Essays on socially and environmentally responsible operations
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The three essays in this dissertation focus on social and environmental dimensions of managing the operations of organizations. Specifically, this dissertation: (i) employs analytical (e.g., econometric, game-theoretic and optimization models) and empirical (e.g., event study) techniques; and (ii) encompasses the following three areas: healthcare operations, sustainability, and nonprofit operations. While the majority of the healthcare operations management literature focuses on the demand side of the organ transplantation, in Essay 1, I focus on the supply-side to understand the socioeconomic costs of sub-optimal quantity and/or quality of organs recovered for transplantation. I develop an analytical model to study the effects of operational decisions of the two key supply-side entities, namely, the organ procurement organization (OPO) and hospital, on their respective payoffs and on societal outcomes, i.e., quality-adjusted-life-year increments. Through my analysis, I identify current misalignments in the objectives of the OPO, the hospital, and the social planner. Further, I recommend an administratively feasible and Pareto-improving contract that the social planner can use to achieve socially-optimal performance. Next, over the last two decades, firms have been appointing corporate sustainability executives (CSEs) to be part of their top management teams (TMTs). A CSE is the primary executive in the TMT with responsibility over the firm’s corporate sustainability strategy. In Essay 2, I add to the understanding of the empirical link between CSE appointments and financial performance by using a stock price-based performance measure. My findings suggests that although, on average, the shareholder value effect of CSE appointments is not significantly different from zero, the stock market reacts more positively under certain firm and industry-specific conditions. Finally, non-profit organizations (NPOs) that support and serve distressed individuals are often the last resort for those who are marginalized in society. To reduce mismatches between client needs and services provided, NPOs can invest in advisory effort during the intake process. While indirectly beneficial for generating social impact, advisory efforts consume resources that NPOs could have spent in delivering impact-generating services. In Essay 3, I develop an analytical model to study how an NPO should invest its limited resources between the advisory and service delivery activities. The analysis sheds light on when to invest more in an activity, and when to specialize on a single service type.