88,549 results

  • A physical database model

    Pillay, Antonia Margeret (2004-12)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    214 leaves ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Information Science. "December 2004".

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  • Think-aloud protocol and heuristic evaluation of non-immersive, desktop photo-realistic virtual environments

    Villanueva, Rochelle de Asa (2004-07-22)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xi, 214 leaves :col. ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Information Science. "22 July 2004".

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  • Perceptions of myths and brand identity in advertising: Exploring the role of archetypes and national symbolism in advertising

    Breese, Hayden (2000-03-13)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    vii, 163 leaves :col.(some col.) ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Marketing. "13.03.2000."

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  • Intelligent information systems for online analysis and modelling of biological data

    Middlemiss, Melanie Jane (2001-02)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The past decade has seen an explosion in the use of the Internet and in the amount of information available to its users. Amongst the wealth of information is a vast amount of biological data being generated by the various genome projects around the world. The distribution of this data, via the Internet into the public domain, has brought with it the need to find more sophisticated techniques for biological data management, analysis, and modelling. While the physical sequencing and collection of biological data is important, the analysis of this data is also important. Biological data can be analysed and modelled in many different ways and with various methods. This thesis discusses issues involved with the storage, analysis, and modelling of biological data. The Evolving Fuzzy Neural Network (EFuNN) is shown to be a suitable connectionist based model for use in this application area. With the use of the EFuNN, a proposal is made for an online analysis and modelling system for biological data. The implementation of this model, a system called GenIn, is described and made available for public access via the Internet.

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  • Management of university research: A grounded theory exploration

    Cartner, Monica (2000-07)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis explores the conduct and outcomes of individual research projects where the focus of interest is the influence of administrative procedures on the research process. Data is from interviews with researchers and administrators in a school in one of the New Zealand universities, backed by a document review. The context is international changes in university research management practices, linked to changes in science policy, public sector management, and increasingly stringent fiscal constraints. These changes are of interest to organisational studies scholars, university research managers, science policy-makers and administrators, and academic researchers. The rationale for the study is that although issues associated with this topic are well rehearsed understanding and empirical investigation of their implications are limited. Also, the literature concerning the organisational life of universities is characterised by theoretical plurality and a lack of empirical investigation. Exploratory research seemed indicated and grounded theory methodology was adopted. The aim was to produce descriptive data that reflected the realities of the principal actors involved and provide interpretations that could contribute to dialogue on this topic in the organisation studies community. Using the research project as the unit of analysis provided an important boundary A research project life cycle model identifies phases in the conduct of a project, indicating research activities likely to be associated with administrative procedures. Data includes background information, administrative procedures operant in the research site, data 'tracking ' the progress of eighteen projects, and general views and comments. The results provide detailed descriptive data grounded in practice about the research process linking research activities to administrative practices. Analysis identifies grant seeking procedures as critical factors. It is argued other factors can be readily masked by the immediacy of resource dependency considerations. The nature of external relationships, individual researcher autonomy, and professional research expertise are considered especially significant. The analysis also addresses the implications of the results for three substantive issues: the implications of change for the nature and quality of research, the introduction of managerialism into the universities, and the implications of change for university autonomy. The conclusions address two themes. Firstly plurality in considering the organisational life of the universities is discussed from a theoretical perspective and in considering the introduction of managerialism in the universities. It is concluded that plurality is an important factor and poorly understood in empirical terms. The second theme explores research avenues that go beyond the descriptive account provided in this study to consider evaluation of different practices and their implications for research management. Two areas are considered. The first concerns ideas creation management and project development. The second concerns review and evaluation of the provision needed by researchers to support their research.

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  • Developing grape expectations: A dyadic examination of the effectiveness of supplier development relationships in the South Island wine industry.

