Managerial practice differs from standard capital budgeting theory in a number of respects. For example, managers often take projects that have negative NPV (e.g., R & D…
Managerial practice differs from standard capital budgeting theory in a number of respects. For example, managers often take projects that have negative NPV (e.g., R & D investments) due to their flexibility, synergy strategic positioning etc. Furthermore, managers continue to use accounting‐based measures in capital budgeting even though NPV is widely accepted as the only correct valuation measure. In fact, managers and strategists probably have always attempted to intuitively attach value to a variety of “strategic” and other concerns, even when they couldn't quantify them.
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…
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The financial analysis of international investment decisions is complex. The basic methodology which homes in on incremental cash flows needs to be refined in order to…
The financial analysis of international investment decisions is complex. The basic methodology which homes in on incremental cash flows needs to be refined in order to focus upon cash flows which are remittable to the parent company, for it is only these that would logically add shareholder value. Build in the complications of two lots of tax and changing exchange rates and the equation looks anything but simple. But there is another complexity too which renders the traditional discounting methodology less than wholly appropriate. And this applies not just to international investment but to any situation where capital is committed with an option to expand or curtail embedded in it. This is not to say that the typical model cannot be adapted to meet the situation. It can and it is not too difficult.
Analysis of Information Options offers new tools for evaluating investments in research, mineral exploration, logistics, energy transmission, and other information…
Analysis of Information Options offers new tools for evaluating investments in research, mineral exploration, logistics, energy transmission, and other information operations. With Information Options, the underlying assets are information assets and the rules governing exercise are based on the realities of the information realm (infosphere). Information Options can be modeled as options to “purchase” information assets by paying the cost of the information operations involved. Information Options arise at several stages of value creation. The initial stage involves observation of physical phenomena with accompanying data capture. The next refinement is to organize the data into structured databases. Then bits of information are selected from storage and synthesized into an information product (such as a management report). Next, the information product is presented to the user via an efficient interface that does not require the user to be a field expert. Information Options are similar in concept to real options but substantially different in their details, since real options have physical objects as the underlying assets and the rules governing exercise are based on the realities of the physical world. Also, while exercising a financial option typically kills the option, Information Options may include multiple exercises. Information Options may involve high volatility or jump processes as well, further enhancing their value. This chapter extends several important real option applications into the information realm, including jump process models and models for valuing options to synthesize any of n information items into any of m output assets.
As global economic systems become increasingly more complex and dynamic and the universal language of historical accounting is being profoundly altered, the theory and…
As global economic systems become increasingly more complex and dynamic and the universal language of historical accounting is being profoundly altered, the theory and tools we use in neo-classical economics, traditional finance, and valuation are beginning to prove inadequate to the tasks being required of them. Hence, there is a need to consider new avenues of thought and new tools. In this conceptual chapter, I explore the use of real options “in” engineering systems design as a means to achieve more rigorous and insightful results in the design and valuation of economic systems, particularly that of the firm. In the process, I gain further insight into the causes and cures for systemic disturbances generated by the presence and selection of real options in economic systems.
Justifying new manufacturing technology is usually very difficult since the most important benefits are often strategic and difficult to quantify. Traditional capital…
Justifying new manufacturing technology is usually very difficult since the most important benefits are often strategic and difficult to quantify. Traditional capital budgeting procedures that rely on return measures based on direct cost savings and incremental future cash flows do not normally capture the strategic benefits of higher quality, faster responses to wider ranges of customer needs, and the options for future growth made available by flexible manufacturing technology. Adding to these limitations is the difficulty of using traditional cost accounting systems to generate the information necessary for justifying new manufacturing investments. This paper reviews these problems and recommends procedures useful for assessing investments in flexible manufacturing technology.
Models for valuing an option to exchange one commodity for another, or any combination of n commodities for some combination of m others, are applied to the capital…
Models for valuing an option to exchange one commodity for another, or any combination of n commodities for some combination of m others, are applied to the capital budgeting problem. By analyzing a project in the exchange option pricing framework, it is possible to draw wellfounded conclusions about the effects on project value of such attributes as flexibility and innovativeness. A project which uses systems that have many alternative uses is recognized by such analysis to be more valuable than an otherwise identical project which uses very specialized systems, because the former provides a greater array of choices. Likewise, a company which thinks of a new use for some kind of system will be able to generate a project which has a higher value than any other company could generate from the same system. By including divestiture as one of the alternatives in the portfolio of options representing a project, it is possible to incorporate project abandonment into the analysis, which is an improvement over earlier methodologies which simply add the value of the “abandonment option” to the discounted cash flow net present value. Finally, shortcomings of the options approach to capital budgeting are discussed.
Perhaps there is no area in which the practice of financial management and its academic treatment are more divergent than in the area of corporate strategy or strategic…
Perhaps there is no area in which the practice of financial management and its academic treatment are more divergent than in the area of corporate strategy or strategic planning. The practice of financial management or financial engineering has for many years been involved in assessing various strategies and analyzing investment alternatives with dominant strategy themes (e.g. investments in research in development). Their academic counterparts, however, have had great difficulty relating the strategy literature to the finance literature. There are a number of reasons for this but perhaps the most important one has been the fact that the strategy and finance literatures have grown up with very different heritages. Financial economists, who provide the theoretical structure for the practice of financial management, have a deeply rooted heritage in the structure of the neoclassical theory of the firm and have traditionally been extremely reluctant to branch out to new areas unless those areas could somehow be incorporated into that particular theoretical structure. This seems to be changing. Part of the reason has been the movement of the strategy literature toward finance as is evidenced in the work of Michael Porter who has adopted the language of the theory of the firm to address the problem of corporate strategy. In addition, part of the movement toward convergence is due to a similar movement of the finance literature toward consideration of strategy issues using contingent claims models as is exemplified in the work of Stewart Myers. In this paper we begin to weave the story of agreement between strategy and finance. Furthermore, we identify some of the issues that must be addressed as this process of convergence continues.
Traditional approaches to capital budgeting may be inadequate in today's complex business environment. This paper identifies problems with a narrow approach to capital…
Traditional approaches to capital budgeting may be inadequate in today's complex business environment. This paper identifies problems with a narrow approach to capital budgeting and suggests several improvements. In particular, an example illustrates an option‐based approach to valuing managerial flexibility.