Consider your options: changes to strategic value during implementation of advanced manufacturing technology
Strategic investments such as flexible manufacturing technology yield benefits to a company beyond the immediate cash flows. These strategic benefits can be captured, to some degree, using real option valuation techniques. However, real option models presume these can be identified and evaluated at an early stage in the investment process. In this paper, the authors argue real option value is often only vaguely defined at the adoption stage and frequently manifest during implementation. By examining four advanced manufacturing technology investments during implementation within different organizations, this study qualitatively explores the changes to original real options as unanticipated problems surface and solutions are found and implemented. The study found that as the companies adapted to implementation setbacks, the form, scale, value and clarity of the real options changed. For three of the companies, the changes to options were negative while the fourth case indicated positive effects. Most prevalent were delays in the earliest possible exercise date. The results highlight the need to consider changes to strategic value as companies adapt to setbacks that arise during project implementation. Implications for the evaluation of such projects are discussed.
Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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