SDI: 2008 Student Profiles

The following Ph.D. candidates participated the 2008 Summer Doctoral Institute.

Nan Zhou


Nan Zhou is currently a second year PhD student at the Management Department, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She got her bachelor’s degree in finance at Tsinghua University, China. She got her master’s degree in business policy at National University of Singapore. Her research interests include diversification of Chinese firms, institutional theory, internationalization of firms and cross-national distances. 

Research Project:
The Determinants of Foreign Investment Size: The Role of Parent Firm and National Distance
Investment size has been overlooked in foreign direct investment (FDI) research. However, the study of investment size will shed light on how firms of different sizes develop and participate in the current trend of globalization, and on how entry barriers influence the pattern of FDI. Building on OLI paradigm and the process theory of internationalization, we develop an economic model of investment size. From this model, w
e derive hypotheses on the determinants of foreign investment size: it is positively related to parent firm size, while it follows an inverted U-shape relationship with national distances. Moreover, parent firm size and national distance also interact with each other to influence investment size. Our empirical analysis of Japanese FDI data from 1985 to 2003 supports our hypotheses. Click here to access current working paper.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jiawen Yang

Luis Dau

Timothy Fort

Luis Dau is a doctoral candidate in International Business at the University of South Carolina. He graduated valedictorian from his Global MBA from Thunderbird/ITESM and magna cum laude from the honors program of his BA from the University of San Diego. His research interests focus on the impact of institutional change, structural reform, national governance, and cultural frameworks on the strategy and performance of indigenous local and multinational firms from developing countries.

Research Project:
The Strategic Response of Business Group Affiliates in Emerging Markets to Increased Inward FDI
We study the impact of inward FDI on the strategic response of emerging market firms whether or not to expand their operations. Building on transaction cost economics and social network theory; we argue that the response of these firms depends on their financial and technological strength, on whether they are affiliated to a business group or other network, and on the composition of that network. Business group affiliates tend to have more access to flexibility in terms of resources and capabilities by virtue of being part of a network of firms. However, not all firms within the business group benefit equally from their association, because they may or may not be a central constituent of their network. The more central a firm is within its business group, the more likely it is to benefit from its relationship with the group. We therefore argue that centrality within a business group positively moderates the relationship between inward FDI and a firm’s decision to expand its domestic operations. Furthermore, we argue that the centrality of a firm vis-à-vis domestic and foreign firms provides similar advantages for the firm than the centrality of a business group affiliate. Based on a sample of 9007 public companies in India for the period 1988-2007, we generally find support for these arguments. Click here for copy of version of paper accepted to Academy of Management Proceedings

**Paper was finalist for two awards from the International Management Division (IMD) of the Academy of Management: Samsung Best Paper Award Finalists & IMD SKOLKOVO Best Paper on Emerging Markets Award Finalists

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Spencer

Jennifer Hadden


Jennifer Hadden is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Government at Cornell University. Her research interests focus on the interactions between a variety of collective actors – political parties, social movements, and organized labor – in Western European political systems. Her dissertation research focuses on the Europeanization of labor organizing in the contemporary European Union.

Research Project:
The Political Origins of Centralized Wage Bargaining in the OECD
An expansive literature demonstrates the importance of centralized wage bargaining for economic outcomes in OECD countries. Scholars have devoted far less attention to the origins of centralized bargaining and the question of why variations in the degree of bargaining centralization exist. Standard accounts suggest that centralized wage bargaining is the product of one of three factors: the exposure of small markets to trade, the strategic interest of employers in coordinated wage bargaining, or the Olsonian logic of union encompassment. In this paper, we show the importance of politics in generating centralized wage bargaining. We argue that political parties (not unions) are the relevant encompassing organizations that internalize the externalities of union behavior. Historically, left parties endeavored to use union-party ties to forge robust structures of centralized wage bargaining when they were electorally competitive and were successful in doing so when they had a high degree of control over affiliated unions. We test this hypothesis through a quantitative analysis of centralized bargaining in 15 OECD countries historical process tracing in three paradigmatic cases (Sweden, Germany and the UK). Click here to access current working paper

