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Examining the influence of firm performance on business risk-taking and the mediation effect of scale of operations in the container terminal industry


  • Lun, Y.H. Venus
  • Browne, Michael
  • Lai, Kee-hung
  • Wong, Christina W.Y.
  • Cheng, T.C.E.


Container shipping and its related service sectors help accelerate globalization of the world economy. This industry has been experiencing rapid growth, prompting container terminal operators to increase their handling capacity in response. Providing container terminal services requires substantial capital investment in physical assets such as cargo handling facilities and information systems. On the other hand, operating container terminals is a long-term investment that typically spans several business cycles. Hence prudent asset management using appropriate tools is critical for container terminal operators to sustain their businesses. Generally, due to risk-adverseness, investors are unwilling to take more risk in their investment unless they can reap a higher return. Contrary to this argument, this study finds no direct influence of better firm performance as a proxy of higher return on business risk-taking by container terminal operators. Instead, scale of operations is positively associated with business risk-taking, suggesting that container terminal operators with a larger scale of operations are willing to take more business risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Lun, Y.H. Venus & Browne, Michael & Lai, Kee-hung & Wong, Christina W.Y. & Cheng, T.C.E., 2011. "Examining the influence of firm performance on business risk-taking and the mediation effect of scale of operations in the container terminal industry," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 64-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:32:y:2011:i:1:p:64-70
    DOI: 10.1016/j.retrec.2011.06.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul H. Cootner & Daniel M. Holland, 1970. "Rate of Return and Business Risk," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 1(2), pages 211-226, Autumn.
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    5. David J. Teece, 2003. "Towards an Economic Theory of the Multiproduct Firm," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Essays In Technology Management And Policy Selected Papers of David J Teece, chapter 15, pages 419-446 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Gunasekaran, Angappa & Lai, Kee-hung & Edwin Cheng, T.C., 2008. "Responsive supply chain: A competitive strategy in a networked economy," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 549-564, August.
    7. Richard A. Bettis & Vijay Mahajan, 1985. "Risk/Return Performance of Diversified Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(7), pages 785-799, July.
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