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(2021) Li, YijingThesisReward-based crowdfunding is rapidly shaping up to be a revolutionary avenue for companies, especially start-ups, to broadcast their businesses and solicit capital through digital platforms. The platformized micro-investment mechanism in crowdfunding creates an unprecedented digital market that ensures a more fluid and granular distribution of financial resources. The Information Systems (IS) community has endeavored to shed light on this growing market by studying the decisive factors that motivate funders’ contributions and lead to crowdfunding success. Yet, despite its risky nature, no study thus far systematically investigates how risk perceptions emerge and impact funders’ investment behavior in reward-based crowdfunding and what companies can do to address funders’ risk concerns. To bridge these gaps, this thesis synthesizes contemporary knowledge on the contextual characteristics of crowdfunding and risks around diverse transactional environments to arrive at a typology of the risks encountered by funders when participating in reward-based crowdfunding. Drawing on the indispensable link between trust and risk, a holistic research model is constructed to: (1) postulate the impact of funders’ risk perceptions on their willingness to invest using a reward-based crowdfunding platform, (2) discern how different types of crowdfunding risks can be mitigated by enhancing the assessability of fundraiser’s trustworthiness, and (3) explore the optimum trust-building mechanisms that can facilitate funders’ assessments of fundraiser’s trustworthiness. Three experimental studies are conducted to validate the advanced research model empirically. The findings from the three studies yield theoretical insights on crowdfunding risks and mechanisms to diminish funders’ risk perceptions via trust-building. The results also yield actionable design principles that platform providers can adopt to help funders assess risk and improve their financing experience in this emerging market.
(2021) Dias, MalshikaThesisEmerging technologies are radically changing the future of work. From artificial intelligence for customer support to robotics for performing surgery, the change is unprecedented in the history of most organisations. This thesis aims to understand and contribute rich, empirically informed insights into the phenomenon of the future of work in the context of emerging technologies from an organisational history perspective. The thesis comprises three related but standalone studies that discuss organisational trajectories and the implications of emerging technologies in three distinct organisational contexts. To explore this emerging and intrinsic phenomenon in organisations, this work adopts the historical narrativist approach and the qualitative case study method. The first study explores the interplay between tradition and technology at a pre-digital organisation when new technologies are introduced. The second study delves into the strategies and practices of realising historically embodied process knowledge when adopting a robotic process automation technology at a digitally reformed organisation. The third study traces the evolution of a strategic path towards technology and data driven innovation, from the foundation to the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies, at a born-digital organisation. Each of the three studies provides a distinct but complementary understanding on the role of organisational history by contributing to the theories of imprinting, organisational memory and path dependence. Collectively, the thesis studies contribute to our understanding of “how history matters” in the future of work. The thesis discussion contributes to the literature by integrating the implications of surface- and deep-level effects of emerging technologies for the future of work and how they are shaped by the distant, intermediate and immediate histories of organisations.
(2021) Nguyen, Dinh Yen OanhThesisConsumers encounter thousands of scarcity messages daily, yet the effects of scarcity tactics are unclear. This thesis aims to uncover the effects of different types of scarcity tactics from both firm and customer perspectives. Included herein are fifteen studies that employed mixed research designs (i.e., experimental designs, cross-sectional surveys) with a variety of product categories (i.e., clothing, shoes, electronics, food, sustainable products, etc.). Three essays are produced to articulate this work; Essay One focuses on product scarcity and investigates when and why a corporate decision to create an intentional scarcity of products would improve or impair the brands. Essay Two examines how two types of messaging, scarcity based, and social proof based, can drive or diminish consumers’ information sharing in promotional contexts. Essay Three identifies how a personal scarcity concept - feelings of relative deprivation - undermines consumers’ adoption of sustainable products. Collectively, this thesis contributes advances to multiple streams of research including scarcity, branding, information sharing behaviour, and sustainable purchases. It also offers practical guidance for marketers, retailers, and policy makers.
