faculty of Business Programs (2013-04-11)
      This thesis offers an explanation for the inconsistent relationship between speed of internationalization and performance outcomes in the context of young international ventures. We argue that the variables of scope of internationalization, entrepreneurial orientation and degree of internationalization play a moderating role in the relationship between speed of internationalization and performance outcomes of international new ventures (INVs). Using primary survey data from INVs in China, we found empirical support for significant moderating impact of scope of internationalization, entrepreneurial orientation variables and no support for the moderating impact of degree of internationalization variable. The results suggest that business managers of INVs shall consider the applied moderating variables as an effective tool kit to enhance firm performance in foreign markets and to mitigate any potential risks of early internationalization.
    • Understanding Continuance Intentions of Physicians with Electronic Medical Records (EMRS): An Expectancy-Confirmation Perspective

      O'Brien, Nicole; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2013-05-06)
      This thesis examines physicians’ satisfaction with electronic medical records (EMRs) in the post-adoption phase. More specifically, the study examines how physicians’ satisfaction with EMRs impacts on their intention to continue using as well as extend their adoption of additional functions of EMRs. Expectation-confirmation theory is used with the incorporation of perceived risk as the theoretical framework. The extended theoretical model is used to formulate eight hypotheses to aid in the understanding of physicians’ continuance intentions. A field survey of 135 Canadian physicians that utilize EMRs was performed to test the model empirically. The study found that physicians are willing to continue using and adopting additional components of EMRs. In addition, the empirical results suggest that physicians’ perceived usefulness and perceived risk impacts satisfaction, which in turn influences physicians’ continuance intentions. As well, perceived risk has an influence on physicians’ continuance intentions directly.
    • Unpacking the relationship between knowledge-sharing efforts and creativity: The critical roles of relationship quality and perceived organizational politics

      Rahman, Zahid Mohammad; Faculty of Business Programs
      This thesis contributes to creativity research by investigating the link between employees’ knowledge-sharing efforts and creativity and how this link is moderated by two aspects of relationship quality (informality and emotional openness) and the belief that organizational decision making is marked by destructive political games. It proposes that the usefulness of knowledge-sharing efforts for stimulating creativity is higher when employees maintain informal relationships with their colleagues and feel comfortable expressing a diverse range of emotions with them. In addition, extensive knowledge-sharing efforts are less likely to enhance creativity when employees believe that organizational decision making is guided by destructive political games. Finally, the harmful effect of perceived organizational politics on the knowledge-sharing efforts–creativity relationship is mitigated when employees can rely on high levels of relationship quality. This research holds useful implications for organizations regarding the circumstances in which the application of employee knowledge to the generation of novel solutions to problem situations is most effective.
    • Untangling the Organizational Ambiguities in Supply Chain Risk Recognition, Assessment, and Response: The Role of Network Embeddedness

      Pandey, Rahul; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-09-17)
      In this thesis, I focus on supply chain risk related ambiguity, which represents the ambiguities firms exhibit in recognizing, assessing, and responding to supply chain disruptions. I, primarily, argue that ambiguities associated with recognizing and responding to supply chain risk are information gathering and processing problems. Guided by the theoretical perspective of bounded rationality, I propose a typology of supply chain risk related ambiguity with four distinct dimensions. I, also, argue that the major contributor to risk related ambiguity is often the environment, specifically the web of suppliers. Hence, I focus on the characteristics of these supplier networks to examine the sources of ambiguity. I define three distinct elements of network embeddedness – relational, structural, and positional embeddedness – and argue that the ambiguity faced by a firm in appropriately identifying the nature or impacts of major disruptions is a function of these network properties. Based on a survey of large North American manufacturing firms, I found that the extent of the relational ties a firm has and its position in the network are significantly related to supply chain risk related ambiguity. However, this study did not provide any significant support for the hypothesized relationship between structural embeddedness and ambiguity. My research contributes towards the study of supply chain disruptions by using the idea of bounded rationality to understand supply chain risk related ambiguity and by providing evidence that the structure of supply chain networks influences the organizational understanding of and responses to supply chain disruptions.
    • Unveiling the Influence of Consumer Wine Appreciation Dimension on Purchasing Behavior

      Kekec, Pinar; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2012-05-17)
      Consumption values and different usage situations have received extensive interest from scholars; however, there is a lack of understanding regarding how these two constructs interact when it comes to the purchase decisions of consumers. This study examines the relationship between consumption values, consumption situations, and consumers’ purchasing decisions in terms of their willingness to pay and the purchase quantity. First of all, my model proposes that all four consumption values and different situations have a positive effect on consumers’ willingness to pay as well as the quantity they purchase. It also proposes that varying usage situations moderate the effect of consumption values on consumers’ purchasing decisions. In my conceptual model, I have also integrated the epistemic and conditional values where there is a gap in the existing literature. Prior literature has isolated the consumption values when studying how they affect consumer behavior and has not examined how consumption situations moderate the relationship between consumption values and purchasing decisions. Also, the existing literature has mostly focused on how consumption values affect purchase intentions, brand loyalty, or satisfaction, whereas my study focuses on purchasing decisions. For my study, the participants were randomly chosen from the general wine consumer population and the age range was between 20 and 75, which included 83 male respondents and 119 female respondents. The data received from my respondents support my hypotheses for the model. In my final chapter, I discuss the theoretical and managerial implications as well as suggestions for future research.
    • Using a Bayesian model for bankruptcy prediction : a comparative approach

