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Real options theory begins by drawing an analogy between real options and financial options. A financial option is a derivative security whose value is derived from the…
Real options theory begins by drawing an analogy between real options and financial options. A financial option is a derivative security whose value is derived from the worth and characteristics of another financial security, or the so-called underlying asset. By definition, a financial option gives its holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying asset at a specified price (i.e., the exercise price) on or before a given date (i.e., the expiration date). Financial economists Black and Scholes (1973) and Merton (1973) pioneered a formula for the valuation of a financial option, and their methodology has opened up the subsequent research on the pricing of financial assets and paved the way for the development of real options theory.
The application of real options theory to international strategy has surged in recent years. However, it is still a relatively new and loosely defined field, and there are…
The application of real options theory to international strategy has surged in recent years. However, it is still a relatively new and loosely defined field, and there are several constraints on practical applications of this powerful theory. To move forward this field, the paper first provides a systematic analysis of theoretical and empirical contributions of real options theory to three critical issues in international strategy: (1) valuing multinational networks, (2) assessing market entry modes, and (3) evaluating market entry timing. The paper further suggests that future studies can focus on a refined treatment of uncertainty and the development of a dynamic theory in international strategy. Five testable propositions are developed in these directions.
We discuss recent developments in real options theory and its applications to strategic management research, examine the potential difficulties in implementing real options…
We discuss recent developments in real options theory and its applications to strategic management research, examine the potential difficulties in implementing real options in theory and practice, and propose several areas for future research. Our review shows that real options theory has provided substantial insights into investment and exit decisions as well as into the choice of investment modes. In addition, extant research studies have contributed significantly to our understanding of whether and how organizations can benefit from real options. Future research that addresses difficulties in applications will further advance both real options theory and practice in strategic management. We call for future generations of research to enhance the impact of real options as an emerging dominant conceptual lens in strategic management.
The interpretation and valuation of real options by means of options pricing theory can be regarded as a relatively new paradigm of investment theory. Option pricing theory based investment valuation represents a sound theoretical basis and offers principally a simple decision base. The approach recognises entrepreneurial flexibility and risk explicitly. It implies a positive correlation between flexibility respectively uncertainty and the value of options. Traditional deterministic‐dynamic standard methods of valuation are not able to value flexibility or risk effectively so that option values are adequately reflected. As property investors gradually embrace modern financial concepts it is clear that real estate valuation theory will have to change. One of the most promising areas that could have an important implication on the further development of valuation is the application of the real options paradigm. The author investigates the transfer of general real options theory through an examination of academic results in the field of real estate development. He comes to the conclusion that current research generates highly academic‐abstract results with limited practical value. So far a limited number of quantitative studies regarding the valuation real estate projects with the real options method have been conducted. Practical valuations have yet to be comprehensively carried out. For doing so, further research concerning the basic prerequisites of real options theory has to be undertaken.
This paper categorizes and critiques the empirical research strategies that have been employed to test real options theory. Existing research has sought to detect valuable…
This paper categorizes and critiques the empirical research strategies that have been employed to test real options theory. Existing research has sought to detect valuable options in firms’ strategic investments as well as to investigate the payoffs from these investments. Our review highlights some of the evidence that has accumulated in recent years for real options theory. We flag some of the most important challenges and tradeoffs associated with the use of different empirical research approaches for testing real options theory in strategic management. The paper concludes by offering a number of research priorities to advance the theory by probing its descriptive validity as well as by addressing its normative aspirations to bridge corporate finance and strategy.
I am interested in clarifying the discussion of how researchers might try to isolate real option effects to identify whether managerial decisions are guided by a real option heuristic. If we are to claim that the theory of real options illuminates managerial behavior, then as a field, we must converge on an understanding as to what constitutes a real option effect, and what does not. The discussion centers on hypothesis development, measurement issues, and research methodology.
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the real option theory is applicable to evaluation of cases of escalation and premature termination of Management Information…
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the real option theory is applicable to evaluation of cases of escalation and premature termination of Management Information Systems (MIS) projects.
The paper compares the implications of psychological and economic escalation theories with lessons from the real option theory as applied to MIS projects. Then, it examines published case studies, and discuss when project continuation enhances and reduces value for the manager and the firm.