    Henderson, Karen (2003-01)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Organisations must generate synergies in their supply chain that result in sustainable competitive advantages. Supplier development is one strategy than can help businesses accomplish this. Literature on supplier development has typically examined only the buying organisation's perspective of these relationships, with research generally conducted in the context of large organisations. While these efforts provide a broad framework to understand supplier development, they lack the salient details of how this strategy is applied in a New Zealand setting. This research addresses this deficiency in the current body of literature. It examines the incidence and effectiveness of supplier development strategies and incorporates both stakeholders' perspectives. A dyadic, multi-method study was undertaken, examining the dynamics of this strategy in the New Zealand wine industry. Five South Island winery case studies were completed and statistical analysis conducted on survey data collected from a random sample of 150 grape growers in this region. Comparing these parties' results indicate that six of the ten critical elements identified in the literature apply in this industry. Both parties view these efforts as a form of investment, with the dividends being quality of outputs, and forging long-term relations that assured either fruit supply or markets. Two of the notable differences from the literature were the lack of importance placed on utilising cross-functional buying teams and the percentage of suppliers' annual sales being a determining factor for supplier development efforts. Contrary to the literature, the management of these two elements exhibited a results orientated, reactive approach, whilst the remaining elements portray process orientated, strategic characteristics. For this industry at least, it was also found that supplier development efforts must be mutually beneficial and participants preferred to have the relationships managed in a personalised manner. Wineries and growers concur that effective supplier development is fundamental for them achieving a sustainable competitive advantage, enabling them to continue competing successfully in the global wine market.

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  • The total quality practices of four New Zealand companies specialising in adventure tourism: A case study approach

    Hawthorne, Blair Kenneth (1999-03)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The concept of Total Quality has undergone intense debate over the last the decade. Several researchers have suggested the techniques associated with Total Quality, which have there origins in manufacturing are equally application to service organisations. This paper constructs a framework of Total Quality and then applies the framework to four companies specialising in the provision of adventure tourism services in New Zealand. The results indicate customer focus, top management leadership, service process management, training, teamwork and quality data and information are utilised by the four case companies. The results also indicate quality supplier management and quality certification are not fully utilised by the four case companies. Further research is needed to fully test how applicable these results are to the whole of the adventure tourist sector of the New Zealand tourist industry.

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  • Is an apple a day enough to keep the doctor away?: A time-series investigation into the determinants of selected diseases and aggregate mortality for New Zealand

    Trendle, Deborah (2004-12)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Identifying the determinants of health and ill-health in a nation has been the subject of an ongoing debate for several decades. Beginning with the work of Grossman (1972b), which was subsequently popularised by Wagstaff (1986), a substantial amount of economic research has been devoted to investigating the factors that enhance or diminish individual and population health. Previous literature indicates that numerous factors at both the micro and macro level can influence the degree of ill-health in a nation. They are generally referred to as social, economic, lifestyle, demographic, medical and government factors. Very little substantive research on this topic has been done in New Zealand to determine whether the results of overseas studies are applicable here. This study is an ecological investigation into the potential determinants of selected diseases in New Zealand, from 1950 to 2001. Using annual time series data, total mortality, and 13 different diseases are individually examined: Asthma, Tuberculosis, Malignant Neoplasm of the Colon, Breast and Lung, Diabetes Mellitus, Epilepsy, Hypertensive Diseases, Bronchitis Unqualified, Appendicitis, Acute Nephritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. The empirical analysis is conducted in two parts; initially models are developed which include current values of all explanatory variables and, secondly, variables appearing in the final models are lagged by ten years. However, as most of the data are nonstationary, the results of only those models that yielded evidence of cointegration were analysed. A generalto-specific modelling approach (using Hendry and Krolzig's (2001) PcGets algorithm) is applied to the general models, which include a broad range of potential health determinants. Error correction models are subsequently generated as a pragmatic robustness check for cointegration of the final model specifications. The final models for six diseases did not show evidence of cointegration and therefore, could not be investigated. The results suggest that the major determinants of ill-health and mortality in New Zealand are the legalisation of abortion (generally negative effects), average weekly wage rates (generally negative), female employment (generally positive), unemployment (negative), consumer price index (generally negative), marriage (generally negative), total and ex-nuptial births (generally positive), and health expenditure per capita (generally positive). Contrary to a majority of the theoretical and empirical studies, education, income inequality and various lifestyle variables appear to have a relatively insignificant effect across most diseases investigated.