      He, Zhanpeng; Faculty of Business Programs (2012-03-21)
      The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the choice of cut-off points, sampling procedures, and the business cycle on the accuracy of bankruptcy prediction models. Misclassification can result in erroneous predictions leading to prohibitive costs to firms, investors and the economy. To test the impact of the choice of cut-off points and sampling procedures, three bankruptcy prediction models are assessed- Bayesian, Hazard and Mixed Logit. A salient feature of the study is that the analysis includes both parametric and nonparametric bankruptcy prediction models. A sample of firms from Lynn M. LoPucki Bankruptcy Research Database in the U. S. was used to evaluate the relative performance of the three models. The choice of a cut-off point and sampling procedures were found to affect the rankings of the various models. In general, the results indicate that the empirical cut-off point estimated from the training sample resulted in the lowest misclassification costs for all three models. Although the Hazard and Mixed Logit models resulted in lower costs of misclassification in the randomly selected samples, the Mixed Logit model did not perform as well across varying business-cycles. In general, the Hazard model has the highest predictive power. However, the higher predictive power of the Bayesian model, when the ratio of the cost of Type I errors to the cost of Type II errors is high, is relatively consistent across all sampling methods. Such an advantage of the Bayesian model may make it more attractive in the current economic environment. This study extends recent research comparing the performance of bankruptcy prediction models by identifying under what conditions a model performs better. It also allays a range of user groups, including auditors, shareholders, employees, suppliers, rating agencies, and creditors' concerns with respect to assessing failure risk.
    • Volume-Synchronized Probability of Informed Trading (VPIN), Market Volatility, and High-Frequency Liquidity

      Jiang, Jinzhi; Faculty of Business Programs
      We assess the predictive ability of three VPIN metrics on the basis of two highly volatile market events of China, and examine the association between VPIN and toxic-induced volatility through conditional probability analysis and multiple regression. We examine the dynamic relationship on VPIN and high-frequency liquidity using Vector Auto-Regression models, Granger Causality tests, and impulse response analysis. Our results suggest that Bulk Volume VPIN has the best risk-warning effect among major VPIN metrics. VPIN has a positive association with market volatility induced by toxic information flow. Most importantly, we document a positive feedback effect between VPIN and high-frequency liquidity, where a negative liquidity shock boosts up VPIN, which, in turn, leads to further liquidity drain. Our study provides empirical evidence that reflects an intrinsic game between informed traders and market makers when facing toxic information in the high-frequency trading world.
    • When job dissatisfaction leads to customer-oriented citizenship behaviors

      Boichuk, Jeffrey, P.; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2010-10-25)
      This thesis places boundary conditions on the withdrawal model in the frontline setting of service organizations by considering continuance commitment and supervisory support as moderators of the relationship between job dissatisfaction and customer-oriented citizenship behaviors (COCBs). Departing from traditional research in the areas of the service-profit chain and employee withdrawal, the author advances our understanding of conditions that may lead frontline service employees who are dissatisfied to deposit COCBs into the organizational system. Specifically, based on principles derived from social exchange theory, high continuance commitment and high supervisory support are expected to lead to COCBs, because under this condition the benefits of performing such behaviors are increased (i.e., promotion-based, reciprocity-based), while the costs are decreased (i.e., opportunity costs). Utilizing a sample of 127 frontline employees from both the financial services and travel agency industries, the hypothesized relationships are empirically supported using moderated hierarchical regression analysis. To conclude discussion, implications of the results for both academics and p
    • Y works : average hours worked and average salaries

      Nicholls, Shane; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2011-05-17)
      Generation Y is entering the workforce in large numbers and, because this generation holds different values than previous generations, accounting firms are having difficulty managing these new hires. I t is important to determine whether Generation Y is associated with meaningful, long-term trends or i f they will adapt to the given situation. Gen Y' s association with average hours worked per person and average salaries in the Canadian Accounting, Marketing, and Legal professions is examined. I find that an increasing percentage of Generation Y employees in the workforce is associated with significant decreases in average hours worked, but is not associated with any significant trend in average salary. I t is concluded that Generation Y is associated with changing trends in the workplace. These trends are contrary to wha t might be expected under traditional definitions of success, therefore it is postulated that Gen Y may view workplace success differently than previous generations.