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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Management
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Absorptive Capacity: An Empirical Examination of the Phenomenon and Relationships with Firm Capabilities
The field of strategic management addresses challenges that firms encounter in an attempt to remain competitive. The ability to explain variation in firm success through examination of knowledge flows has become a prominent focus of research in the strategic management literature. Specifically, researchers have sought to further examine how firms convert knowledge, a phenomenon conceptualized as absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity is the firm’s ability to acquire, assimilate, transform, and exploit knowledge. Few studies have captured the richness and multi-dimensionality of absorptive capacity, and it remains to be understood how the dimensions of the phenomenon convert knowledge. Furthermore, how absorptive capacity influences the firm remains to be understood. To address these research gaps, this dissertation seeks to (1) determine how absorptive capacity converts knowledge, and (2) determine how absorptive capacity influences firm capabilities. The research questions are investigated using structural modeling techniques to analyze data collected from software-industry firms. The findings offer contributions to the absorptive capacity and capability literatures. For example, absorptive capacity is hypothesized to consist of complex relationships among its internal dimensions. However, findings of this study suggest the relationships among the dimensions are linear in nature. This finding is in line with the theoretical foundations of and early literature on absorptive capacity but contrary to recent conceptualizations, which suggests relationships among the dimensions are more closely related to the theoretical origins of absorptive capacity. Additionally, to examine how absorptive capacity influences the firm, a capability-based perspective is used to hypothesize the influence of absorptive capacity on firm capabilities. Findings suggest absorptive capacity positively influences each dimension of firm capabilities (e.g., operational, customer, and innovation capabilities); thus, absorptive capacity influences the firm by altering firm capabilities. Given the richness of the findings, numerous fields are likely to benefit from this investigation. Through an examination of absorptive capacity and capabilities, this study contributes to the understanding of the absorptive capacity phenomenon and offers insight into how the phenomenon influences the firm. Furthermore, practical implications are offered for managers interested in enhancing firm competitiveness.
An Emotional Business: the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Entrepreneurial Success
Successful entrepreneurial activity is important for a healthy economy and can be a major source of job creation. While the concept of entrepreneurship has been around for quite some time, researchers continue to explore the factors that underlie entrepreneurial performance. Specifically, researchers have sought to further examine why some entrepreneurial ventures are more successful than others. the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) has gained the attention of researchers and practitioners alike. Practitioners have realized that employees can no longer be perceived as biological machines that are capable of leaving their feelings, norms, and attitudes at home when they go to work. Researchers are embracing the concept of emotional intelligence because of its relationship with efficiency, productivity, sales, revenues, quality of service, customer loyalty, employee recruitment and retention, employee commitment, employee health and satisfaction, and morale. While there is considerable evidence documenting the effects of emotional intelligence on leadership performance, job performance in large firms, and educational performance, very little research has examined how emotional intelligence affects entrepreneurial performance and the variables that account for this relationship. Individuals in entrepreneurial occupations face business situations that necessitate unique skills and abilities in social interactions. Emotional intelligence has implications for entrepreneurial situations and social interactions such as negotiation, obtaining and organizing resources, identifying and exploiting opportunities, managing stress, obtaining and maintaining customers, and providing leadership. the primary purpose of this study is to investigate emotional intelligence in the context of entrepreneurship. in addition, the study will shed light on the mediating effects of individual competencies, organizational tasks, and the environmental culture and climate. the results of the study provide insights for emotional intelligence researchers, entrepreneurship researchers, individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations, academic institutions, as well as government and financial entities that provide resources to new ventures.
