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The option value of developing two product standards simultaneously when the final standard is uncertain


  • Onno Lint


  • Enrico Pennings

    (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


This paper presents a framework for valuing managerial flexibility within the context of product standardization. The framework originates in a major standardization problem concerning digital tape recording at Philips Electronics. We use insights from financial option theory to calculate the option value of simultaneously developing two correlated product standards, and then compare this value to the option value of developing a single standard. We determine a threshold level such that for lower follow-on investment outlays development of both standards is optimal while for higher investment levels development of a single standard is optimal. This threshold is negatively related to the correlation between the value of the two standards. Finally, we show that properly incorporating uncertainty and the interdependence between the payoffs to the two standards leads to significantly different conclusions from standard NPV-analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Onno Lint & Enrico Pennings, 2002. "The option value of developing two product standards simultaneously when the final standard is uncertain," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2002-10, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2002-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Gamba, 2002. "Real options Valuation: A Monte Carol Approach," Working Papers wpn02-02, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.

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