Junior Management Science, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2023

Power to the CEO? Sources of CEO Power and Its Influences on Strategic Choices and Firm Performance

Maryam Hammad, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 827-844

Power relations in the upper echelon have been a focal point in strategic management literature. However, the dynamic environment requires rapid decision making, raising the question of whether to centralize power in the CEO. In that respect, this thesis aims to identify the sources of CEO power and its impact on strategic choices and firm performance. A total of 22 empirical and conceptual papers are categorized into a review framework based on Finkelstein’s (1992: 507-510) power dimensions to compare earlier studies and disclose differences in operationalization and research approaches. Additionally, this paper introduces a new dimension of CEO power by incorporating principles of leadership psychology into the corporategovernance-power literature. Considering the power composition, this thesis analyzes three strategic decisions and the resulting firm performance by explaining findings from an agency- and stewardship perspective. The results demonstrate that CEO power is multifaceted, and variations in operationalization impair comparability of literature. Furthermore, powerful CEOs exhibiting stewardship behavior should be granted autonomy to drive firm performance while those acting as agents require close monitoring and balance from an equally influential board.

Keywords: CEO power; Power dimensions; Review framework; Corporate governance; Strategic choice.

Logical Reasoning in Management: From “Philosopher Kings” to Logical Managers?

Mohid Farooq Butt, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 845-864

To what extent does a manager’s logical reasoning ability impact their managerial responsibility? This study delves into the significance of logical reasoning ability in the realm of management. To accomplish this objective, I developed a logical reasoning assessment whose internal consistency was confirmed. Subsequently, I conducted an online survey with a sample of 83 managers (Mage = 39.6; SDage = 11.77). The econometric model (R2 adj = 0.431) revealed a cubic relationship, indicating an influence that logical reasoning ability might have on management responsibility. Notably, managers who pursued formal science education exhibited the highest proficiency in logical reasoning. Conversely, neither age nor GPA exhibited any significant correlation with logical reasoning ability among managers. A comparative analysis of managers’ logical reasoning performance against previous studies involving students yielded noteworthy findings, indicating that university students outperformed their managerial counterparts. Whilst acknowledging the study’s limitations, these findings shed light on the relevance of logical reasoning ability in the management domain, offering valuable insights and a starting point for both researchers and practitioners.

Keywords: Logical reasoning; Managerial decision making; Formal logic; Management research.

Digital Transformation in Family Businesses

Georg Streicher, Technische Universität München (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 865-886

Nowadays, the impact of digital technologies on all businesses is inescapable for their managers and is receiving a great deal of attention in research and businesses. Digitalization as an ongoing process has just begun and will continue to drive many decision-making processes. So far, much research has been done on technical implementations and digital technologies as such, but there is still a lack of research on the decision-making processes around digitalization, especially in small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources, such as the economically important family businesses (FBs) in Germany. These FBs have a massive impact on value creation in Germany and include many global market leaders. Based on eleven interviews with family and non-family member Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and employees, the thesis shows which drivers and barriers exist in the digitalization process in FBs and how they influence the process. Moreover, their influence on the digitalization of the business model is examined. The results of the thesis provide implications for how FBs can successfully master digitalization and use it to their advantage. Finally, the thesis suggests opportunities for future research in digitalization in FBs and on identified correlations in the cases.

Keywords: Digital transformation; Family business; Digitalization.

Acceptance conditions of algorithmic decision support in management

Kiram Iqbal, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 887-925

This thesis explores the acceptance of decision-aiding technologies in management, which is a challenging component in their use. To address the lack of research on algorithmic decision support at the managerial level, the thesis conducted a vignette study with two scenarios, varying the degree of anthropomorphizing features in the system interface. Results from the study, which included 281 participants randomly assigned to one of the scenarios, showed that the presence of anthropomorphized features did not significantly affect acceptance. However, results showed that trust in the system was a crucial factor for acceptance and that trust was influenced by users’ understanding of the system. Participants blindly trusted the system when it was anthropomorphized, but the study emphasized that system design should not focus on the benefits of blind trust. Instead, comprehensibility of the system results is more effective in creating acceptance. This thesis provided practical implications for managers on system design and proposed a structural model to fill a research gap on acceptance at the managerial level. Overall, the findings may assist companies in developing decision support systems that are more acceptable to users.

Keywords: Decision support systems; Algorithmic management; Artificial intelligence; Anthropomorphizing; Technology acceptance.

