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(2014) Shaffakat, SabaThesisDecision makers are confronted by a range of emotions, ambiguities and uncertainties in attempting to understand and make sense of change. This exploratory study aims to analyse strategic decision-making, focusing on the meanings attributed by managers during organizational change, in complex environments. The sensemaking literature has been applied because of its association with decision-making and in order to assess how sensemaking in decision-making could be examined. Organizational agents make sense through the mental maps, or schemata that they draw on when dealing with ambiguity. Framed within social constructivist paradigm, this research employs qualitative research design to explore the experiences of managers when making decisions. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with senior managers in two complex contexts; a university in Australia and a construction company in India. After raw data were captured, documents were analysed using categorical aggregation to establish themes or patterns. The decision makersâ responses revealed four themes that helped them to prepare the organization for potential changes. The common themes that emerged from both the cases were rational approaches to decision-making, politics and processes and organizational context. Recognizing the complexity of environments, this research suggests recommendations that may assist the change management community to improve decision making and to share traits, tools, and practices of effective change leaders.
(2014) Atkinson, ShanieThesisPrior research suggests that the majority of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fail to deliver the value that motivated the transaction. In many M&A transactions that are motivated by synergy value a substantial amount of the potential value is lost during the post-acquisition integration phase. This paper reports the findings from in-depth fieldwork investigating how the post-acquisition integration process unfolds over time. Data was collected from semi-structured individual and focus interviews with 26 post-acquisition integration specialists; drawing on more than 200 merger integration experiences. The study identified four common patterns over time in post-acquisition integration outcomes ranging from highly successful over performance to downward spiralling under performance. Causal loop diagrams were used to structure and analyse the interview data to identify the causal relationships responsible for successful and unsuccessful post-acquisition integrations. The result was an integrated causal loop diagram of the feedback processes driving the four common dynamic patterns in outcome measures. The study identifies new constructs, Synergy fatigue and Creep, that play an important role in post-acquisition integration. The findings show that on-going managerial pressure to generate new synergies or accelerate synergy realisation can result in Synergy fatigue. This undermines commitment and engagement, and activates a host of reinforcing feedback processes that cause deterioration in work effort and Creep, the reversal of previously realised synergies. The effect is to damage revenue and cost synergy initiatives and negatively impact performance of the ongoing business.
(2007) Li, YiqiongThesisThis thesis examines and explains multinational employers' experiences of localized shortages of skilled process workers in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), China. It explains three challenges facing SIP employers in accessing sufficient skilled process workers and their responses within HRM to such challenges. These three challenges are employers' experiences with vocational education and training (VET) deficiencies in students' skill development, employers' experiences of poaching of skilled process workers by other companies, and employers' experiences of provision of workplace training for skilled process workers in their own companies. In response to these challenges, SIP employers have adopted various HRM measures that include differing combination of recruitment and selection, employee retention, training and development, and employment relations management. These policies and practices represent the different ways that SIP employers have attempted to meet the challenges of localized skill shortages in the context of their own business strategies.
(2016) Rodrigues, JaciraThesisThe BRIC cluster, namely, Brazil, Russia, India and China, has been described as the fastest growing emerging economies in recent times. Their outstanding economic growth has led them to be included in the top ten wealth generating countries in the world. Together, they account for 40% of the total world population, one quarter of the planet’s land and 25% of gross domestic product (GDP) (Global Sherpa, 2016). Since being grouped as the BRIC cluster in 2001, their relationship has evolved, economic growth escalated and political ties strengthened. Given the differences, their performance as an economic cluster has been exceptional, and their political standing in the international arena, gained through their inter-country co-operation, quite unpredictable. This study investigates the achievements of Brazil, Russia, India and China on economic, social and human capital development indicators. Specifically, the aims are to analyse the evolution of the BRIC cluster, investigate their economic performance, explore their social and human capital stages of development, identify gaps and gauge the challenges encountered by each of these countries for further development. The study involves an extensive review of the literature, materials sourced from the member countries, and strategic reports from high level national, regional, and international organizations as components of secondary data collection. Analysis of the knowledge and data gathered is based on sub-sets of key indicators, including total GPD evolution, GDP rates of growth, GDP per capital, human development performance (Human Development Index) and poverty rates. BRIC’s performance on economic indicators has been deservedly celebrated, albeit to varying degrees. In contrast, performance on the social indicators has been more modest, with indications of poverty, inequality and poor management in areas of human development, although there are some signs of increasing investment in education where it was lacking. Doubt continues to exist about whether BRIC will be able to sustain its economic growth as a group or as individual countries, in addition to, concomitantly, improving human development levels. Evidence suggests signs of economic slowdown and that unsolved social and human capital development issues may have the potential to constrain future upward trends in these countries. Further studies are required to understand the ongoing internal and external dynamics of the BRIC cluster, emerging economic disruptions and the pace of development required to shift from developing to developed country status.
The relationship between entrepreneurs' individual values, attributions and start-ups' performance in Iran(2019) Jafaralijasbi, FatemehThesisThe present study contributes to entrepreneurship research in developing countries by examining and explaining the relationship between entrepreneurs’ individual values (self-expansive and self-protective values) with start-up performance in Iran. It is argued that self-expansive value orientations lead to more internal attributional orientations which in turn affect the performance of start-ups directly and indirectly. The results of data from 191 entrepreneurs who are running a start-up in Iran show that attributions partially mediate the relationship between individual values and start-up performance. Entrepreneurs with high self-expansive values are more willing to take credit for positive and negative experience and attribute them to internal reasons which in turn facilitate them to perform better. The findings from this research contribute to the knowledge and better understanding of entrepreneurial behaviour in Iran and its relationship with start-up performance.