(2021) Burton, KelseyThesisThe enduring prevalence of dark personalities in the workplace has warranted recent research on narcissists, psychopaths, and Machiavellians and their adverse effects on the workplace. However, little effort has been made to investigate the individuals who favor dark personalities, enabling them to flourish within organizations. To better understand “when” and “how” exactly dark personalities are favored, Study 1 used an experimental design to investigate different strategies by which leaders favor narcissists, psychopaths, and Machiavellians. An actor role-played these three dark personality types within teams. Narcissists and psychopaths were favored by leaders through resource allocation, both covertly (i.e., when the decision is confidential) and overtly (i.e., when the decision is not confidential). In contrast, Machiavellians were only favored through overt resource allocation. This study also showed that narcissists were favored through interpersonal influence and promotion recommendations, while psychopaths were favored through task influence. The first study provided insight into the different ways by which leaders favor the three dark personalities and found narcissists, as compared to psychopaths and Machiavellians, to be favored through multiple mediums. Building on the premise that narcissists successfully obtain additional resources and attain favored status through interpersonal influence and promotion recommendations, further research was needed to investigate the motivational factors associated with favoring narcissists. In Study 2 and Study 3, we used a 2x2 experimental design to test a three-way interaction to determine the motivational factors that drive leaders to favor narcissists. Study 2 employed a design in which leaders watched videos of teams containing a narcissist. Study 3 employed a design in which an actor role-played the narcissist within a team. Both experiments supported the hypothesis that high dominant leaders will favor low status, narcissists through resource allocation. Thus, high dominance motivated leaders have a heightened awareness of potential threats to power and strategically choose to favor less threatening narcissists even though such narcissists negatively affect team coordination and performance. Additionally, Studies 2 and 3 supported the hypothesis that low dominant leaders favor high status narcissists through resource allocation. Leaders low in dominance motivation have a greater concern for the overall team well-being and performance while also being less assertive. Therefore, low dominant leaders are more susceptible to a narcissist’s demands and will favor the high status ‘bad apple’ to maintain high team performance. Our studies further expand the research on narcissists in the workplace and provide key insights into the leaders who favor narcissism in a manner that promulgates the prevalence of narcissists throughout organizations.
An investigation into political connections: literature review and empirical tests of the impact and antecedent(2021) Wei, QiaoThesisConnections between business and political entities (“political connections”) have received unprecedented research attention in the last decades. Studies investigate the relationships between political connections and firms’ behavior, strategy, as well as various performance outcomes. Meanwhile, scholars have adopted diverse perspectives to explain the role of political connections in these relationships. Nevertheless, reviews designed to synthesize political connections studies has not kept pace with the explosive growth of this scholarship. In addition, there are still research gaps to be addressed within the scholarship. In particular, as political connections can generate both positive and negative impact on the firm, further research is needed to explain the reason behind and reconcile existing mixed findings. Furthermore, prior studies have predominantly focused on understanding the impact of political connections while leaving the antecedents of such connections underexplored. This thesis takes up these challenges by synthesizing prior political connections studies and addressing the research gaps above. This thesis consists of three studies. First, it combines bibliographic techniques and qualitative review techniques to conduct a comprehensive review of the political connections studies published during the last three decades (in Chapter 2). Next, based on the findings of Chapter 2 and guidance for future research provided therein, it includes two empirical studies to investigate how connections may paradoxically influence firms’ resource acquisition and utilization for innovation performance (in Chapter 3) and to examine how the emphasis the firm places on financial vs. nonfinancial goals acts as an antecedent of formation of different types of political connections (in Chapter 4). In sum, this thesis offers a more complete and fine-grained understanding of political connections and provides research guidance for future development of the scholarship of political connections.
