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Absorptive Capacity: An Empirical Examination of the Phenomenon and Relationships with Firm Capabilities

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Daspit, Josh
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Emotional Business: the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Entrepreneurial Success

Description: 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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: McLaughlin, Erin B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Effective Leadership in the Chinese Context

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Lau, Wai Kwan
Partner: UNT Libraries