Transparenz und organisationale Legitimität: Eine experimentelle Studie am Beispiel eines fiktiven Unternehmens

Max-Gerrit Meinel, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 926-954

In der vorliegenden Arbeit wurde empirisch überprüft, ob ein hohes Transparenzangebot über und von Unternehmen zu einer Erhöhung ihrer organisationalen Legitimität führt. In einem experimentellen Design wurde dazu die individuell wahrgenommene organisationale Legitimität anhand der von Suchman (1995, S. 578–579) dargestellten Sub-Kategorien der pragmatischen, moralischen und kognitiven Legitimität für eine Versuchsgruppe (n = 108) mit hohem Transparenzangebot und einer Kontrollgruppe (n = 112) mit niedrigem Transparenzangebot am Beispiel einer fiktiven Fluggesellschaft gemessen. Das Transparenzangebot bildete den experimentellen Stimulus und setze sich aus den folgenden Legitimitätsquellen zusammen: Medienberichte, Rankings, Umfragewerte und unternehmensinterne Presseberichte. Die Ergebnisse der Empirie lassen lediglich für die Versuchsgruppe eine Steigerung der moralischen Legitimität erkennen. Ebenfalls zeigt sich, dass die organisationale Legitimität für die Versuchsgruppe im Vergleich zur Kontrollgruppe weniger stark sinkt. Die Verarbeitungsdauer der vorgelegten Dokumente hatte dabei keinen Einfluss auf das Niveau der organisationalen Legitimität. Ein quantitativ hohes Transparenzangebot wirkt sich damit zwar positiver auf die organisationale Legitimität aus als ein quantitativ niedrigeres Transparenzangebot, jedoch kann nicht von einem grundsätzlich legitimitätsstiftenden Effekt der Transparenz ausgegangen werden. Dabei scheint außerdem der reine Signaleffekt der Informationen eine größere Rolle als ihre Verarbeitungszeit zu spielen.

Keywords: Transparenz; Organisationale Legitimität; Fluggesellschaften; Corporate Governance; Experiment.

Discussion of automotive trends and implications for German OEMs

Philip Christoph Häberle, Technische Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 955-992

The rapid change in the automotive industry, largely triggered by four disruptive trends – autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility (ACES) – poses major challenges for incumbent players. This thesis aims to provide a comprehensive literature review of these four trends and to discuss implications for German original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). To do so we use the structure of Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis and apply both qualitative and quantitative methods. Furthermore, we introduce new frameworks that shall support companies in make-orbuy decisions and competitor analyses. To this end, we present a new metric that provides information on the innovative capacity of OEMs – the ACES Index. We conclude the following: (1) German OEMs can use their financial power, brand popularity, and global presence to conquer new markets. (2) The organizational structures of German OEMs slow down their innovative power in identifying and developing disruptive trends, which is why they had to give up their leading position to new competitors. (3) The ACES Index has a decisive influence on the market capitalization of an automotive company, which is why German OEMs should integrate future-relevant technologies into their value chains by developing their own capabilities or establishing partnerships.

Keywords: Automotive trends; Autonomous driving; Electric vehicle; Shared mobility; German OEMs.

Chances and challenges for the members of the Fairtrade-supply chain: a case study of Chile and Switzerland

Regina Maria Martha Förg, Universität Passau (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 993-1009

Conventional international trade has become discredited because of emerging conflicts on fairness on producers’ economic, social & ecological situation. Aiming to provide alternatives, the Fairtrade-certification was amongst the first that incorporated solidarity within the worldwide economy. Within a few decades the certification managed to exceed its pure labelling activities and implemented a whole supply chain, representative for debates about due diligence in international supply chains. While such a partnership is vital for more fairness in supply chains, it poses challenges to its agents. This paper, based on a case study of Swiss and Chilean companies, aims to explore the complexity for members in such a Fairtrade-supply chain. To this effect, it sheds light on the social and economic chances and challenges both for producers and merchandisers participating in the Fairtrade-system. The study gives evidence that this supply chain is a cooperation on eye-level which can provide an alternative to conventional free trade. Further, it shows that motivation and cultural background play a decisive role in the chances and challenges of Fairtrade-members. Ultimately, it proves that Fairtrade can be a partner for rising legal requirements in the course of due diligence laws.

Keywords: CSR; Case study; Fairtrade; Supply chain; Due diligence.