Escalation of commitment is continuation of an investment project after receiving negative signals. Escalation was identified as a significant problem in MIS projects often explained by the desire of the manager to avoid recognizing mistakes and to protect reputation. The opposite problem of premature termination of certain investment projects was also identified. This study argues that accurate application of real option theory is critical to distinguish between escalation and premature termination. Under the real option theory, an investment project is analogous to a financial option, in that there is an opportunity to continue the project, but no obligation. Continuation has value when there is uncertainty and new information about the project may be revealed. Failure to account for the real options in a project is value‐reducing as it may lead to mistakes in premature termination of projects when projects with real option value are labeled as cases of irrational escalation.
The paper details the implications of real option theory to evaluating project continuation in the MIS setting.
This paper applies insights from real option theory to studies of escalation in MIS. Continuing a project may be seen as escalation when it actually has value for the firm, as new information received by continuing the project reduces uncertainty.
Scholars have begun to recognize the importance of integrating organizational issues into real options theory. In doing so, some argue that options are inappropriate for…
Scholars have begun to recognize the importance of integrating organizational issues into real options theory. In doing so, some argue that options are inappropriate for evaluating critical strategic investments. In a more in-depth analysis, we argue that the organizational form that an option takes has a profound effect on exercise decisions. When options are initially integrated, organizational elements such as routines and culture become increasingly intertwined over time, raising the cost of abandoning the option – in effect, pushing firms to exercise options. In contrast, initially isolated options become idiosyncratic and more costly to integrate over time – pushing firms to kill them. There are also reputational and social capital effects that may bias exercise decisions beyond the mere consideration of costs, leading to escalation or missed opportunities.
Accordingly, firms must first be able to manage the associated organizational costs and minimize systematic bias in exercise decisions. Real options theory is moving away from the limitations of the financial options analogy and is increasingly integrated with strategy and organization theory. This shift requires that researchers consider issues such as intermediate organizational forms, external monitoring of exercise decisions, portfolios of competing options, and group process interventions.
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the potential contribution of the option applications to economic instability. To this end, the chapter briefly reviews the…
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the potential contribution of the option applications to economic instability. To this end, the chapter briefly reviews the extant literature on financial option pricing and its applications to corporate assets and liabilities. It focuses on the direct relationship between the volatility of the underlying asset and the value of the option. It shows that the theory of option applications by its one-sided emphasis on the value-creating role of volatility promotes excessive risk-taking. Then the chapter discusses how the theory of option applications through the educational system encourages economic agents to make excessively risky decisions. Furthermore, the interactions among these risk-welcoming agents lead to an economic system which becomes increasingly risky. This risky economy, combined with the fact that more than half of the value of the option applications is constituted by the highly volatile value of the options embedded in such applications, translates into wide variations in real investments and the economy.
The purpose of this paper is to construct option pricing models for real estate development by considering and incorporating institutional arrangements, direct…
The purpose of this paper is to construct option pricing models for real estate development by considering and incorporating institutional arrangements, direct interactions and financial constraints in the model. It extends the application of real option theory from the framework borrowed from financial option pricing, and considers the case where a development company has restrictions from outside environment and financial constraint. It explores the effects of these additional practical factors on real asset project value and development timing. This paper makes contributions to bridge the theoretical models and practical applications.
Real estate development is modelled in the binomial option pricing framework with the considerations of time‐to‐build, foregone rent if delaying, institutional environment and capital budgeting. The investment timings are derived from the models and sensitivity analysis is conducted to explore the effects of these factors.
Apart from the factors in traditional option pricing theory, this paper confirms that the contractual covenants, positive synergies between properties and financial status of the firm, which enhance or restrict real flexibility embedded in the development land, influence project value and investment timing. Numerical examples illustrate the effects of these factors. It is argued that the valuation of real options should place emphasis on industry‐specific characteristics and start from the perspective of the firm rather than individual options.
The models constructed in this paper and the results can be directly used in the practical real estate development.
This paper incorporates many practical factors in real estate development which are not investigated in previous studies. It values the option project from the firm perspective rather than project perspective as previous studies. It also shows the effects of institutional arrangement and firm factors on project value and development timing.