An Examination of the Similarities and Differences Between Transformational and Authentic Leadership and Their Relationship to Followers' Outcomes
To date there is no comprehensive understanding of what leadership is, nor is there an agreement among different theorists on what a good or effective leader should be. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the theoretical and empirical similarities and differences of two styles of leadership – transformational and authentic leadership. Follower outcomes, as well as, the effects of trust and psychological capital within these paradigms are of particular interest. Although theoretical differences are proposed for the leadership style, the extent of overlap suggests the need to more closely examine each theory. Pilot studies were created to validate original scenarios created for the study as well as to examine the validity and reliability of new measurement instruments. The dissertation is designed to determine whether the relationships between authentic leadership and a variety of follower outcomes including performance, affective commitment, satisfaction, trust, and organizational citizenship behavior are similar to those between transformational leadership and these outcomes. In addition, variables more unique to authentic leadership research including psychological capital and follower well-being were examined within both paradigms to determine whether their relationships are similar to each type of leadership style. An experimental study using Qualtrics was used to collect the data with the expectation that there would be significant differences in the two styles of leadership such that each explains unique variance in follower behavior. The results of this dissertation support the lack of perceptual difference between the two theories of leadership. The results of this experiment do not come completely unexpected because of the ethical overlap between the two styles of leadership. Although subjects in the experiment could differentiate authentic leadership from transformational leadership based on the manipulations, authentic leadership effects were not significantly different when compared to transformational leadership effects. As a result, analyses in my research do not support previous theoretical development of authentic leadership as a separate theory from transformational leadership. Consequently, lack of support for my hypotheses actually provides valuable information to the study of leadership and calls into question the continued pursuit of research on authentic leadership. Although this dissertation was constructed to investigate the differences between authentic leadership and transformational leadership relative to follower outcomes, results found for gender differences may highlight an additional component to these leadership paradigms not previously considered.
Examining Curvilinearity and Moderation in the Relationship between the Degree of Relatedness of Individual Diversification Actions and Firm Performance
Corporate diversification continues to be an important phenomenon in the modern business world. More than thirty years of research on diversification suggests that the degree of relatedness among a firm's business units is a factor that can affect firm performance, but the true effect of diversification relatedness on firm performance is still inconclusive. The purpose of this dissertation is to shed more light on this inconclusive association. However, attention is focused on the performance implications of individual diversification actions (e.g., acquisitions and joint ventures) rather than on the overall performance of firms with different levels of diversification. A non-experimental, longitudinal analysis of secondary data was conducted on over 450 unique acquisitions and on more than 210 joint ventures. Results suggest that even when individual diversification actions rather than entire business portfolios are examined, an inverted curvilinear association between diversification relatedness and performance is likely to emerge. This pattern is observed in both acquisitions and joint ventures. However, the association between diversification relatedness and performance in acquisitions is moderated by the level of industry adversity, though factors such as corporate coherence and heterogeneous experience do not moderate the association between diversification relatedness and performance. This study augments the body of knowledge on diversification and adds refinement to the traditional curvilinear finding regarding relatedness. By studying acquisitions and joint ventures independently, the results reveal differences in both slope and inflection points that suggest the relative impact of relatedness may vary depending on the mode of diversification.
High Risk Occupations: Employee Stress and Behavior Under Crisis
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationships between stress and outcomes including organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), job satisfaction, and burnout in high-risk occupations. Moreover, how personality, emotions, coping, and leadership influence this relationship is investigated. Data were collected from 379 officers in 9 police organizations located in the Southern and Southwest United States. The primary research question addressed within this dissertation is: What is the relationship between stress and behavioral and affective outcomes in high-risk occupations as governed by coping, leadership, and crisis? The majority of the hypothesized relationships were supported, and inconsistencies center on methodological and theoretical factors. Findings indicate that occupational stressors negatively influence individuals in high-risk occupations. Moreover, crisis events exacerbate these influences. The use of adaptive coping strategies is most effective under conditions of low stress, but less so under highly stressful circumstances. Similarly, transformational leader behaviors most effectively influence how individuals in high-risk occupations are affected by lower, but not higher levels of stress. Profiles of personality characteristics and levels of emotional dissonance also influence the chosen coping strategies of those working in high-risk occupations. Prescriptively, it is important to understand the influences among the variables assessed in this study, because negative outcomes in high-risk occupations are potentially more harmful to workers and more costly to organizations. Thus, this dissertation answers the research question, but much work in this area remains to be done.