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  • Volatility forecasting in the 90-Day Australian bank bill futures market

    Kelly, Nathan K (2006-03-19)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The first file is the version submitted for completion of MBus and the second is the version submitted to the AsianFA/FMA Conference in Auckland, New Zealand in July, 2006. The second only differs in formatting and the appendix detail.

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  • Problems and issues in a small family business: A consultancy project

    Henry, Anne Elspeth (1999-02-28)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This consulting project was conducted in a small, family business in the c. Through data collection, three main problem areas were identified. These were interpersonal issues, work and home and policies and procedures. Literature was examined and with further data analysis, conclusions and recommendations were formed. Based on these, implementations were suggested. The conclusions came under the three problem areas. For interpersonal issues, it was concluded that there was a lack of experience in the business, the informal culture of the business caused conflict, there were power issues between mother and son, and written and oral communication was poor. For the problems of work and home, it was found that there were difficulties with issues from the home coming into the workplace, a lack of professionalism and the goals of the business were unclear. Policies and procedures in the business were also not in place and this was a concern. Five recommendations were made. These were: • Consult a free small business advice centre for training advice for the manager and the business. • Have regular staff meetings and a meeting to discuss business goals. • Hold a meeting with mother and son and a mediator to resolve power issues and role clarity. I offered my services as a mediator for this. • Improve written and oral communication. Make written ground rules and guidelines to keep the boundaries clear between work and home. Implementation of these recommendations was suggested by: • Listing phone numbers of free small business advice centres so the manager could establish contacts. • Setting up staff meetings and one specifically for business planning and goal setting. • Holding a meeting with a mediator to specifically deal with mother/son conflict. • Starting up a logbook, timesheets and rosters for communication. • Writing down the ground-rules and boundaries for the business so that there is less crossing over between the work and home. Some of these implementations have been applied in the business. These are; the inclusion of staff meetings, rosters, time sheets and the manager has also developed communication with his mother and resolved conflict in their relationship. Implementations being currently worked on are; the free business advice contacts and the written guidelines for the business. The meeting specifically for business planning is a short-term implementation goal.

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  • Open market share repurchases in New Zealand

    Henderson, George (2000)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    When a firm repurchases its own common stock, it buys back a proportion of its own equity from existing shareholders. For open market transactions the stock is acquired at market value and in an efficient market the transfer should not change shareholders' wealth. However, empirically, such corporate activity in American markets is generally associated with stock price increases and, consequently, increases in remaining shareholder wealth. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of open market share repurchases on the share price of New Zealand firms. If any abnormal returns are identified then the hypotheses suggested by American studies will be investigated to see which, if any, hold for the New Zealand case.

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  • Service quality in New Zealand ecotourism businesses