Berufseinstieg in Zeiten mobiler Arbeit: Eine empirische Studie über den Einfluss mobilen Arbeitens auf das psychische Wohlbefinden kaufmännischer Auszubildender in Hamburg

Stefano Mattana, FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie und Management (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 1010-1039

Durch die aufgetretene COVID-19-Pandemie stieg die Anzahl der Homeoffice nutzenden Erwerbstätigen in Deutschland. Von dieser Entwicklung ist in besonderer Weise auch die Kohorte der Auszubildenden betroffen. Diese ist seit Beginn der Pandemie teilweise vollständig virtuell ins Berufsleben gestartet. In der durchgeführten Studie wurde das JDR-Modell verwendet, um die Einflüsse mobilen Arbeitens auf das psychische Wohlbefinden Auszubildender zu untersuchen. Dabei wurde davon ausgegangen, dass die Intensität mobilen Arbeitens einerseits die Arbeitsressourcen negativ und andererseits die Arbeitsanforderungen positiv beeinflusst. Um die theoretisch abgeleiteten Beziehungen zwischen den Konstrukten zu analysieren, wurde ein Strukturgleichungsmodell spezifiziert. Die zugrunde gelegten Daten ergaben sich aus einer durchgeführten Onlinebefragung (n= 110). Entgegen den Erwartungen liefern die Ergebnisse der Befragung keine Hinweise dafür, dass die Intensität mobilen Arbeitens das psychische Wohlbefinden der Auszubildenden über die Pfade der Arbeitsanforderungen oder der Arbeitsressourcen negativ beeinflusst. Anhand der Studienergebnisse zeigte sich, dass ein besonderer Fokus in der Ausbildungsgestaltung auf den Themen Entgrenzung, Technostress und Lernmöglichkeiten liegen sollte.

Keywords: JD-R model; Well-being; Onboarding; Mobiles Arbeiten; Ausbildung.

Enabling E-Mobility: How Electric Grids Can Support High EV Adoption with Residential PV and Battery Energy Storage Systems

Jan Philipp Natter, Technische Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 1040-1080

Understanding the challenges electrical distribution grids will have to bear in the future is essential to take appropriate measures and ensure electrical grid infrastructure stability. This thesis deploys representative grid models for varying agglomeration scenarios and seasons to investigate the challenges and synergies that arise with high EV penetration rates, PV electricity generation and BESS. The central innovation lies in the developed large-scale model which considers time of year and agglomeration variation, all of which influence household and charging electricity demand, PV generation, as well as PV and EV penetration. Based on a large dataset on German mobility, a Markov chain is developed to sample a trip chain for each individual in the model. Based on the trip chain, EV energy demand and EV charging decisions are simulated. Household loads and PV generation are synthetically modelled to account for external influences. All load and generation profiles then interact with residential BESS and the resulting profile is deployed in three MATLAB MATPOWER grid models. An investigation of power flows showed that transformer thermal limits and feeder line thermal limits are the most critical components. Whilst rural grids are most vulnerable to increased loads through higher EV penetration rates, the mitigation potential with PV electricity generation and BESS is also highest. If every home that has an EV is equipped with a PV-BESS, the grid’s capacity for maximum EV penetration increases by up to 50%.

Keywords: Electric vehicle charging; Photovoltaic systems; Electrical distribution grid; Battery energy storage system; Power flow analysis.

Virtual Reality Transforming the Digital Learning Environment: An Analysis of Students’ Acceptance

Hannah Fernsebner, MCI Management Center Innsbruck (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 1081-1099

Virtual reality (VR) is gaining prominence in post-secondary education. In fields such as medicine or engineering education, VR is widespread and enhances educational opportunities. The technologies’ popularity is, however, swapping over to more theoretical fields of study. Institutions, therefore, need to understand what factors influence the decision of post-secondary students to accept immersive VR applications in non-practical lectures. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 (UTAUT2) provides a theoretical framework for technology acceptance research. While most previous studies have taken a quantitative approach, this study adopts a qualitative method to deliver profound insights into the students’ perspectives on VR acceptance. Based on a thematic analysis of focus group interviews, the study extends UTAUT2 by adding two core constructs and additionally identifying upstream factors influencing all core constructs of UTAUT2. The results indicate that the original UTAUT2 is too superficial to capture the underlying influences on students’ VR acceptance. Thereby, my study contributes to current VR acceptance research by providing a context-specific UTAUT2 model that may guide decision-makers in successfully implementing VR in post-secondary education.

Keywords: Virtual reality; Technology acceptance; UTAUT2; Post-secondary education.