A review, synthesis, and research agenda for the customer service experience, and an investigation of customer mistreatment dimensions(2019) Wu, YuThesisIn this thesis, two studies are presented focusing on customer service between service employees and customers. In Study 1, 18 years of customer service literature published in key service research outlets since 2000 was reviewed. Specifically, a review and synthesis of key theoretical perspectives and empirical findings were completed for three research areas: (a) affect in customer service, including emotional labor and emotional contagion processes; (b) customer mistreatment; (c) customer service behaviors, including customer orientation and service-oriented citizenship behaviors. The culmination was a critical assessment of the 18 years literature and concluded a discussion of future research agendas and practical implications for service managers. Study 2 was an experimental study focusing on the effect of different facets of customer mistreatment on service employee’s well-being and work behavior. Previous research studies have examined customer mistreatment as a fairly broad and global construct, which does not capture the multidimensionality of customer mistreatment. To extend our understanding about the effects of customer mistreatment, Study 2 examined the effect of two customer mistreatment facets, intensity of customer mistreatment and target of customer mistreatment, on service employees’ feeling of emotional exhaustion and desire for revenge. Video-based methods were used to manipulate intensity and target of customer mistreatment. 220 undergraduates from an Australian university participated the study in exchange for course credits. Data analysis results showed that the relationship between different facets of customer mistreatment and service employee’s feelings of emotional exhaustion and desire for revenge is mediated by service employee’s negative emotions. Besides, when the intensity of customer mistreatment is high, the mediated relationship between customer mistreatment and its consequences on service employee’s feelings of emotional exhaustions and desire for revenge is more salient. When the customer mistreatment is employee-targeted, the mediated relationship between customer mistreatment and its consequences on service employee’s feelings of emotional exhaustions and customer mistreatment is more salient. Finally, theoretical contributions and practical implications were discussed. This thesis adopted positivist approach with journal article-based thesis format.
(2019) Manorot, MarisamarieThesisOnline personalisation offered through the Internet enables retailers to provide customers with contents and services that are tailored based on the customers’ personal information. In general, online personalisation improves the customers’ engagement and buying process, which in turn increases the retailers’ revenue. Paradoxically, although more online personalisation should benefit customers, due to privacy concerns, customers may be hesitant to use online personalisation services. The ‘personalisation-privacy paradox’ has often been studied with the utility maximisation theory. This thesis aims to enrich our understanding on online personalisation in two ways by, first, empirically verifying the assumptions made by the utility maximisation theory and, second, by adding a perspective of trust to the study of online personalisation. To do so, a two-(high vs. low online personalisation) by-two (high vs. low-value calculation) factorial design experiment of an online computer purchase scenario was presented to 232 Australian online consumers. The regression results from the experiment confirmed the following: (1) the value calculation, a core utility maximisation assumption, improves purchase outcomes; (2) the trust propensity moderates the effect of online personalisation on purchase outcomes; and (3) online personalisation improves the consumer’s trust perception towards a retailer. The results of this thesis support the utility maximisation theory and suggest that a retailer should undertake online personalisation as a business strategy to build a long-term relationship with customers.
(2009) Kim, Joseph HyosupThesisRapid advancement in technology and increased trade across national borders led to an international trend towards valuing technology and knowledge-based assets. Consequently, there is a growing recognition that adequate intellectual property protection of all forms - patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets – are necessary in order to sustain a firm’s competitive advantage created by these assets. The importance of protecting intellectual property rights is particularly crucial in cultural industries such as music industry. By examining the link between the operation of multinational recording companies and the institutional environment of copyright in Korea, this thesis attempts to demonstrate the role of MNEs in shaping the institutional environment of the host country. \r\n\r\nThe institutional perspective provides the theoretical foundation for this thesis. The focus of the institutional theorists in International Business so far has been limited to the unidirectional flow of influence in the host country institution and MNE link – MNE as an organisation shaped by host country institution. By examining three aspects of copyright institution of Korea –regulative, industrial and cognitive aspects- we contend that institutional environment is not static, but evolves dynamically over time and the evolution reflects the dual institutional pressure. That is, institutions both affect and are affected by MNEs.
Australian Non-Profit Organisations’ Advocacy Strategies, Policies and Practices regarding Labour Standards in Supply Chains(2017) George, MariaThesisThis study examines advocacy approaches and strategies used by Australian non-profit organisations (NPOs) to address labour rights in supply chains. It investigates how internal and external factors contribute to short- and medium-term output, leading to changes in policy and practice. Drawing on social movement theory, stakeholder theory, resource dependence and neo-institutionalism, this thesis investigates the shared responsibility approach Australian NPOs advocate and the challenges they face. It highlights the important role stakeholders and networks play in influencing policy. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is used to analyse these NPOs’ strategies, using data collected from websites, internal documents and interviews. QCA is also employed as an exploratory tool to identify the necessary conditions and causal pathways leading to anticipated changes and outcomes. This thesis contributes to the debates and growing literature related to civil society and its approaches, including labour rights regulation in supply chains in the present dynamic global arena. It suggests that internal features, such as professionalism, sufficient funding, consistency and prioritising advocated issues, are at the heart of successful campaigns. Moreover, external conditions are also important. These include belonging to a coalition, using collaborative strategies and providing legislative support to improve labour standards in supply chains.
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