    Keenan, Victoria (2004-02)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Service quality is paramount to the success and survival of organisations today (Tan, Barnes and Smith, 1996) as it provides numerous benefits and a competitive advantage. The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries in New Zealand and relies heavily on service quality to attract new customers and retain existing customers. Given the importance of service quality to the New Zealand tourism industry, this dissertation will examine service quality in ecotourism businesses throughout New Zealand. This research will be conducted in the hope of providing a greater understanding of not only how service quality is delivered, but also what systems and policies are in place to ensure it is delivered consistently to a high level. This research is important to the development of the service quality literature, as very little research has focused on service quality from the organisations perspective. The majority of the research into service quality, in both New Zealand and world wide, has predominately been from the viewpoint of the customer, specifically how they perceive the quality of the service delivered to them. The ecotourism industry was chosen for this study because of its infancy and exponential growth, which is a result of increasing demand for ecologically sound tourism. Secondly, the researcher has developed an strong interest in ecotourism due to previous research into the industry as part of her 591 project. The definition of ecotourism used for this study is that offered by Ecotours New Zealand, who define ecotourism as: "The observation of living organisms within their natural environment where the operation does not degrade and may enhance the environment so that it can continue to be enjoyed by future generations. There is an educational element to the operation. The participants will learn from expert guides and hopefully gain an increased respect and love for the environment" (Ecotours New Zealand, 2003). This research has multiple aims. First of which is to determine how ecotourism businesses in New Zealand define service quality. The research also aims to determine how they ensure all employees consistently deliver service quality and how ecotourism businesses measure the service quality delivered by their employees. This research further aims to determine what hurdles New Zealand ecotourism businesses face in delivering consistently high service quality and whether New Zealand ecotourism businesses believe they deliver excellent service quality overall. This dissertation will begin by presenting service quality and the various avenues available to Ecotourism Managers in managing, measuring, monitoring and ensuring service quality is delivered to a high standard. In chapter two of this dissertation the specific research questions developed for this research and the methodology adopted to gather data and test the research hypotheses are presented. This research adopts a three stage methodology which consists of a review of the academic literature, an email survey and case studies which are conducted using semi-structured interviews and observations of the organisation. Chapter four presents the research findings from all three data collection stages, while chapter five further discusses the findings and compares the results with similar research reported within the academic literature. The limitations of the study are also presented and explained with suggestions for further research made. The dissertation concludes with chapter six, which provides a summary of the report in the form of a conclusion.

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  • A study of call centres and call centre work in Dunedin

    Day, Annabel (2002)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Little research has been done in New Zealand on call centres and call centre work. This research investigated two call centres in Dunedin with the objective to discover what the work environment is like, the socio-demographics of the workers, the job characteristics and how the employees experienced these job characteristics. Four research questions were based on these factors. Research on call centres has revealed that they are typically environments of high pressure, control and stress therefore the research also set out to discover whether call centres in Dunedin were similar or different to these descriptions. In order to meet the research questions, interviews with team leaders and a call centre manager were conducted as well as questionnaires being sent to call centre workers. The results indicated that there were some similarities between the call centres and the descriptions of call centres in the literature, these were mainly positive. The call centre workers do not experience the same stress levels as indicated in the literature.

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  • Implementing the Hull and White (1994) interest rate model to price multi-callable bonds within the German banking market

    Smithies, Colin (2001)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This paper is a case study, documenting work completed for Institut fur betriebswirtschaftliche Beratung der Kreditwirtschaft GmbH1 (hence forth referred to as IFB) in Köln, Germany. The practicum involved the implementation of an interest rate model for the purpose of valuing the Multi-callable bond. The brief given was to develop a model that could be implemented into the software (Okular) to price the MCB in a fast and accurate way, so as to satisfy the regulatory body that oversees the supervision of the German banking industry. The model chosen to implement was the Hull and White model (1994) which first appeared in the literature in Hull and White (1990) and is often referred to as the modified Vasicek (1977). The 1994 model is developed further and is computationally more efficient. Interest rate models like Vasicek (1977) also appeared in the literature in Courtadon (1982) and Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross (1985). The approach of these models is to fit the market data and imply the yield curve and its evolutionary process. The Hull and White(1990) uses a different process. By taking the current yield curve as a given input, this model produces an arbitrage free yield curve that is consistent with the data. This style of model was seen first in Ho and Lee (1986), but the Hull and White (1994) is developed further to incorporate a mean reversion parameter and time dependent volatility term. In the Hull and White (1994), the trinomial tree process is manipulated to reproduce the stochastic process of the short rate with mean reversion. The tree is truncated to stop the evolution of negative interest rates, which have always bothered practitioners, and is also made computationally more efficient by this truncation process. One of the reasons this model was chosen is because of the vast amount of literature available on the implementation of this model, most notably Hull and White (1994), Numerical procedures for implementing term structure models I: single factor models, where the model in question is developed in such a way as to make it easy to implement for practitioners. Other notable papers for the implementation of this model are: Hull and White (1996). Using Hull-White interest-rate trees and Hull and White, (2000), the general Hull-White model and super calibration. Two texts were also instrumental in the implementation of this model: J.Hull, 1997, Options, Futures and Other Derivative Securities, 3rd edition and Les Clewlow and Chris Strickland, 1998, Implementing Derivatives Models. The following section gives a brief description of IFB. Section 3 looks at the German banking industry and offers some insights into a banking industry under reform. Section 4 looks at the model, dealing with the issues of the model brief, model selection and formal description. Section 5 deals with the implementation of this model and specifically with the process of taking the theory and developing it into a coded model. The process involved explaining the model in such a way that made it clear to programmers who had little or no financial knowledge, but were still required to develop the model in an object orientated computer language. This task was made more difficult by a language barrier. Section 6 deals with the issue of calibration, and a conculsion and appendix follow.

