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FB Magazine JUN 2020

DBA/DMgt Graduates’ Research

PolyU DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) is the region’s first professional and academic doctorate in business and management launched in Hong Kong in 1996, extended to and named DMgt (Doctor of Management) on the Chinese mainland in 2004. So far, 508 graduates had completed the programme and transformed themselves into ‘scholar-leaders’ who integrate academic study with management practice and apply research findings to tackle real-world issues.

DBA/DMgt participants apply what they have acquired in the programme to examine a wide range of topics and conduct independent research with the aim of contributing to the practice of business administration and management with new insights. Some interesting findings of the programme’s best thesis awardees relate to digital transformation.


Chen Fu

Dr Chen Fu
2017 DMgt graduate
Economic Informatization
Hulunbeier City
Supervisor: Professor Mao Jiye

The thesis defined the concept of data analysis capability and presented a metric scale with 16 items to measure this ability based on findings from literature review, research utilizing Delphi Method surveys, first round company interviews, pre-survey, second round company interviews and formal survey. The initial metric scale contains 23 items covering four scopes and finally revised to the current version after the whole research process includes two rounds of Delphi Method surveys, pre-surveys and interviews with core management teams, especially people in key positions like CTO and CEO in enterprises.

The author totally sent out the questionnaire to 1,007 enterprises and received 108 valid responses via channels like online and offline questionnaire, e-mail, WeChat (social media APP), etc. This paper utilized statistical hypothesis testing to verify the finding that data analysis capability has a positive correlation with business performance from the aspect of organization learning approaches, namely the exploitative learning and the exploratory learning, which helps to fill the blank field in theoretical research of data science.

Bai Wenchao

Bai Wenchao
2018 DMgt graduate
Guangdong HopeSun Law Firm
Supervisor: Dr Xin Xu

Internet of Things (IoT) generally refers to the embedment of computing and communication devices in various types of physical objects (e.g., automobiles) in people's daily work and life. These devices exchange data in real time over the Internet. Smart services can then be developed based on the real-time capture, tracking, and analysis of data streams about individual behaviours and providing the immediate feedbacks about individual task performance. I draw from feedback intervention theory (FIT) to investigate the impact of an IoT-enabled immediate feedback intervention on individual task performance.

My research context is a smart service based on the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) technology - a smart test-simulation system for trainees implemented by a large driver-training service provider in China. I postulate that the focal smart service functions as a feedback intervention (FI) to improve individual trainees’ task performance (i.e., passing the formal driving test) by providing two types of real-time FI cues - the velocity cues about the overall performance and the corrective cues about the details of errors made by trainees in the test simulation. Furthermore, I hypothesize two interaction effects - between a trainee’s training mode and the test simulation and between feedback timing and the amount of FI cues - on formal test performance.

I utilized a quasi-experimental method together with propensity score matching (PSM) to empirically validate my research model. The Difference-in-Difference (DID) analysis and the multiple regression results supported the significant impact of the test simulation as a FI on trainees’ performance in the formal driving test. Results also supported the interaction effect of feedback timing and the amount of corrective FI cues on formal test performance. I discuss the theoretical contributions and the practical significance of my research at the end of my dissertation.

Chung Siu Kuen

Dr Chung Siu Kuen
2018 DBA graduate
General Manager & Head of Personal Banking Division
Chong Hing Bank Limited (a member of Yuexiu Group)
Supervisors: Ir Professor T.C. Edwin Cheng and Dr Petrus Choy

Amid major socio-economic changes and rapid technological development, retail banking is a highly competitive business sector. Digital transformation has had substantial effects on the retail banking business. The main objective of my thesis is to identify and evaluate the perceived level of importance of the critical success factors and organizational performance measures pertinent to retail banking in the digital era.

Through extensive literature reviews, supplemented by consultancy reports, initial constructs and the corresponding measurement indicators of the critical success factors and the organizational performance measures pertinent to retail banking in the digital era were identified.

Field study by means of structured questionnaire was conducted for retail banking management offices in Mainland China, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression analysis were then conducted on the collected data to examine and test the critical success factors and organizational performance measures pertinent to retail banking in the digital era and their inter-relationships.

Five critical success factors, namely (i) technological innovation, (ii) regulatory compliance and risk management, (iii) service quality, (iv) human resources management, and (v) organizational flexibility, and four organizational performance measures, namely (i) digital marketing performance, (ii) digital financial performance, (iii) integrative service performance, and (iv) digital operational performance of retail banking in the digital era were identified in this study.  Findings of the study show that the five critical success factors are statistically associated with the four organizational performance measures at different levels of significance.

It is expected that the findings of the study could provide useful insights to the management of retail banks in pursuing superior organizational performance in the digital era. Retail banks should thereby be more clearly able to determine their strategic directions, deploy limited resources and assets, and adopt suitable strategies to sustain their competitiveness in the digital era.

Cheng Chung Ngam

Dr Cheng Chung Ngam, Rocky
2019 DBA graduate
Chief Information Officer
Bank of China (HK) Limited
Supervisors: Professor JJ Hsieh and Dr June Cheng

Agency problems are pravent between business and IT functions when it comes to IT resource consumption in the organizational context. However, there has been limited scholarly attention on IT chargeback as a core governance mechanism and examining how IT chargeback impacts organizational performance. In this thesis, I propose a research model explaining that IT chargeback promotes strategic alignment between business and IT functions, leading to better organizational performance; and that the relationship between IT chargeback and strategic alignment is moderated by business executives’ IT competence and IT executives’ business competence. To verify the research model and associated hypotheses, I collected data from chief information officers (CIOs) of 103 organizations. The results showed that IT chargeback positively affects strategic alignment between IT and business functions only when CIOs have a high level of business competence. Consistent with prior literature, the results also reveal that strategic alignment significantly affects organizational performance. In addition, I find that business executives’ IT competence and CIOs’ business competence both directly contribute to strategic alignment. The most important and valuable finding of this study is the discovery of the imperative role of CIOs in the modern digital economies - rather than the supporting function that CIOs used to play in the past, CIOs in the digital economy should proactively assume the leadership roles to champion the digital transformation and innovation needed for success in the highly competitive and dynamic environment.