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Article

Francesco Baldi and Lenos Trigeorgis

There has been a long controversy in the literature on assessing the value of human capital – a long-sought but elusive and challenging task. The ability to quantify…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been a long controversy in the literature on assessing the value of human capital – a long-sought but elusive and challenging task. The ability to quantify flexible human capital (FHC) has been a shortcoming in extant literature. We make a meaningful contribution by showing how real options (RO) methodology can be used to quantify FHC and we provide complementary case study evidence from Fortune 500 “best companies to work for” that the value of employee career development is higher in more volatile sectors in line with real options theory (ROT).

Design/methodology/approach

This article provides a prescriptive RO methodology for adopting a more flexible, staged SHRM organizational perspective suitable for uncertain environments, and explores its theoretical and empirical implications through the dual use of RO methodological modelling and multi-case study data involving ten Fortune 500 companies. The case study approach is aimed at creating managerially relevant knowledge. The relevance of our approach to managerial practice is shown through guidelines on how a company like Google might use the RO methodology to estimate the career development option value so as to inform its internal development program for employees to create and capture value.

Findings

Our focus is on the staging flexibility in HR as exemplified by the internal career development process. This process can be viewed as a multi-stage (compound) option involving various types of HC uncertainty, HC options, and HR practices. We model staging HR deployment via the option to promote staff employees to middle-level management, itself embedding the option to rise to the top management. To empirically validate our valuation approach, we present case study research that enables quantifying the option value of a career development program and allows assessing how much a mismatch exists in a sample of ten public U.S. companies.

Research limitations/implications

The overall staging quantification idea is important as it offers guidance as to how to value HR as a sequential investment process under uncertain demand or skill conditions. The analysis is limited to the extent that staged career development might interact with other types of human capital (e.g. switch and learning) options and HR practices (e.g. training). Human resources may also interact with other organizational intangibles, such as brand equity. Our analysis also does not account for psychological considerations from the employees' perspective, such organizational commitment facilitating trust to enable reciprocal commitments, which remains a fruitful subject for future extensions.

Practical implications

ROT can provide useful guidance and tools for HR scholars and managers. By keeping tabs on HR-based flexibility value and focusing on the key input variables driving HR flexibility, HR managers can determine the flexibility value unleashed from staging the deployment of HC resources in the face of unanticipated demand and skills shifts.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that attempts to quantify the value of staged career development flexibility using the RO methodology. This article will be cited for its innovativeness in being the first to quantify the value of human capital's contribution to corporate value creation and provide objective evaluation in the context of organizational career-development programs. Besides providing useful insights to scholars, the article also demonstrates how the RO methodology can apply to actual companies and inform managerial practice offering guidelines of relevance to HR practitioners on how to quantify the value of staged HC development in an uncertain environment.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article

Francesco Baldi

Real options available to developers and leading to an active and dynamic development of real estate assets are numerous. The purpose of the article is twofold. First, a…

Abstract

Purpose

Real options available to developers and leading to an active and dynamic development of real estate assets are numerous. The purpose of the article is twofold. First, a conceptual framework is proposed as a practical aid for recognizing and understanding some frequently recurring combinations of options (such as deferral and expansion options). Based on the definition and classification of real options available in real estate markets, a comprehensive valuation tool for quantifying the value of those options embedded in a real estate development project is thus developed using a portfolio view.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on standard option pricing techniques, the proposed conceptual methodology is validated by applying it to an actual case of an investment for the construction of a new, multi‐purpose building in the semi‐central zone of the urban area of Rome (Italy).

Findings

Based on a static land value of €34.7 million, a waiting mode (deferral option) at an early stage of developing a property accounts for 16 percent of the expanded land value of the project, with 8 percent of such value being contributed by the expansion option. A real options valuation of the options portfolio available to a real estate developer enables increasing the project value by 31.1 percent as opposed to a traditional DCF analysis. In line with financial options theory, values of real options increase as volatility rises.

Practical implications

The case‐based analysis highlights that: flexibility in real estate development may create additional value enabling real estate developers or funds to react to market trends as new information arrives and uncertainty on fundamental factors (e.g. property prices) unfolds; the extra value added by managerial flexibility is neglected by DCF/NPV techniques; contrary to the common criticism on its lack of rigor, option valuation theory is suitable for appraising real estate assets; a portfolio approach is crucial when multiple real options exist.

Originality/value

Active management of real estate investments in response to changing property market and technology conditions confers operating flexibility and strategic value to appraisal of development projects beyond what is traditionally captured by a DCF model. An options approach to valuing and managing real estate development may change the developer's perspective altogether. Based on the combination of an original classification and a portfolio view of options existing in real estate markets, a real options framework for assessing the value of strategic flexibility incorporated in a greenfield development project (also accounting for potential option interactions) is designed.

Details

Journal of European Real Estate Research, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-9269

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article

Laura Maran, Warwick Funnell and Monia Castellini

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an examination of Peter Leopold’s reform of the municipalities in the late eighteenth century in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive textual analysis of the very comprehensive collection of primary sources of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the de’ Medici and Hapsburg-Lorraine’s rule identified the reasons for Peter Leopold’s decision to decentralize his government’s authority and responsibilities. A systemic comparison of the 1765–1766 and 1775–1776 financial reports of the Municipality of Castrocaro and Terra del Sole disclosed the importance of the micro-practices of accounting and reporting for the reform.