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  • Sports events and risk management in New Zealand: How safe is safe enough?

    Eisenhauer, Simone (2005-07)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Along with the growth in sports events, an increasing concern over risk and safety management strategies and other legal issues within the New Zealand events industry has been observed in recent years. Various issues that lead to lawsuit continue to plague the sporting event industry. Risk management is the primary tool for reducing the incidence of injury and managing an organisation's potential exposure to loss and legal liability. The significant increase in the amount of litigation in sports has created an additional dimension in managing risk for today's sports event organisers. Along with the growing controversy and uncertainty about legal liability issues in New Zealand, there is a large gap in literature, particularly relating to event risk management in sports. Thus, this thesis critically examines the risk and safety management strategies of sports event organisers in New Zealand. A sample of twelve sporting event organisers in Otago were personally interviewed about the current level of risk management. Their perceptions and responses concerning the importance of risk and safety management strategies were discussed. Indepth qualitative interviews have been conducted including commercial and non-commercial venue and non-venue based organisations. Despite a recent movement towards more formal organisation and planning, the results indicate that only few sporting event organisers use strategic risk management plans. The main hindrance appears to be a lack of information and expertise available on risk management for sporting events. Risk management plans varied to a large extent, which may be due to the absence of accepted national standards for managing risk for sporting events and to the heterogeneous nature of sporting events. Another reason may be that 'risk' is variously defined and is characterised by its subjectivity, multidimensionality and complexity, and is hard to operationalise. Therefore, more support from government organisations, industry associations and local authorities is required, that may include information on legal issues and specific information on event risk management in sport. It was also discovered that policy-makers should reconsider the extension of regulatory codes of practice and standards to specifically serve the sporting event sector. Nevertheless, sports event organisers must become much more risk aware and proactive, both from a physical and a legal perspective, as they were mainly unaware of guidelines for risk management in sport, legal issues and safety standards. Moreover, they seem to be ignorant towards the changing legal environment, which requires them to change current general attitudes towards legal obligations and to adopt a more realistic view and not regard lawsuits as a personal attack. A distinct need for further research has been identified, encompassing not only sporting event organisers but also other relevant stakeholders such as government organisations, industry associations, sport participants and volunteers in order to gain better insights in the dilemma of risk management in New Zealand.

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  • A re-examination of wealth effects of dividend change announcements

    Chan, Michael (1999-07-26)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study attempts to assess the explanatory power of the wealth transfer hypothesis, agency hypothesis and signalling hypothesis when stock prices change upon announcements of dividend changes. The evidence thus far on wealth effects of dividend policy changes is mixed. While there is preponderance of work that explains the stock price reaction as a signal of future firm performance, very little empirical work has been done on other potential explanations. The main findings of the paper suggest that a potential for reduction in agency costs is the primary driver of stock prices with information signalling playing a marginal role. We do not find any support for the wealth transfer hypothesis.

