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.
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 ...
This study evaluated the changes which occur in manufacturing organizations in the plastic molding industry which implement statistical process control (SPC). The study evaluated changes in product quality, consistency, cost, changes in employee attitudes, and changes in the organization structure which occur after the implementation of SPC. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 consisted of an exploratory field study of a single manufacturing company. Phase 2 consisted of a field survey of three manufacturing companies in the same industry. An unexpected opportunity to evaluate the differences in effects of successful and unsuccessful SPC implementations occurred during the field survey. One plant, whose management assessed their SPC program as being unsuccessful, reported no economic or quality benefits from SPC. Neither did this plant report any changes in the attitudes or behavior of their employees. Neither of these findings was surprising since this plant was the only one of the four study plants which implemented SPC as a quality control program with no participation from the production department. The three plants whose management assessed their SPC programs as being successful reported reduced product variation and a decrease in the proportion of defective product produced as a result of SPC. No consistent evidence was found concerning a reduction in the material required per product resulting from SPC. No consistent evidence was found linking changes in employee attitudes and behavior to the implementation of SPC. The field study found a significant change in the employees1 attitudes toward management but no change in their attitudes toward the company. The field survey found no evidence of change in either dimension. Evidence was found for a change to a more organic structure during SPC training and to a more mechanistic structure during SPC implementation. The final form of the organization was more organic than ...
This dissertation addresses the influence of "positivism" in accounting research. Accounting research has been overwhelmed by "positivism" to the extent that the "scientific method" has become sacrosanct. The dysfunctional consequences include the extreme emphasis placed on methodology. Researchers believe that the methods applied, rather than the orientations of the human researcher, generate knowledge. This belief stems from an extreme objectivist ontological orientation. A second consequence of the "positivistic" influence is a change in direction of intellectual inquiries. Obsession with measurement and quantification has all but eliminated concern for values. Specifically this dissertation asserts that the "scientific method" has been misapplied and misunderstood. The misapplication is that a method developed in the natural sciences has been blindly accepted and endorsed in the social sciences. It has been misunderstood in the sense that the abstract Cartesian-Newtonian view of reality has been mistaken for reality itself. The ontological assumptions inherent in this view have become integrated in the Western mind. The axiomatic nature of these assumptions have been ignored. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to project a point concerning research and knowledge. Hence, there are no "research findings" in the conventional sense.
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.
Statistical quality control (SQC) is one technique companies are using in the development of a Total Quality Management (TQM) culture. Shewhart control charts, a widely used SQC tool, rely on an underlying normal distribution of the data. Often data are skewed. The inverse Gaussian distribution is a probability distribution that is wellsuited to handling skewed data. This analysis develops models and a set of tools usable by practitioners for the constrained economic statistical design of control charts for inverse Gaussian distribution process centrality and process dispersion. The use of this methodology is illustrated by the design of an x-bar chart and a V chart for an inverse Gaussian distributed process.
The objectives of the thesis research were twofold. One objective was to conduct an exploratory investigation of the underlying response mechanism to an auditor's request for confirmation of accounts receivable. The second objective was to investigate the validity of confirmation evidence. Validity was defined in terms of detection of errors.
The psychological characteristics of programmers are believed to be important determinants of programming productivity. However, little evidence is available to support this contention. This investigation, motivated by the lack of such evidence, was concerned with determining the influence of the programmer's cognitive complexity (differentiation and integration) and experience on comprehending and modifying programs of different levels of complexity. Data were collected from ninty-three graduate and undergraduate students in a classroom experimental setting. In the first phase of the experiment, a background questionnaire was administered in order to collect experience and other demographic information. Also, a domain-specific Role Construct Repertory (REP) Test was administered to collect cognitive complexity information. In the second phase, the subjects were randomly assigned to either the program comprehension group or to the program modification group. Both groups used two COBOL programs of differing levels of complexity to do comprehension and modification exercises. Three sets of hypotheses were tested. The first set of hypotheses was designed to evaluate the direction and strength of the relationship between cognitive complexity and program comprehension and modification. The second set of hypotheses was designed to evaluate the combined influence of cognitive complexity and program complexity on the comprehension and modification of the programs. The third set of hypotheses was designed to evaluate the moderating effect of experience on the relationship of cognitive complexity to program comprehension and modification. Cognitive integration was found to have a significant and positive nonlinear relationship only with the relatively complex program modification scores. The subjects who were ranked high in cognitive integration performed better than those ranked low in modifying the relatively complex program; but they performed the same in modifying the relatively simple program. Cognitive differentiation was found to have no significant relationship with either comprehension scores or modification scores. Experience of the subjects did ...
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.
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.
SFAS No. 52, Foreign Currency Translation, was issued in December, 1981, replacing SFAS No. 8, Accounting For the Translation of Foreign Currency Transactions and Foreign Currency Financial Statements. SFAS No. 52 has shifted the impact of translation gains and losses from the income statement to the balance sheet. It was expected that SFAS No. 52 would eliminate the incentive for multinationals to engage in various hedging activities to reduce the effect of the translation process in reported earnings. It was also expected that multinationals would change their foreign exchange risk management practices. The major purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of SFAS No. 52 on foreign exchange risk management practices of U.S. based multinationals.
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 ...