**Nominated for the Kellogg/Notre Dame Award for best paper in comparative politics at the 2009 Midwest Political Science Association Conference.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Emmanuel Teitelbaum

Camila Ronderos


Camila Ronderos is an Anthropologist with a minor in economics (1997 -2001) of Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia with an honor mention on the thesis entitled “Social Participation and the Perception of Public Spaces: A Comparative Analysis Bogotá, Colombia y Santiago, Chile”. Masters in Urban Development (2001 – 2004) from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile, thesis with two distinctions “New Ways of Public Participation in the Construction of Cities”. Currently in the Urban and Public Policy PhD program at Milano The New School of Management and Urban Policy. Worked as research assistant in the area of community participation in urban development while developing a Charrette, new participatory framework for involving communities, with the Catholic University in Chile. Moved on as lead researcher in the Fundación Ciudad Humana, in Bogotá, Colombia, strengthening community based organizations in health related issues and mobility in Bogotá, Armenia, Medellin and Monteria. Later coordinated the Safe Zones program at the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, where working jointly with the police and the Major’s Office the program seek to strengthen community participation in neighborhood watch programs. Afterwards was researcher in the UNDP Human Development Index for Bogotá focusing on the areas of participatory democracy, representative democracy and security.

Research Project:
The Role of NGOs for Improving Access to Capital for Traditionally Underserved Groups in Latin America
The community reinvestment infrastructure has changed the way banks lend in the US.; this infrastructure is based on community organizations that have worked towards achieving fair and equitable access to credit regardless of geographic location, socio economic standing or race. Through the implementation of pressure, education to consumers, research on lending practices and exposure in mass media; organizations, such as ACORN, have reached better lending practices that exclude redlining, racial discrimination and low and moderate income exclusion. There is a surge in the need for fair and equitable lending in both Europe and Latin America that has driven community organizations to work towards achieving a similar infrastructure that would allow them to pressure lending institutions and change the way lending is done. Europe has a wide number of immigrants that were being affected by this type of discriminatory lending and Latin America has been characterized by a lack of formal lending institutions for the lower income, forcing them to enter a informal market that would in many cases be a type of predatory lending. The focus of the research will be to explore the role that this type of NGO’s have played to favorably affect mortgage lending and give access to capital to traditionally underserved neighborhoods. The paper will look into the recent development of these organizations in Latin America and Europe and compare them to the role that such organizations have played in the US in the democratization of access to capital.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gregory Squires

Shana Marshall


Shana Marshall is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, with a concentration in International Relations and Comparative Politics of the Middle East. Her interests are broadly in the politics of economic reform in the developing world, specifically the effects of neoliberal economic reforms on domestic political structures in Egypt and Syria. She is the graduate research assistant for the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, where she works on the Arab Public Opinion Project.

Research Project:
The Superficial Saudi State: How Domestic Institutional Deficiencies Influence Nuclear Deterrence and Proliferation
This paper will examine the impact of the Saudi political and economic institutional landscape on a possible process of nuclear weapons acquisition. Saudi political and economic institutions are notoriously thin, in most cases superimposed on a blank slate by a small privileged elite and their colonial allies. Saudi Arabia is the archetype case of the superficial state: one which engaged in no struggle to establish a national market or work through a painful political struggle to arrive at a national compromise. Because of its unique geostrategic importance and natural resource wealth, its stability has been jealously guarded by Western governments, resulting in a tenuous equilibrium. The considerations most nations must make in their journey to go nuclear are not obstacles in the Saudi case: there are no political coalitions or opposition to co-opt, no hard-won national consensus to be reached, no budgetary constraints, no military or defense industrial complex to negotiate with, no media to expose confidential agreements. There is significant evidence to suggest that Saudi Arabia is in the process of acquiring a nuclear capability. How this process plays out on the domestic, regional and international political scene will tell us much about how other states that share Saudi Arabia's rentier character will fare in their search to go nuclear. Evidence for this paper will come from secondary literatures, including those on nuclear proliferation and the political economy of rentier states as well as interview material from academics and policy-makers in Washington DC, Egypt and Israel.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Lebovic