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  • Estimating Demand Systems: An Empirical Comparison Comparison

    Guo, Yingtong (2000-04)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The theory of consumer demand is the oldest and one of the most fruitful research areas in economics. Theoretically, it is concerned with the foundation of microeconomics, that is, allocation problems. Empirically, demand analysis provides policy-makers with important references for their decisions on welfare issues such as poverty and inequality measurement. The tax reform in Europe and the US is the drive for the new round of great interest in this area because demand analysis can roughly depict welfare consequences by its indices. The understanding of consumer demand analysis contributes to knowledge of the methodology of economic studies. In the preceding study, the present author reviews the theory of consumer demand and discusses the properties of demand functions. The literature review in that study also discusses some relevant topics in this area such as the choice of functional forms, the aggregation problem, and the comparison of different systems. It provides some examples of demand specifications and describes their merits and weakness. However, it is a great step to make from theoretical models to empirical application of the models; how to deal with the data, how to make the models econometrically workable, especially how to interpret results are the most important issues in empirical work. This paper estimates three demand system specifications, namely, the AIDS, the Rotterdam, and the LES using British household expenditure data for the years 1974-1993. The purpose of this study is to provide an empirical comparison of these models. The focus is on demonstrating the differences in the results they yield. Section 2 describes the data used in this empirical work. Section 3 presents a brief overview of the empirical models and the estimation method. Section 4 reports the empirical results in reasonable detail, especially through a complete interpretation of the calculated elasticities. A sequential test of the homogeneity and symmetry restrictions for the AIDS and Rotterdam models are also presented in this section. Section 5 concludes this paper.

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  • Travelling work: Michel Foucault and organisation studies

