College of Business and Law - Masters by Research Theses

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    Soccer and CO2: air travel at international football tournaments from 1990 to 2024
    (University College Cork, 2024) McCarthy, Conor J.; Butler, Robert; Butler, David
    This research explores the impact of football air travel on the environment for all men’s World Cup and UEFA European Football Championships hosted between 1990-2024. These tournaments required qualifying teams to travel to a host country and attract tens of thousands of supporters to stadiums throughout the host country. The supporter of teams and players travel across the host nation during their stay in the competition. Depending on the success of the team this can range from about 10 days up to 5 weeks.
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    A study on the correlation between future economic conditions and stock returns under China's A-share market
    (University College Cork, 2023) Wang, Zitong; Gao, Jun; Sherman, Meadhbh
    Our study aims to investigate the explanatory power of future economic conditions on the returns of individual stocks in the Chinese A-share market. We use an integrated research methodology to study this topic scientifically and systematically. All A-share stocks in the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange are selected as the primary research objects, and data representing China's real economic activity are widely collected. With these data, we analyze a new trading strategy based on a reasonable prediction of future real activities using the capital asset pricing model and the Fama-French three-factor model. In addition, we have specifically examined the performance of this trading strategy on two different types of stocks (pro-cyclical and counter-cyclical stocks). Particularly noteworthy is that, unlike previous studies, we innovatively adopt the producer price index (PPI) as a measure of China's real economic activity based on the largest possible selection of sample intervals. This innovative approach provides a new perspective for us to deeply understand the operating mechanism of China's A-share market and the impact of economic conditions on the performance of individual stocks. The study results show no significant relationship between future economic conditions and individual stock returns in China's A-share market. Besides, those investors who want to get excess returns can short the pro-cyclical stocks and/or long the counter-cyclical stocks if production growth in the following month is anticipated to be above the steady state and vice versa. Our new trading strategy demonstrates potential advantages and gives investors a unique decision-making perspective. This finding not only provides investors with a more reliable basis for decision-making but also helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the operating rules of the Chinese stock market. This new perspective sheds light on the potential impact mechanism of economic activities on the Chinese stock market, which sheds important light on the optimization of investment strategies and risk management. Meanwhile, our trading strategy research provides an innovative way for investors to seek better returns among different classes of stocks. However, some things could be improved in this study. Future research can be further deepened and expanded to understand the relationship between China's A-share market and economic conditions more comprehensively and continuously optimize trading strategies' practicality and robustness. Overall, the findings of this thesis fill a research gap in the academic field and provide new perspectives and methods for investment decision-making and risk management. These findings will provide valuable references for relevant scholars and practitioners and contribute to a deeper understanding of China's macroeconomic conditions and their relationship with the A-share market.
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    The information needs of prospective postgraduate students: a data placemats approach
    (University College Cork, 2023) Patton, Aaron; Sammon, David; Nagle, Tadhg
    This is an exploratory study into the information needs of final year students when considering a postgraduate offering. There is little academic evidence on such information needs in the Higher Education Institution (HEI) context, yet the challenges that HEIs face to design effective data-driven recruitment and marketing strategies, and the variability in information currently provided to prospective postgraduate students presents a real opportunity for further investigation. For the purposes of this research, we are focusing on final year business school students only (Cork University Business School) and their interest in postgraduate programmes within the business school and beyond. This allows the research to focus on the information needs for recruitment but also retention. Hearing the final year student voice in this research but also comparing it to the HEI recruitment personnel voice will highlight the alignment of the respective positions on information needs. It is expected that this research will lend itself to the prescription of design guidelines for information needs. These design guidelines would be of practical value to HEIs.
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    The efficient market hypothesis applied to greyhound racing
    (University College Cork, 2022) Gaine, Bill; Butler, Robert; Butler, David
    Despite a growing amount of literature applying the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) in sports betting markets (Angelini, Angelis, Singleton, 2019, Brechot and Flepp, 2020). Many sports, like horse racing, could be subject to corruption through shirking (Goodwin and Corral, 1996). Greyhound racing provides a unique sporting environment when testing betting market efficiency, where shirking is almost impossible. This study applies EMH to anecdotal evidence from the greyhound racing industry. A longstanding anecdotal belief in greyhound racing is that a dog placed in Trap Four of the six possible traps is the coffin trap. This belief implies that being in Trap Four reduces the chance of success in any given contest. This study used multiple iterations of a Poisson regression to perform three distinctive groups of regressions. This first included Pre-Race variables; the second included the determinants of finishing position: within-race bends, and finally, the third factored in the determinants of finishing position: trap dummies. The “coffin trap” theory holds weight; Trap Four significantly predicted race outcomes across each regression. Trap Three was also significant across most regressions, showing that it could also be considered a coffin trap. Interestingly, when either Trap Three or Trap Four were removed, either trap came out with an advantage over the other traps, indicating that avoiding crowding was crucial in determining race outcome. Greyhound racing provides a unique area to further investigate the EMH in sports betting markets without corruption through shirking. This study could be furthered in the future by incorporating the jurisdictions of Ireland and Australia and diverse types of races from different distances, hurdles or handicap races.
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    Exploring capabilities driving SME development of technological readiness within the marine sector
    (University College Cork, 2022-05-18) Sadeghi Gargari, Negar; Shinnick, Edward; Dooley, Lawrence
    SMEs contribute to the economy along with industrial expansion. However, there are challenges for SMEs in the present environment to keep pace with the turbulent technological advances, and most new technologies fail to traverse the gap between the proof-of-concept and prototype demonstrated in the relevant environment (valley of death between TRL 3 to 7). This requires detailed real-time information on the challenges of SMEs through the chronological evolution path and required capabilities to develop their technology and bring it to the market. Given the vast quantities of untapped renewable energy, the strategic importance of the sector and the emergence of a cluster of such SMEs, this exploratory study focused on how technology-based SMEs can develop technological, organisational, and managerial capabilities through their technology development to move from proof-of-concept to scalable prototyping through the technology readiness spectrum. For this purpose, the research started with a survey of the existing population for a broad understanding of the subject through 33 quantitative questionnaires. Then, three explorative interviews were conducted to delve into issues raised in questionnaire results, and finally, an in-depth analysis was carried out to assess the issues raised in questionnaires by nine qualitative case studies. The results showed that technology development programs do not only rely on technological capabilities and must prioritise organizational and managerial capabilities and outsource the capability gaps through partnerships with academic institutions, SMEs, large companies, and the customer market. In this regard, consistent learning from prior experiences and knowledge transfer between SMEs and large companies in the marine energy sector and other sectors is crucial for developing technological capabilities. Besides, experimental analysis and testing at test facilities and sites require a robust, scalable idea regarding the facilities' technical specifications. Furthermore, the findings highlighted the crucial role of financial resources, which can be achieved by writing convincing grant proposals or creating a cash flow in the firm. This can be achieved by increasing the focus on commercialization even at earlier TRLs by finding intermediary markets. All this can lead to developing organizational capabilities in a firm. Moreover, the results showed that besides technological and organizational capabilities, managerial capabilities and human skills could help SMEs through the valley of death, which requires training in management and business for technology developers. Finally, the networking and partnership capability is particularly significant to fill the capability gaps, which should be facilitated by government assistance. The research findings will contribute to improving the ability of SME marine renewable energy firms to develop their technology and bring it to the market for societal benefit. Implications for theory, marine energy technology developers and policy offer a deeper understanding of how we can better nurture marine-based SMEs in traversing across the valley of death (TRL3-TRL7) by developing technological, organizational, managerial, and external capabilities.