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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: College of Business
 Degree Level: Doctoral
Civility Matters
While the proliferation of literature on the subject of growing incivility in society demonstrates the increasing importance given to civility by corporate America, there has been little academic investigation of the concept. The limited number of academic studies on civility reveals immense negative consequences for uncivil behavior. One question for marketers of businesses is whether lack of civility among front-end personnel can negatively influence sales. This dissertation is an attempt to fill this research gap by exploring responses to uncivil behavior under the theoretical framework of attribution theory. Using the CDSII scale based on attribution theory, experimental research design was used with current civil and uncivil behavior by the store employees and past experiences (positive, negative, and no-experience) with the store as stimulus. The consumers' perception of civility, attributions and behavioral intentions were measured and used as dependent variables. The results of the experiment showed that when a customer discerns employee behavior to be uncivil, the customer's perception of the level of the ability of the employee to control his own behavior decreases. The results of the study enhance the knowledge of two important consumer behaviors, namely complaining and switching behaviors by empirically studying their antecedents in a particular market interaction context. The results imply that it is important to eliminate or minimize any experience that the customer may construe as negative at a store. If practitioners can work towards eliminating or decreasing certain attributions of consumers, they can reduce the switching behaviors and thus impact customer retention rates and future sales. Though this study contributes to marketing theory and provides vital insights to practitioners, this study is but a starting point for further examination of the role of civility in consumer behavior and decision making. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68057/
Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Safety: An Application of Ethics Theory
Safety is an important aspect of ethical, socially responsible logistics. Current U.S. motor carrier (MC) safety research topical coverage includes the effects of individual and environmental influences, carrier safety management, and regulatory compliance on carrier safety and driver fatigue/safety performance. Interestingly, little research on the subject of truck drivers' safety attitudes and behaviors exists and the underlying decision-making processes that guide drivers' safety-related behaviors have received little attention. Furthermore, researchers have not provided an integrated framework that explains individual, organizational, and regulatory factors' impact on drivers' safety decision-making and performance. Truck drivers' safety judgments, decisions, and actions must adhere to societal safety norms. To that end, ethical decision-making theory that draws from the deontological and teleological traditions in moral philosophy provides a theoretical foundation and integrated framework necessary to better understand drivers' safety decision-making processes. The current research sought to determine how drivers rely on safety norms and perceived consequences in forming safety judgments and behavioral intentions. Furthermore, the study was designed to explore how various factors (i.e., individual, organizational, and regulatory) influence drivers' safety decision-making processes. Specifically, the study sought to answer the broad question, "How do commercial motor vehicle drivers make safety-related decisions, and how do individual, organizational, and regulatory factors influence drivers' safety decision-making processes?" An experimental two-factor design (2×2) was used to manipulate safety norms (i.e., "deontologically unsafe situation" and "deontologically safe situation") and consequences (i.e., "positive consequences" and "negative consequences"). Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that drivers primarily rely on deontological evaluations in forming safety judgments. Furthermore, drivers primarily relied on safety judgments when forming behavioral intentions. Drivers' attitudes toward unsafe actions and the effectiveness of driver-related safety regulations were also influential to drivers' judgments and intentions, respectively. The empirical findings demonstrate to managers that communication and education of safety norms may be highly effective to improve safety in unique occupational contexts where employees are given high levels of responsibility with little physical supervision, and where judgment errors can have devastating consequences for multiple stakeholders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11048/
Design for Social Presence and Exploring Its Mediating Effect in Mobile Data Communication Services
The mobility, flexibility, convenience, and ubiquity of mobile data services (MDS) have contributed to their enormous growth and popularity with users. MDS allow users to communicate through mobile texting (mTexting), mobile Instant Messaging (mIM), multimedia messaging services (MMS), and email. A unique feature of MDS that enhances its popularity among its users is the awareness capability, which is revolutionizing the way MDS is being used to communicate today. It allows potential communication partners to socialize through these technologies. This dissertation explored the relationship between user experience, perceived richness, perceived social presence and satisfaction with MDS. A research model for examining the antecedent conditions that influence social presence, richness, social interaction and satisfaction with MDS was developed. Partial least square analysis showed that user experience influenced both social presence and richness. Also supported was the relationship between richness, social presence and satisfaction with MDS. Social presence mediated the relationship between user experience and richness. However, only one dimension of interactivity influenced social presence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68026/