Valentina Marano


Valentina Marano is a doctoral candidate in International Business at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business. She holds an MA in International Affairs and Development from The Elliott School of International Affairs of The George Washington University, and a BA, summa cum laude, in Political Science and International Relations from the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Rome, Italy. Her research interests include Institutions and Development; Role of Diasporas vis-à-vis Homeland Investment in Developing Countries; Corporate Social Responsibility; Business for Poverty Reduction.

Research Project:
The Organizational Landscape of the Afghan American Diaspora: A Case of Transnational Institutional Entrepreneurship?
The present paper tries to answer the question of what motivates organizational institutional entrepreneurs to associate to bring about change. It also asks the related question of what forces determine their associational structure. The focal institutional entrepreneur is represented by the U.S.-based Afghan diaspora non-profit organizations. These are typically development organizations with the goal of improving living conditions in Afghanistan. I argue that the cultural and material resources available to members of the Afghan diaspora in the United States, their emotional attachment to the homeland, and Afghanistan’s developmental needs create the impetus for their emergence. In addition, this paper maps current dynamics within the U.S.-based Afghan diaspora non-profit organizations. By doing so, it has the potential to help American policy makers leverage Afghan diaspora’s resources to facilitate the reconstruction of Afghanistan, a key issue on the U.S. foreign policy agenda.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Liesl Riddle & Dr. Tjai Nielsen

Mahdi Zanddizari

Jennifer W. Spencer

Mahdi Zand is a first year PhD student at University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. His B.S was in industrial management and followed by MBA. His major in MBA was operation and finance. In addition, the area of research for his PhD is supply chain management, and project finance. He is specially interested in supply chain contracting, and inventory management.

Research Project:
Quantity Flexibility Contract Under Advance Purchase Discount and Information Asymmetry
The supply chains of today’s global economies tend to be decentralized and span international boundaries. Global manufacturers attempt to match their production locations with demand signals from retailers. A typical approach is to use lower cost offshore production facilities to meet forecasted demand with long lead times while using domestic expensive facilities to respond quickly to actual demand signal from the retailer. Various contract terms can be used to specify such arrangements. This paper proposes and analyzes contracting mechanisms that seek to optimize profit both for the manufacturer and the retailer. Operating in a near optimal mode would make the supply chains more efficient and may help improve the involved national economies in aggregate. Under the decentralized supply chain, it is of importance to efficiently share inventory risk between two parties through a linear contract. In particular, a mutual commitment between two parties, where the retailer places initial demand forecast and commits to purchase a fraction of it in exchange for the manufacturer to commit to produce a fraction above retailer’s commitment as seen in the Quantity Flexibility (QF) contract, can result in a better inventory risk sharing. Nonetheless, the QF contract, by itself, can hardly address well-established coordination barriers such as information asymmetry, double marginalization, and retailer’s effort. Hence, this paper is to combine the QF contract with advance purchase discount initiative to investigate how this combination can improve supply chain coordination and mitigate mentioned barriers. Our findings indicate that this combination can promisingly make the retailer undertake more inventory risk (it highly mitigates the double marginalization problem) and subsequently exert more arduous sale effort. In addition, this combination can largely discourage the malignant behavior of the retailer (order inflation).

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sanjay Jain

Chang Yan


Chang Yan is a current doctoral student in International business at Southern New Hampshire University. She is originally from Beijing, China, where she earned her BS in computer science. In the United States she earned her MS in IT and MBA at SNHU. 
Her current researches are country attractiveness for FDI location selection, China banking, game theory, and leadership style. With research interests in China's financial markets, especially banking, FDI location selection, and game theory.