The purpose of this research was to determine if personality type and system response time have any effect on state anxiety and user response time. The sample for this study consisted of senior and graduate level college students who possessed basic know 1 edge of a text editor. Each test subject was administered the Jenkins Activity Survey to determine scores for Type A versus Type B, speed and impatience, involvement, and competitiveness. The test subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups (good, variable, and poor system response time). They were required to edit a text file which contained multiple errors. The test subjects were provided hard copies of the file with errors (errors highlighted) and the file as should appear without the errors. The test situation for each test subject was identical, except for changes in system response time. The A-state scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered to the test subjects immediately prior to the edit task in order to determine pre-task state anxiety levels. The A-state scale of the STAI was again administered immediately after the edit task in order to determine post-task state anxiety levels. Analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, regression, and two sample t-tests were used to analyze the data collected. All hypotheses were tested at the alpha .05 level. The most significant finding of this study was the positive relationship between state anxiety and system response time. It was originally predicted that the Type A personality would experience a greater increase in state anxiety than the Type B personality. However, that was not found to be true. Both Type A and Type B individuals experience an increase in state anxiety during periods of poor or variable system response time. This study also confirms prior research regarding user and system ...
The problem with which this research is dealing is the lack of any explanatory model which explains both the perception and the adoption of new products. One objective of this study is to advance a new conceptual framework concerning both the perception and the adoption of new products. The second objective of this study is to evaluate this new framework theoretically and empirically. Bunge's evaluative criteria are used to evaluate the new model theoretically while Hunter, Schmidt, and Jackson's meta-analysis technique is used to evaluate the model empirically. An extensive review of literature pertaining to the definition of innovation, the adoption process, and innovativeness is included in the second chapter. Chapter three covers research plan and methods. The new model and its assumptions are presented in chapter four. The results of both theoretical and empirical investigations of the new model are reported in chapter five. Finally, chapter six includes a discussion of the main findings and provides some suggestions for future research. An interpretive and postulational model is introduced in this study. The model is built on three main assumptions and contains thirty-one different theoretical constructs. Those constructs are bounded together by forty-six theoretical propositions. Those propositions are the postulates or the axioms which state the nature of the interrelationships among all constructs included in the model.
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 ...
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 ...
The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that of determining the predictors, correlates, and consequences of job satisfaction in a university library. A managerial model was constructed for the purpose of providing an overall framework of analysis. It was hypothesized, in the managerial model, that organizational effectiveness in any organization is linked closely to the concepts of job satisfaction and employee satisfactoriness. These two concepts, in turn, are closely related to managerial behavior.
The situational self-image, which recognizes the affect of situational influences, particularly social roles, was the specific topic of investigation of this study. It has generally been hypothesized in marketing literature that consumers will purchase the brand with the image most congruent with the consumers' self-image. Symbolic Interactionism, a field of study in sociology, provides the theoretical foundations for the construct situational self-image. Realization of the relationship between the situational self-consciousness and involvement was also investigated.
Social exclusion has garnered much attention from researchers across the social sciences, especially among social psychologists. However, given the fact that social relationships and consumption are two of the central activities in daily life, there is surprisingly little research on the impact of social connection threats within the realm of consumer behavior. This study examines the effect of social exclusion on proenvironmental behavior and green consumption. More precisely, the objectives of this study are threefold. The first objective is to examine whether the findings in social psychology literature on how excluded individuals respond to exclusion when they are exposed to proenvironmental consumption behavior. The second objective of this research is to find the underlying mechanism and to rule out some of the possible explanations (e.g., mood) for this effect. The final objective of this study is to establish some of the boundary conditions (individual differences and situational factors) for the proposed effect. The hypotheses of this study were developed based on two main theoretical bases borrowed from social psychology literature: empathy-altruism hypothesis (Batson 1991) and social reconnection hypothesis (Maner et al. 2007). Overall, it was proposed that while social exclusion decreases individuals’ inclination to engage in proenvironmental activities, socially excluded people are motivated to use green consumption behaviors to establish new social bonds with others. These propositions were tested and supported across four experiments. Across these experiments, the findings demonstrated that social exclusion causes people to express lower tendency to engage in proenvironmental behaviors. The findings also consistently suggest that mood does not explain why social rejection leads to negative environmental outcomes. Additionally, social exclusion appears to cause a temporary absence of empathic concern toward others, which leads to less green behavior with altruistic motivation. Further, the role of emotional empathy as a boundary condition was tested in this study ...
The primary purpose of the study was to investigate whether takeover markets are allocationally efficient using Tobin's q as the variable which summarizes the investment opportunities of firms. Chapter I presented the purposes, hypotheses, methodology, and limitations of the study. The two hypotheses proposed were as follows: Acquiring firms' q should be significantly higher than that of control firms, on average, and target firms' q should be significantly lower than that of control firms, on average. Chapter II presented the review of literature on takeovers and theory of investments. Chapter III presented the research design adopted to test the above hypotheses. The methodology to calculate q-values and methods to reduce the bias which may result from choice-based sampling were also given. A paired comparison t-test was employed to test the hypotheses. Sample firms were selected from the COMPUSTAT RESEARCH and COMPUSTAT INDUSTRIAL tape.
This study provides information about convertible preferreds generally and, in particular, those used in financing mergers during the period 1968-1984. Specifically, the following topics are examined: (1) traditional corporate motives for the use of convertible preferreds as a financing means in mergers and acquisitions, (2) annual data about convertible preferreds' issuance by volume and purpose for the period 1968-1984, (3) average annual returns of merger-related convertible preferreds and average annual returns of common stock of the same companies for the period 1968-1980, (4) performance of convertible preferreds in relation to the market in general, and (5) the future of convertible preferreds as a financing instrument in merger activity.
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