Exploring Critical Factors in Predicting Post-Adoptive Use of Facebook
Social networking applications (SNAs) have experienced a boom in popularity in recent years. Sites like Facebook and MySpace continuously draw new users, and are successful in organizing groups of users around topics of common interest. Among SNAs, Facebook has demonstrably outgrown its rivals growing an estimated 157 percent from 2008 to 2009. Facebook is now estimated to be the fourth largest Internet site in the world, trailing only Google, Microsoft and Yahoo (Schonfeld 2009). This dissertation posits and tests a theoretical model composed of key factors that contribute to post-adoptive use of social networking applications and the relationship of those factors to one another. This study also identifies and clarifies new constructs that were not previously used to measure usage, and further refines the constructs that were previously used so that they better fit social networking applications. The results of this dissertation show that the critical factors of social capital, hedonic enjoyment, perceived usefulness, social influence, satisfaction and attitude have a positive influence on a post-adoptive user's intention to continue using Facebook. The results of this study yielded a structural model for predicting the post-adoptive use of Facebook. This work also developed an instrument for measuring constructs relevant to social networking applications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68007/
Factors Influencing Post-adoptive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Utilization
Organizations expend a great deal of time, effort and money on the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. They are considered the price of entry for large organizations to do business. Yet the success rate of ERP systems is poor. IS literature suggests that one possible reason for this is the underutilization of these systems. Existing ERP literature is replete with research to improve ERP project implementation success; however, notably absent from these streams is the research that identifies how ERP systems are utilized by individuals or organizations. This dissertation posits that increased ERP utilization can result from increased software and business process understanding gained from both formal training and experiential interventions. New dimensions of system utilization (required vs. optional) are proposed. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how these interventions impact ERP utilization. The results of this dissertation show that while software-training interventions are important to understanding, it is the business process training interventions that seem to provide the greater effect on understanding. This increased understanding positively affects utilization scenarios where a mixture (required vs. optional) of software features and business process tasks can be leveraged by end-users. The improved understanding of post-adoptive ERP utilization gained from this study benefits both researchers and practitioners. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84247/
The impact of gender effects on consumers' perceptions of brand equity: A cross-cultural investigation.
Despite a long-standing tradition to view gender as a unitary theoretical construct, there is an increasing approbation afforded to gender identity as a multifarious construct. Over and above physiological characteristics, gender identity is a psychological and a social construct. More than simply a biological classification, both gender and gender identity have been explored as portentous moderators of consumers' cognitive and emotive states, brand attributions and shopping behaviors. How might gender differences be manifested in building and sustaining brand relationships? This is the seminal question addressed in the present research. The overarching objective of this research is to address how the broadened conceptualization of gender impacts customer-based brand equity across U.S. and Chinese consumers. The focal populations of interest are related to markedly different levels of brand penetration in each a post-developed and transitional market setting. Furthermore, it provides a platform for investigating how gender identities may differ across two of the largest consumer buying groups in the global marketplace. Toward this goal, this research explores the multidimensionality of gender as a construct, and then empirically investigates how an extended view of gender may or may not impact consumer-based brand equity. Based on an integration of extant theories in gender identity and self-congruity, this study proposes a research framework to investigate the relationship among gender identity, brand connections, and consumer-based brand equity. An online survey was conducted to collect consumer panel data in the U.S. and China respectively. Results from regression analysis and path analysis suggest that physiological gender alone cannot adequately explain consumers' brand perceptions. The empirical analysis offers further support for including three unique gender related constructs (physiological gender, psychological gender traits, and gender role attitudes) to understand gender-related consumer behavior. The results also indicate that brand connections serve as important intermediate steps to understand the relationship between gender identity and consumer-based brand equity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9007/
Investigating the relationship between the business performance management framework and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award framework.
