Junior Management Science, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2021

Performance of German Family Firms During the Global Financial Crisis

Thilo Wenig, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 237-278

Research on family firm performance has led to inconclusive results which is why scholars called for a differentiated consideration of family firms during exogenous shocks, where costs and benefits of the inherent ownership structure are assumed to be magnified. Following these calls, I use the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 – 2009 as a unique natural experiment where firms have been moved out of their equilibrium while ownership structure maintained constant in the near term. I differentiate between true family firms and lone founder firms and hypothesize that the firm performance of both ownership structures during the Global Financial Crisis is higher than for non-family firms. In a study of 178 firms listed in the German Prime Standard, I found that lone founder ownership was significantly associated with higher firm performance during the GFC, while showing no differences in performance during the period of stable economic conditions prior to the crisis. For true family ownership, in contrast, the results suggest a general tendency of superior performance during the steady-state pre-crisis period, but it could not be established that these firms outperformed other firms during the GFC. Analogously, I found that the presence of a family CEO in true family firms is beneficial for firm performance during stable economic conditions, but the advantageousness seems to vanish in times of severe financial distress.

Keywords: Family firm; ownership; governance; performance; crisis.

Coping with Sales Pressure – A Literature-based Analysis of Strategies for Coping with Stress in Sales

Vanessa Heinzel, Ruhr University Bochum (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 279-298

Although the stress level of employees has increased by 20% in recent years, the topic of stress receives little attention in marketing and sales research. Based on Lazarus‘ Transactional Stress Model, this paper identifies causes and consequences of stress in sales and examines the effectiveness of different coping strategies for stress. Results show that role conflict and ambiguity cause stress. Stress has negative effects on job satisfaction, performance, and commitment of a salesperson. In terms of coping with stress, problem-focused coping strategies are more suitable than emotion-focused strategies because they help to actively control stressful situations. The results offer managers two options to avoid the consequences of stress: Addressing causes and fostering characteristics that increase the use of problem-focused coping strategies, such as an employee’s self-efficacy expectancy. Future research should examine additional factors influencing coping strategy choice, such as work environment, and effects of this choice on mental and physical health.

Keywords: Stress; Coping; Sales.

The Power of Personality Traits in Allocation Decision-Making: A Secondary Analysis of a Laboratory Experiment

Lilla Tolnai, University of Vienna (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 299-323

Individual differences have been addressed by many authors in social sciences, however personality has been neglected. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the role of personality in social decision-making situations. Prior researches on the role of personality either focused on how personality influences social and economic preferences or on the link between personality and influence in social decision-making. The present thesis intends to combine these two aspects with the help of a secondary analysis of a bargaining experiment. To test personality, the Five Factor Model was included and social preferences were measured with the help of social value orientation. The findings show that two personality dimensions (Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) indicate social preferences and four personality dimensions (Agreeableness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness) influence the ability to use structural power. Furthermore, it has been found that the link of personality and bargaining behavior is moderated by social preferences. The findings of the present thesis provide various theoretical and empirical implications for personality psychology, human resource management, and organizational behavior.

Keywords: Social decision-making; fairness; personality; Five Factor Model; social value orientation.

The Attitude-Behavior Gap – Drivers and Barriers of Sustainable Consumption

Bea Alexandra Wintschnig, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 324-346

Individuals’ consumption behavior plays a key role on the path to a sustainable future. Understanding what influences the decision to act in a sustainable manner is therefore crucial. The aim of this thesis is to provide a structured overview of the current state of academic literature on the drivers and barriers of sustainable consumption and to discuss the related phenomenon of the attitude-behavior gap. The identified influencing factors can be broadly divided into two categories: individual-related determinants and environmental determinants. The former includes socio-demographics, personal characteristics and value orientation, non-cognitive factors (habits and emotions) and cognitive factors like knowledge. The environmental determinants comprise product-, service-, or behavior-related factors (such as stereotypes towards sustainable products), corporate activities (e.g., communication efforts), social influence as well as structural conditions like the available infrastructure. From the diversity of influencing factors and their interplay, it becomes clear that to promote sustainable behavior or to close the attitude-behavior gap, a holistic approach is needed that combines different instruments and is adapted to the specific type of consumer behavior.