    Jones, Campbell (1998)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    In the pages that follow I have tried to make some initial steps towards an assessment of the relevance of the work of Michel Foucault for contemporary organisation studies: Following Edward Said, I have framed this question in terms of 'travelling theory'. Sociologists of knowledge have long recognised that theories rarely remain in the discipline in which they originate. Said has noted that 'like people and schools of criticism, ideas and theories travel---from person to person, from situation to situation, from one period to another'? And peculiar things happen to theories as they travel. 'Theory not only travels to unexpected destinations; it may also be put to unexpected uses'. Here I am interested in understanding how Foucault's works have travelled into organisation studies, and the uses to which they have been put in that context. There is also another sense in which I evoke the idea of Travelling Work in my title. In addition to looking at how Foucault's work has travelled into organisation studies, I have used this as an opportunity to critically interrogate the field through a discussion of certain central problematics in the study of work organisation. Thus, I travel rather widely, a visit a number of disparate sites. I do not address the field in its entirety, and I will not discuss all of the work that has used Foucault to understand organisation? Nevertheless, I hope that my sampling will provide enough clues for my reader to make their own assessments of the material that I am unfortunately forced to omit here. This was an ambitious project, and as it proceeded I encountered a number of difficulties. One was the question of boundaries. How far should I enter into the subtleties of interpretation of Foucault's work? Foucault's work has produced a veritable 'industry' of commentators, and to address all of the commentaries and modifications would be impossible. I also faced a parallel (if somewhat smaller) problem with the commentary about Foucault in organisation studies. Should I attempt to analyse everything written about Foucault and organisation? Posed with these problems, my work here is admittedly partial. But I have tried to be as thorough as possible in my analysis of two archives: Foucault's work, and studies of organisation that take inspiration from Foucault. I have taken Foucault's instruction that 'one ought to read everything': although I apologise for inevitable omissions and for limited analysis of certain works. A second problem relates to the position that I take in relation to Foucault. Unfortunately, commentators on Foucault tend to become polarised into groups of 'for' and 'against' Foucault. I do not insist that what follows is a 'balanced' or 'fair' account of Foucault and his value for organisation studies. I have consciously taken an appreciative position, as I believe that Foucault does have something to offer to those who take the study of the organisation of work seriously. That is not to say that Foucault has all the answers, or that Foucault is in some sense 'right' or not due for criticism. It is to say that Foucault developed a distinctive and influential approach which might provide us with some concrete techniques and a novel epistemological position that may be valuable when studying organisations. That said, another problem emerges, once again related to how I position myself. I was not sure whether I should write a highly abstract theoretical work that would satisfy existing 'Foucault gurus' by addressing all the complexity of Foucault's work, or if I should write a more accessible and less theoretically complex piece. I have tended towards the latter option, although readers who are more familiar Foucault will find many suggestions for further reading in the footnotes. I tended towards a more straightforward outline of Foucault's work for two reasons. First, plenty of commentary already exists for more experienced readers. Second, I found that amongst the organisation theorists who have used Foucault, there is still a disappointing lack of understanding of even Foucault's basic concepts. Thus, my reader should be warned that my chapters on Foucault are intended as an introduction to Foucault's work. Although this will not satisfy the hard-core Foucauldian, I hope that this approach will be most valuable for a broader audience. Finally, there are issues relating to my focus here on 'production'. For many recent social commentators, production is an industrial concern which was primarily a concern of a modernity that has now passed. Foucault seemed to invite such a reading of the relevance of work, in his polemics against the `economism' of certain forms of Marxian inquiry, In a lecture in 1973, Foucault is reported to have said that, 'It is false to say "with that famous post-Hegelian", that the concrete existence of man is labor'. Indeed, this point is well taken, and I welcome the contribution and intellectual vitality of an emerging Cultural Studies and other efforts to theorise the end of modernity. However, despite the importance of critical analysis of these other domains, I believe that production should remain a central concern for critical theory. Although it is important to theorise the multiple shifts in the cultural sphere, I Believe, as Catherine Casey succinctly put it, that 'Production endures'.

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  • A comparison of IPOs from small and medium sized enterprises: China vs Australia

    Ze, Tian (2000)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The general market behaviour of unseasoned new issues of Chinese A-shares and Australian common stock at the time of first day trading on respective stock exchanges is investigated, presenting a time-series analysis of the monthly volume and average initial returns on initial public offerings over a certain period of time. Also, the correlation of volume and underpricing among different groups of companies according to their size is studied. The underpricing of new stock issue defined as initial returns is widespread. The scale is extreme, especially on both the Shanghai Securities Exchange (SHSE) and Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) of China. The percentage of IPOs for small and medium sized enterprises is increasing in China and decreasing in Australia on average during the period presented in this paper. The results show that there is no significant difference in size between the companies listed on SHSE and SZSE in terms of total asset or revenue.

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  • Inside ownership and performance: Evidence from the horse racing industry

    Gorton, Luke (2004-05-20)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Owners of assets (principals) have always faced the problem of entrusting their assets with other people (agents) who use these assets in some way other than what the principal desire, a phenomenon commonly known as the 'agency problem'. Research into the agency problem has sought to determine what motivates agents, and what can be done to minimise the divergence between the agent's actions and the principal's best interests. One area of such research investigates the what happens to firm performance when the agent/principal distinction is lessened by the agent acquiring some ownership stake in the asset. The predictions from theoretical research, and support from empirical research, into the relationship between inside ownership and performance varies significantly. The inconsistency between different empirical studies into the relationship between inside ownership and performance may be due to problems suffered by the corporate data used in these studies. This thesis investigates the inside ownership/performance relationship utilising non-corporate data, specifically horse racing data, in an attempt to avoid these problems. In general, the results from this thesis suggest that a negative relationship exists between trainer ownership and performance. These results support labour market discipline theories which predict that a negative relationship could exist between trainer ownership and performance.

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