Findings

In the context of the eighteenth century enlightenment, Peter Leopold legitimized his reform by the introduction of a modern style of government based on the rationalization of the municipal administrative system and decentralization of central authority and responsibility. The reform was made feasible by the substitution of a birth right principle with an economic discourse which linked tax payments to property ownership. This had the unintended consequence of increased taxes, higher municipal expenditures and possible inequalities between municipalities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study are dependent on the resources which have survived and are now preserved in the official archives of Galeata and Florence. This work contributes to the extant literature on administrative reforms in a crucial period for the redefinition of sovereignty by the ruling classes, with the rise of the modern State. It extends historical understanding of the public sector with a focus on local government in the eighteenth century in a non-Anglo-Saxon context.

Practical implications

The examination of the reform of Peter Leopold contributes to an enhanced understanding of present-day decentralization by governments in the context of the new public management (NPM). It provides to NPM advocates a broader temporal and contextual understanding of the impact of current decentralization reforms.

Originality/value

Few accounting studies have considered the micro-aspects of decentralization reforms at the municipal level and tried to identify their impact on the wealth of the population. Moreover, Peter Leopold’s reform is considered one of the most innovative and enlightened of the eighteenth century, while the remainder of Europe was still overwhelmingly committed to the centralization of administrative apparatuses. Finally, this study relates to the multi-disciplinary debate about the recognition, qualification and accountization of the impact of decentralization of responsibility for the delivery of government services.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Francesco Bimbo, Alessandro Bonanno, Hans Van Trijp and Rosaria Viscecchia

Psychological factors, such as body image dissatisfaction and the negative feelings associated with it may be related to the adoption of unhealthy eating behaviours. Also…

Abstract

Purpose

Psychological factors, such as body image dissatisfaction and the negative feelings associated with it may be related to the adoption of unhealthy eating behaviours. Also, body image dissatisfaction may lower the likelihood of engaging in long-term healthy eating habits and in the level of attention paid to the quality of the food consumed. As a result, body image may be related to consumers’ choice to purchase and consume health-enhancing food products. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot study of a small sample of Italian yogurt consumers was employed to explore if there is a relationship between respondents’ level of body image dissatisfaction and the number of health-enhancing yogurt choices. The data were collected by means of a virtual-shelf technique and were analysed using a negative binomial regression.

Findings

Results indicate that body image dissatisfaction is inversely related to the number of yogurt packages with health-enhancing features chosen from the virtual shelf. Also, respondents who read the nutrition label and those with more knowledge regarding leading functional yogurt brands, selected a higher number of functional yogurts from the virtual shelf compared, especially among women.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that body image dissatisfaction is inversely related to the number of yogurt packages with health-enhancing features chosen from the virtual shelf. Also, respondents who read the nutrition label and those with more knowledge regarding leading health-enhancing yogurt brands selected a higher number of health-enhancing yogurts options from the virtual shelf compared to others, especially among women.

Originality/value

The relationship between body image dissatisfaction and health-enhancing food choices has not been investigated in the consumer science and marketing literature. Additionally, this is one of the few papers that use a virtual shelf as a data-collection method.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Piotr Firek, Michal Cichomski, Michal Waskiewicz, Ireneusz Piwoński and Aneta Kisielewska

The purpose of this paper is to present possibility of fast and certain identification of bovine serum albumin (BSA) by means of ion-sensitive field effect transistor…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present possibility of fast and certain identification of bovine serum albumin (BSA) by means of ion-sensitive field effect transistor (ISFET) structures. Because BSA can cause allergic reactions in humans, it is one of reasons for development of sensitive sensors to detect residual BSA. BSA is commonly used in biochemistry and molecular biology in laboratory experiments. Therefore, to better understand the mechanism of signal transduction in simulated biological environment and to elucidate the role of adsorption of biomolecules in the generation of a signal at the interface with biological systems, the measurements of ISFET current response in the presence of BSA as a reference protein molecule were performed.

Design/methodology/approach

To fabricate transistors, silicon technology was used. The ISFET structures were coupled to specially designed double-side printed circuit board holder. After modification of the field effect transistor (FET) device with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES), a sensor with high sensitivity toward reference biomolecules was obtained. The current–voltage (I-V) characteristics of structures with and without gate modification were measured. Keithley SMU 236/237/238 measurement set was used. Deionized water solution and 0.05 per cent BSA were used.

Findings

In this research, a method of preparation of a biosensor based on a FET was developed. Sensitivity of APTES-modified FET device toward BSA as a biomolecule was investigated. I-V relationships of FET devices (with and without modification), being the effect of the interactions with the solution containing 0.05 per cent BSA, were measured and compared to the measurements performed for solutions without BSA.

Originality value

Compared to SiO2-containing ISFETs without modification or other different dielectrics, the application of APTES as the part of the membrane induced significant increase in their sensitivity to BSA.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

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