Keywords: Sustainable consumption; attitude-behavior gap; sustainable choices; sustainable consumer behavior.

Job Crafting as Means to Live out One’s Calling: An Examination of NPO Employees

Larissa Maser, University of Mannheim (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 347-369

Employees increasingly search for jobs in which they can pursue their preferences and interests – more precisely, their callings. Those pursuing their callings are assumed to be more satisfied with their job and to perform better. To provide more insight into this topic, this study examines the relationship between perceiving a calling and job satisfaction by actively pursuing the calling. However, it has not yet been extensively analyzed how employees can convert the perception of a calling at work into actually living it out. This question can possibly be explained by the emerging phenomenon called job crafting. Employees engaging in job crafting techniques might change their work environment in order to be able to live out their calling. Therefore, this study investigated the role of job crafting as moderator in the relationship between perceiving a calling and living a calling as well as in the relationship between living a calling and job satisfaction. The model was tested in a context of nonprofit organizations using a sample of 300 employees and a cross-sectional study design. Data was collected with an online survey for a period of three weeks and analyzed with IBM SPSS PROCESS by means of OLS regression analysis. Living a calling was found to be a full mediator in the relationship between perceiving a calling and job satisfaction. The variables scope of action, employment relationship, and gender are also significantly related to job satisfaction. Against expectations, job crafting does not show any of the two moderating effects but was found to be a partial mediator in the relationship between perceiving a calling and living a calling.

Keywords: Calling; job crafting; job satisfaction; nonprofit organizations.

Variance Risk Premiums on German Government Bonds

Burak Sarac, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 370-392

Volatility and related to it the uncertainty inherent to financial markets has an eminent role. Variance swaps are suitable for the trading of it and have led to profound insights in various markets, especially regarding the variance risk premium. However, research on government bonds is less common and insightful, which is why this study aims to fill the gap and extend the research on this topic. This is achieved by two main aspects: First, a European-wide comparison of the Bond variance risk premium is enabled by analyzing the German, French, and Italian Treasury markets. Secondly, two different approaches of structuring the Bond variance swap are considered. While one of them has its theoretical justification, the other is more suitable for practical applications. The results of this study show that the variance risk premium is to be found in the German as well as the European Treasury markets. By shorting the variance swaps attractive returns are feasible, but this varies greatly according to the considered country or approach of structuring.

Keywords: Varianzswaps; Volatilität; Varianzrisikoprämium; Staatsanleihen; modellfrei.

Environmental Context and Team Structure

Anna Stevanovic, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 393-407

Drawing on contingency and information processing theory, this study examines how environmental complexity and unpredictability influence team structure, namely the vertical hierarchy and the horizontal specification. These relationships are tested empirically using worldwide data from the video game industry covering the period 1995 to 2007. Results show that both, the levels of hierarchy and specialization, increase when teams face a complex environment. Meanwhile, the extent of vertical hierarchy as well as the degree of specialization decrease when teams are exposed to an unpredictable environment. Thereby a trade-off between emphasizing efficiency or choosing a more flexible structure exists.

Keywords: Team structure; external environment; contingency theory; hierarchy; specialization.

The Role of Large Institutional Ownership on Goodwill Impairment under the SFAS 142 Regime

Sebastian Hahn, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 408-423

This paper examines the effect of large institutional owners on accounting for goodwill and its resulting impairment charges. Economies of scale predict stronger incentives for large institutional owners to engage in monitoring. Employing a multivariate linear probability model on a sample of U.S. companies with goodwill on their balance sheets during the period from 2009 to 2019, I find that the likelihood of an impairment is more strongly related to an expected impairment when the share of equity held by the firm’s largest institutional owners is higher. Results prove to be economically meaningful and are generally robust to different specifications. This evidence is consistent with the active monitor hypothesis by large shareholders to protect their significant investments.

Keywords: Goodwill accounting; goodwill impairment; institutional ownership; ownership concentration; monitoring; FASB; SFAS 142.