(2021) Andonopoulos, VasilikiThesisSocial Media Influencers (SMIs) occupy an increasingly focal position in the digital marketing landscape. Although authenticity has drawn researchers’ attention to understanding how digital influencers command influence over online consumers, the notion of personal authenticity, the human variant of authenticity has yet to be applied and tested in the marketing literature to understand online spokespersons and consumer responses. Accordingly, the present research aimed to investigate the role of SMI personal authenticity in influencing online customer behaviour. The first chapter in this thesis broadly explored the notion of authenticity across disciplines and defines SMI personal authenticity in reference to self-identification theory. Employing a bibliometric analysis, it further highlighted relatively limited empirical work on online influencers and their authentic self-representation in the marketing literature. The following chapter empirically investigated whether the online representations of SMIs’ self-identity exert consumer behaviour. The pilot study examined whether an SMI Instagram profile adequately reflected their personal authenticity after ruling out the possible confounding effects of gender and familiarity. Study 1 examined online consumer behaviour in response to SMI authentic representation. In Study 2, the preceding study was built upon, and investigated a mediating effect of SMI trustworthiness on the relationship between SMI personal authenticity and consumer responses. The final study (Study 3) tested the serial mediation of SMI trustworthiness and Inspirational capacity of the SMI as a means of explaining the relationship between SMI personal authenticity and consumer outcomes. The findings reveal consumers perceived SMIs who were high in personal authenticity to be more trustworthy and hence more inspirational, resulting in an increased tendency to purchase products advertised by them. Further analyses show that high levels of SMI personal authenticity had a negative effect on inspiration and then resulted in a decrease in consumer purchase intent. These findings challenge the existing marketing literature on authenticity by showing that highly authentic self-representations of SMIs are not always indicative of encouraging consumer purchase intent. The findings from this thesis make a significant and pertinent contribution by filling the current research gap in the extant literature on online influencers and authenticity, in addition to carrying a high degree of digital marketing practitioner value.
Insights into the Form and Function of Awe and Related States, and their Impact on Consumer Decisions and Well-Being(2021) Chaudhury, Srinwanti H.ThesisMarketers increasingly recognize that consumer decisions may be ascribed to emotional motivations. While several scholars have examined the influence of discrete negative and positive emotions in consumption contexts, one emotion that has been understudied in marketing is the influence of the emotion of awe. Awe is a positive emotion elicited by extensive or vast stimuli, either perceptually or conceptually, which leads to the revision of mental schemas. Further, as a self-transcendent, other-focused emotion, awe has properties that suggest its potential in driving consumer well-being. The central insight of this thesis is that awe and related states like threat-awe can have unique influences on consumer behaviour. For instance, prior research has argued threat-awe as a negative-valenced variant of awe that would prime similar downstream consequences as awe. Contrastingly, the first essay, “The Curious Case of Threat-Awe”, conceptualizes threat-awe as a mixed emotion of awe and fear, rather than a negative-valenced state. Over five studies, we draw on two methodologies - cognitive appraisals and an index of bivalence - and elucidate how threat-awe’s appraisal profile, valence, and behaviour (risk-taking) are distinct from univalenced emotions like awe and fear. The second essay, “Feeling Small but Thinking Big”, conceptualizes awe's positive self-diminishment effect and develops a framework of how awe facilitates engagement in sustainable consumption. Across four studies, this essay demonstrate how awe positively impacts consumers’ willingness to pay for sustainable products. The essay further shows the underlying sequential mechanism of positive self-diminishment and examines boundary conditions of product packaging and product type. In the final essay, “Betting on Myself”, we show that the positive self-diminishment effect of awe reduces financial risk-taking in the domain of gambling. Using multiple methodologies to prime awe (writing/reading task, virtual reality), we compare awe against other positive emotions such as pride, happiness, amusement, and neutral, and demonstrate that awe-induced self-diminishment reduces gambling tendency. The studies also rule out several alternative explanations and examine the boundary condition of feedback on performance. Overall, across the three essays, this thesis highlights socio-cognitive engagement of awe and its behavioural consequences relevant to consumer decisions and well-being.
