Project Management Under Risk: Using the Real Options Approach to Evaluate Flexibility in R...D
Managerial flexibility has value in the context of uncertain R...D projects, as management can repeatedly gather information about uncertain project and market characteristics and, based on this information, change its course of action. This value is now well accepted and referred to as "real option value." We introduce, in addition to the familiar real option of abandonment, the option of corrective action that management can take during the project. The intuition from options pricing theory is that higher uncertainty in project payoffs increases the real option value of managerial decision flexibility. However, R...D managers face uncertainty not only in payoffs, but also from many other sources. We identify five example types of R...D uncertainty, in market payoffs, project budgets, product performance, market requirements, and project schedules. How do they influence the value from managerial flexibility? We find that if uncertainty is resolved or costs/revenues occur after all decisions have been made, more variability may "smear out" contingencies and thus reduce the value of flexibility. In addition, variability may reduce the probability of flexibility ever being exercised, which also reduces its value. This result runs counter to established option pricing theory intuition and contributes to a better risk management in R...D projects. Our model builds intuition for R...D managers as to when it is and when it is not worthwhile to delay commitments---for example, by postponing a design freeze, thus maintaining flexibility in R...D projects.
Volume (Year): 47 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Roberts, Kevin & Weitzman, Martin L, 1981.
"Funding Criteria for Research, Development, and Exploration Projects,"
Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-1288, September.
- M. L. Weitzman & K. Roberts, 1979. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development and Exploration Projects," Working papers 234, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Merton, Robert C, 1998. "Applications of Option-Pricing Theory: Twenty-Five Years Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 323-349, June.
- Merton, Robert C., 1997. "Applications of Option-Pricing Theory: Twenty-Five Years Later," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1997-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg, 1994. "An Option Valuation Analysis of Investment Choices by a Regulated Firm," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 535-548, April.
- Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987. "Time to build, option value, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
- Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1985. "Time to Build, Option Value, and Investment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 1654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James E. Smith & Robert F. Nau, 1995. "Valuing Risky Projects: Option Pricing Theory and Decision Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(5), pages 795-816, May.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
- Thomke, Stefan H., 1998. "Simulation, learning and R&D performance: Evidence from automotive development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 55-74, May.
- Pennings, Enrico & Lint, Onno, 1997. "The option value of advanced R & D," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 83-94, November.
- Shantanu Bhattacharya & V. Krishnan & Vijay Mahajan, 1998. "Managing New Product Definition in Highly Dynamic Environments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(11-Part-2), pages 50-64, November.
- William C. Jordan & Stephen C. Graves, 1995. "Principles on the Benefits of Manufacturing Process Flexibility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(4), pages 577-594, April. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:47:y:2001:i:1:p:85-101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.