The business performance management (BPM) framework helps an organization continuously adjust and successfully execute its strategies. BPM helps increase flexibility by providing managers with an early alert about changes and, as a result, allows faster response to such changes. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) framework provides a basis for self-assessment and a systems perspective for managing an organization's key processes for achieving business results. The MBNQA framework is a more comprehensive framework and encapsulates the underlying constructs in the BPM framework. The objectives of this dissertation are fourfold: (1) to validate the underlying relationships presented in the 2008 MBNQA framework, (2) to explore the MBNQA framework at the dimension level, and develop and test constructs measured at that level in a causal model, (3) to validate and create a common general framework for the business performance model by integrating the practitioner literature with basic theory including existing MBNQA theory, and (4) to integrate the BPM framework and the MBNQA framework into a new framework (BPM-MBNQA framework) that can guide organizations in their journey toward achieving and sustaining competitive and strategic advantages. The purpose of this study is to achieve these objectives by means of a combination of methodologies including literature reviews, expert opinions, interviews, presentation feedbacks, content analysis, and latent semantic analysis. An initial BPM framework was developed based on the reviews of literature and expert opinions. There is a paucity of academic research on business performance management. Therefore, this study reviewed the practitioner literature on BPM and from the numerous organization-specific BPM models developed a generic, conceptual BPM framework. With the intent of obtaining valuable feedback, this initial BPM framework was presented to Baldrige Award recipients (BARs) and selected academicians from across the United States who participated in the Fall Summit 2007 held at Caterpillar Financial Headquarter in Nashville, TN on October 1 and 2, 2007. Incorporating the feedback from that group allowed refining and improving the proposed BPM framework. This study developed a variant of the traditional latent semantic analysis (LSA) called causal latent semantic analysis (cLSA) that enables us to test causal models using textual data. This method was used to validate the 2008 MBNQA framework based on article abstracts on the Baldrige Award and program published in both practitioner and academic journals from 1987 to 2009. The cLSA was also used to validate the BPM framework using the full body text data from all articles published in the practitioner journal entitled the Business Performance Management Magazine since its inception in 2003. The results provide the first cLSA study of these frameworks. This is also the first study to examine all the causal relationships within the MBNQA and BPM frameworks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11034/
Links among perceived service quality, patient satisfaction and behavioral intentions in the urgent care industry: Empirical evidence from college students.
Patient perceptions of health care quality are critical to a health care service provider's long-term success because of the significant influence perceptions have on customer satisfaction and consequently organization financial performance. Patient satisfaction affects not only the outcome of the health care process such as patient compliance with physician advice and treatment, but also patient retention and favorable word-of-mouth. Accordingly, it is a critical strategy for health care organizations to provide quality service and address patient satisfaction. The urgent care (UC) industry is an integral part of the health care system in the United States that has been experiencing a rapid growth. UC provides a wide range of medical services for a large group of patients and now serves an increasing population. UC is becoming popular because of the convenient locations, extended hours, walk-in policy, short waiting times, and accessibility. A closer examination of the current health care research, however, indicates that there is a paucity of research on urgent care providers. Confronted with the emergence of the urgent care industry and the increasing demand for urgent care, it is necessary to understand how patients perceive urgent care providers and what influences patient satisfaction and retention. This dissertation addresses four areas relevant to the above mentioned issues: (1) development of an instrument to measure perceived service quality in the urgent care industry; (2) identification of the determinants of patient satisfaction and behavioral intentions; (3) empirical examination of the relationships among perceived service quality, patient satisfaction and behavioral intentions; and (4) comparison of the perceived service quality across several primary urgent care providers, such as urgent care centers, hospital emergency departments, and primary care physicians' offices. To validate this new instrument and examine the hypothesized relationships proposed in this study, an electronic web based survey was designed and administered to college students. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were employed to assess the reliability and validity of the developed instrument. The contextualized relationships were evaluated using structural equation modeling. The results of this research could potentially contribute to urgent care management and quality improvement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11014/