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PhD Program

PhD Dissertation Defense, Ashkan Faramarzi, Marketing

Congratulations to Dr Ashkan Faramarzi, Marketing specialization, who successfully defended his Doctoral dissertation at HEC Paris, on December 14, 2020. Ashkan joined the ESDES - Lyon Business School as Assistant Professor.

Ashkan Faramarzi, HEC PhD 2020, Marketing

Thesis Topic: 
Essays in Marketing Strategy: The Role of Loyalty Programs, Marketing Capabilities, and Servitization

Advisors: 
Marc VANHUELE, Professor, HEC Paris
Stefan  WORM, Associate Professor, BI Norwegian Business School

Jury members:   
Sundar BHARADWAJ, Professor, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, USA
Peter EBBES, Associate Professor, HEC Paris
Shuba SRINIVASAN, Professor, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, USA
Gilles LAURENT, Professor, ESSEC Business School, France

Marc VANHUELE, Professor, HEC Paris, Advisor
Stefan  WORM, Associate Professor, BI Norwegian Business School, Co-advisor

Abstract: 
In this dissertation, I examine the effects of three important marketing investments on firm financial performance. In particular, I study how investments in loyalty programs, capabilities, and servitization impact different aspects of firm performance. The three essays aim to contribute to the broader literature on marketing accountability. In the first chapter, I address an important gap in the literature of loyalty programs by linking the introduction of these programs to enterprise value. Using an event study of 260 announcements of American firms from 2000 to 2017, I find that the introduction of loyalty programs, on average, positively influences firm value. The results of this study also reveal the existence of contingencies including synergies with complementary market-based assets and market conditions of lower uncertainty in determining the value of loyalty programs. In the second chapter, I examine an important aspect of marketing investments (i.e., capabilities and assets) in a new but very important context: bankruptcy and failure risk. Using a large longitudinal dataset of U.S. firms, I show that while both marketing capabilities and assets, but not R&D, play an important role in reducing bankruptcy risk, it is mainly marketing capabilities which reduce the bankruptcy risk for distressed firms. In contrast, while R&D initiatives take a long time to materialize and thus do not significantly affect bankruptcy risk, they protect competitor firms from contagion in case of bankruptcy within the industry. In the third chapter, I establish a link between servitization and firm financial and non-financial performance using a meta-analysis. Servitization is defined as a transformational process of adding services to products with a strategic transition from goods-dominant logic to service-dominant logic. I find an overall positive correlation between servitization and firm performance. I also demonstrate the moderating role of various contextual (e.g., service type, business type, regional characteristics, time trend) and methodological characteristics (e.g., measures of servitization and performance, endogeneity, estimation method).