Optimal design of Dutch auctions with discrete bid levels.
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The theory of auction has become an active research area spanning multiple disciplines such as economics, finance, marketing and management science. But a close examination of it reveals that most of the existing studies deal with ascending (i.e., English) auctions in which it is assumed that the bid increments are continuous. There is a clear lack of research on optimal descending (i.e., Dutch) auction design with discrete bid levels. This dissertation aims to fill this void by considering single-unit, open-bid, first price Dutch auctions in which the bid levels are restricted to a finite set of values, the number of bidders may be certain or uncertain, and a secret reserve price may be present or absent. These types of auctions are most attractive for selling products that are perishable (e.g., flowers) or whose value decreases with time (e.g., air flight seats and concert tickets) (Carare and Rothkopf, 2005). I began by conducting a comprehensive survey of the current literature to identify the key dimensions of an auction model. I then zeroed in on the particular combination of parameters that characterize the Dutch auctions of interest. As a significant departure from the traditional methods employed by applied economists and game theorists, a novel approach is taken by formulating the auctioning problem as a constrained mathematical program and applying standard nonlinear optimization techniques to solve it. In each of the basic Dutch auction model and its two extensions, interesting properties possessed by the optimal bid levels and the auctioneer's maximum expected revenue are uncovered. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the major propositions where appropriate. The superiority of the optimal strategy recommended in this study over two commonly-used heuristic procedures for setting bid levels is also demonstrated both theoretically and empirically. Finally, economic as well as managerial implications of the findings reported in this dissertation research are discussed.
A Study of Effective Leadership in the Chinese Context
Leadership has attracted a significant amount of scholarly attention in the past few decades. However, most research and theory contributions are to a great extent limited to accounting for leadership practices in the West (Littrell, 2002). This study is designed to develop an effective leadership model that works in the Chinese context. Paternalistic leadership, a dominant leadership style in an Eastern business environment, is compared with transformational leadership, a dominant leadership style in a Western business environment. The notion of transformational leadership was developed under the tutelage of Bernard Bass (1998). Transformational leadership is found to be compatible with collectivistic values (Walumbwa & Lwwler, 2003) and is believed to be appealing and generalizable to Chinese leadership situations (Chen & Farh, 1999). Other researchers have found that within Chinese organizations, leader behaviors are quite distinct from transformational leadership, referring to this leader style as paternalistic leadership (Redding, 1990; Cheng, 1995). The questions are asked, “Transformational or paternalistic leadership, which one is more effective in Chinese organizations? Is one type of leadership superior to the other one in the Chinese culture?” To answer these questions, a model is proposed to clarify the mediating effects of trust and harmony on the relationship between leadership style and its effectiveness, and to interpret the moderating effects of generation on the relationships between both paternalistic and transformational leadership with trust and harmony. Most theories of leadership in organizational behavior originated in the United States and Western Europe and are hypothesized to be universally applicable to non-Western contexts. Departing from this tradition, the current study proposes a Chinese culture-specific leadership theory, built on traditional Confucianism. The principle aim is to examine and articulate a culturally informed and warranted ground for a leadership model in the Chinese context. The results of the study provide a new perspective on leadership in the Chinese context by focusing on three dimensions of paternalistic leadership (authoritative, benevolent, and moral leadership) that are ignored in the Western leadership literature. The results also suggest that trust in the leader and harmonious relationships in an organization are key mechanisms for explaining effective leadership in Chinese organizations regardless of whether paternalistic or transformational leadership is used. What’s more, as the younger generation is becoming the dominant workforce, a successful leader in China should use Western practices and integrate them to fit in Chinese organizations in a way that also acknowledges Chinese traditions.