Research Project:
The Determinants of NPL: Banking Performance Perspective
Due to the specific situations of different countries, non-performing problem varies in terms of definitions, classifications, causes, and resolutions. Therefore, the paper is to address the determinants of non-performing loan problem from banking performance perspective. As the globalization and the development of international business, non-performing loan becomes a very important indicator of the banking and financial performance. We are trying to identify the common factors of non-performing loan among countries with different institutional systems, and different economic, political, and culture environment. By looking at a set of factors, we are trying to find out the relationships between bank assets to GDP, M2/GDP, lending-deposit rates spread and NPL. The findings of the paper will be new and interesting in this area in terms of the perspective, and will give a clear understanding of non-performing loan and its determinants.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jiawen Yang

André Corrêa D’Almeida


André Corrêa d'Almeida is a PhD Candidate in the School of Public Affairs (SPA) and a Research Assistant at the Center for Education Public Policy (CEPA) at SPA -University of Colorado (UCD). His main current research interest is the role of highly skilled returnees and social networking in poverty relief policies in African countries. He has a degree in Economics initiated in Portugal and concluded in The Netherlands, and a MSc in Project Management from the Catholic University of Macau (IIUM), China. He has research published in several areas of Social Economics in Portugal such as Immigration and Public Accounting, Occupational Mobility of Immigrations, Analysis of Remittances of Immigrants in Portugal, Payment Salary System in Public Administration, The Absence in the Portuguese Public Administration, Best Practices on the Teaching of Mathematic, and The Impact of National Employment Strategy. He also has teaching experience in Applied Mathematics, Project Management for Non-Profit Organizations, Economic aspects of Immigration, and Project Management and Decision Making Tools. He has experience at the management level such as the Coordinator for Academic Affairs at IIUM, Developer of a fundraising and partnership network for the Rainforest Alliance (NY) in Europe, Project Manager of Sintra - Digital City, and Deputy Coordinator for the Immigration Observatory of Portugal. He received a Research Activity Award from UCD and a scholarship award from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. In the field of arts he is a member of the New York Songwriters with a CD of original songs published in Portugal and a photography book about the children and culture of Tibet - The Spirits of the Mountain. Among several other involvements with the non-for-profit sector he is also the founder of Scouting (Western methodology) in Macau, China.

Research Project:
Social and Organizational Strategies for Implementation of Enhanced Environmental and Social Protection Policies in Mozambique
This empirical study seeks to understand how the specific conditions of the institutional setting in developing countries shape NGOs strategies and tactics to influence agenda setting in these countries. This study will focuses on the specific case of health sector in Mozambique for illustrative purpose. A purposive sample of seven top-executives from different NGOs with a long history of operations in Mozambique will be selected for case-studies.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jorge Rivera

Osman Antwi-Boateng


Osman Antwi-Boateng is a doctoral candidate in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. He earned his first Masters in international Affairs with a concentration in Communication and Development from Ohio University-Athens and a second Masters in Security Studies (International Security) from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington D.C. He holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration-Marketing from Adrian College, MI. His research interests are sub-Saharan politics, International security, ethnic conflict and conflict resolution, failed states, international development and transnational issues.

Research Project:
The Diaspora Effect: US-Based Liberia Diaspora as Peace Building Norm Entrepreneurs
I seek to investigate how the Liberian Diaspora community domiciled in the U.S contributes towards peace building in the home country from afar, after a prolonged period of civil war. Of particular focus will be their motivation for pursuing peace building, modus operandi and the various modes of conduct that contributes towards peace-building in Liberia. This will be a qualitative research based on empirical data collected through interviews with key representatives of the Liberian Diaspora across the U.S.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stephen Lubkemann