(2021) Li, XunThesisThe aim of this thesis is to utilise transnational regulatory network (TRN) theory to examine the effectiveness of the regulatory framework promulgated by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) — to address the activities of transnational hedge funds. Scholarship employing TRN theory has not previously accounted for the distinctive role that IOSCO — a body well-described as a TRN — has played in developing hedge fund regulation to prevent, identify and mitigate systemic risk related to transnational hedge funds. It is a gap that this thesis attempts to fill. This thesis asks whether and in what ways the IOSCO framework contributes to systemic risk mitigation in relation to transnational hedge funds operating at the global level. It does so to help academics and policymakers to better understand and appreciate the value, and overcome the limitations of IOSCO in this respect. Using the case studies of the failure of Long-Term Capital Management at the end of the 20th century and the demise of Bear Stearns’ hedge funds during the global financial crisis, it argues that it is the systemic hazards posed by hedge funds that make them merit extra regulation at both national and transnational levels. Deploying the findings of the TRN theory, it further demonstrates that the IOSCO framework for transnational hedge fund regulation holds not only advantages to be maintained but also shortcomings to be overcome in addressing these systemic hazards. The significance of this study lies in its contribution to advancing comprehension of the global regulatory framework for transnational hedge funds. It makes the advance by introducing a focus on systemic risk mitigation, hitherto lacking, and developing a critical, doctrinal understanding of the relatively understudied rules and standards under IOSCO.
(2021) Cai, LinThesisThis thesis consists of three chapters that investigate the linkage between uncertainty and corporate investment decisions on an international basis. In first chapter, I investigate the extent of U.S. policy-related spillovers into 22 other real economies. I find that, after accounting for factors previously used to explain corporate investment, US Economic Policy Uncertainty (US EPU, hereafter) fluctuations affect foreign corporate investments through two channels. First, the single effect of US EPU on international corporate investment shows an unequivocal negative relation (the direct channel). Second, an increase in US EPU also attenuates the negative sensitivity of corporate investment towards the cost of capital (the indirect channel). Further, I find that while the direct channel of US EPU on corporate investment persists across several subsamples, its indirect channel relates to a high degree of dependence on the U.S. economy and opacity exhibited by local economies. The second chapter reconciles the contrary views on the foreign investors using local disaster shocks from 46 countries over the period 1998-2018. I find that local disaster shocks cause significant disruptions to corporate investments, but foreign institutional investors attenuate the costs of disaster risks. The benefits associated with foreign institutional investors are not uniformly held across all economies, where the role of foreign institutional investors is particularly measurable in countries with well-developed institutional environment. The third chapter focuses on the uncertainty at domestic level using national elections across 23 different countries. I find that the corporate investment cycle corresponds with the timing of national elections, but there is a cross-sectional difference in the firm-level investment sensitivity to elections. During election periods, while firms temporarily reduce investment expenditures relative to nonelection years, the decline is mainly sourced from firms with greater political exposures. Further, I find that the investment cycles are more volatile when the election outcomes are uncertain, and the institutional environments are weaker.
(2022) Dienemann, FabianThesisThis dissertation consists of three essays on asset pricing and market microstructure topics within the U.S. corporate bond market. The first essay investigates asymmetry in price pressure between customer buy and sell orders and demonstrates that it is a valuable measure of downside liquidity for corporate bonds. While evidence of a characteristic premium for illiquidity in the cross-section of corporate bonds is mixed, aggregate liquidity asymmetry has high explanatory power for the time series of market returns. Its statistical and economic significance justify it as a credible asset pricing factor. Average market-wide liquidity asymmetry comoves with interest rate and credit spread changes, investor sentiment, funding liquidity, dealer inventory, exchange-traded fund flows, and post-crisis regulatory change. The second essay documents the properties of market-wide corporate bond liquidity and demonstrates that liquidity risk is an important determinant of returns. In market downturns, transaction costs rise for sellers and fall for buyers. The negative relation between buyer and seller liquidity motivates a new across-measure liquidity factor that incorporates an asymmetric liquidity component. Shocks to market-wide liquidity explain a large portion of bond return variation in the time series. Primarily driven by the asymmetric component, the liquidity factor attracts a cross-sectional risk premium that is robust to controls for credit, equity, and interest rate factors, as well as the illiquidity level. The third essay provides new evidence of retail investors’ ability to predict returns based on transactions in U.S. corporate bonds with equity-like risk. Retail order flow is persistent and contrarian, and it predicts future returns in the cross-section. The profits of an equal-weighted, long-short strategy that buys (sells) bonds that experience high (low) net retail buying are economically meaningful. The alpha based on decile portfolios is significant at the 10% level when controlling for common equity and bond risk factors. However, due to high transaction costs and because retail purchase volume is concentrated in underperforming bonds, retail traders lose money in aggregate.
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