nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2007‒08‒18
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Transforming and Computerizing Professional Artifacts. An underestimated opportunity for learning. By Beckerman, Carina
  2. A contingency approach to innovation management: a cross-case competition By Van De Woestyne, M.; Devos,G.; Van den Broeck, H.
  3. The Economic Opportunity Cost of Capital for Canada - An Empirical Update By Glenn Jenkins; Chun-Yan Kuo
  4. Infrastructure in South Africa: Who is to finance and who is to pay? By Estian Calitz; Johan Fourie
  5. Public-private Partnerships in Micro-finance: Should NGO Involvement be Restricted? By Roy Chowdhury, Prabal; Roy, Jaideep
  6. Copyright vs. Copyleft Licencing and Software Development By Massimo D'Antoni; Maria Alessandra Rossi
  7. Det effektiva samhället eller det goda livet? Svenska framtidsstudier om arbetsliv och fritid från 1970- till 1990-tal. By Alm, Susanne

  1. By: Beckerman, Carina (Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Improving the artefacts a knowledge worker uses and how he or she exercises his or her knowledge is a desire that is part of being professional, especially since we are supposed to live in a knowledge society. In the knowledge society there is a continuous structuring and re-structuring, construction and re-construction and learning and re-learning going on due to implementing new information and communication technology. But many of these so called IT-projects fail, especially within health care in spite of management spending huge amounts of money on them. This paper focuses on and wants to create an awareness of how an artefact such as a new knowledge management system becomes a driving force behind expanding the knowledge of an anesthesist and has implications for continuous learning among a group of employees at the anesthesia and intensive care clinic. Implementing new technology is an underestimated opportunity for learning. More importantly, this paper also suggests that a significant educational effort is taking place in society channelled through many these IT-projects, even when they fail.
    Keywords: professional artefacts; learning; knowledge management system; knowledge management; the knowledge society.
    Date: 2007–08–09
  2. By: Van De Woestyne, M.; Devos,G.; Van den Broeck, H. (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)
    Abstract: Building on prior theory and research on organizational innovation, this paper aims to examine the linkages between context and process factors. We examined how two contingency factors (i.e. type of organization and type of innovation) and determinants of an organization’s culture interact and work together within six innovative companies. We used a multiple-case study approach through a combination of direct observations, document transcripts, and in-depth interviews with key informants. Three archetypes of innovators emerged, depending on the sector in which companies act, the type of innovative activity, the strategy, and the established culture and structure of the organization. Interestingly, as every category consisted of a large company and an SME, our findings give little support to the size-specific nature of innovation.
    Keywords: innovation process, multiple-case study, organizational culture, organization size, sector, semistructured interviews
    Date: 2007–08–10
  3. By: Glenn Jenkins (Queen's University, Kingston, On, Canada); Chun-Yan Kuo (Queen's University, Kingston, On, Canada)
    Abstract: The social or economic discount rate is the threshold rate used to calculate the net present value of an investment project, a program or a regulatory intervention to see whether the proposed expenditures are economically worthwhile to undertake. The size of the economic rate of discount has been a policy issue in Canada for many years. The debate has been primarily concerned with the empirical measurement of the economic opportunity cost of funds. The purpose of this paper is to reexamine and update the empirical estimation of what is the appropriate economic discount rate for Canada. The results suggest that estimates of the economic discount rate can range from 7.78 percent to 8.39 percent real. As a consequence, we conclude that for Canada an 8 percent real rate is an appropriate discount rate to use when calculating the economic net present value of the flows of economic benefits and costs over time.
    Keywords: discount rates, opportunity cost, project evaluation
    JEL: H43
    Date: 2007–07
  4. By: Estian Calitz (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Against the backdrop of shifting views on the role of government in the provision of infrastructure, this paper distinguishes between the payment for and financing of the South African Government’s infrastructure investment programme. The paper also presents a classification system that enables a systematic mapping of all prospective projects, with reference to considerations of efficiency and equity. This mapping should assist in macro planning and in any analysis of the financial implications of project financing and cost recovery at all levels of government. The government’s financing strategy is questioned and alternatives are identified. The prospects for mobilising funds other than tax revenue are assessed, namely government loans, private equity, development finance and donor funds. Four investment projects are considered with a view to testing the classification system and evaluating the chosen financing options in terms of economic criteria.
    Keywords: Infrastructure financing, government loans, benefit taxation, guarantees, private-public partnerships, South Africa
    JEL: H54 H81 H72
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Roy Chowdhury, Prabal; Roy, Jaideep
    Abstract: This paper examines public-private partnerships in micro-finance, whereby NGOs can help in channelizing credit to the poor, both in borrower selection, as well as in project implementation. We argue that a distortion may arise out of the fact that the private partner, i.e. the NGO, is a motivated agent. We find that whenever the project is neither too productive, nor too unproductive, reducing such distortion requires unbundling borrower selection and project implementation, with the NGO being involved in borrower selection only.
    Keywords: Public-private partnerships; micro-finance; motivated agent; NGO.
    JEL: O17 H5 G28 G21 E62
    Date: 2007–08–14
  6. By: Massimo D'Antoni; Maria Alessandra Rossi
    Abstract: This article aims at clarifying the role played by licenses within the increasingly relevant Open Source Software (OSS) phenomenon. In particular, the article explores from a theoretical point of view the comparative properties of the two main categories of OSS license--copyleft and non-copyleft licenses--in terms of their ability to stimulate innovation and coordination of development efforts. In order to do so, the paper relies on an incomplete contracting model. The model shows that, in spite of the fact that copyleft licenses entail the enjoyment of a narrower set of rights by both licensors and licensees, they may be preferred to non-copyleft licenses when coordination of complementary investments in development is important. It thus provides a non-ideologically-based explanation for the puzzling evidence showing the dominance, in terms of diffusion, of copyleft licenses.
    Keywords: intellectual property rights, open source, copyright, copyleft, GPL license, incentives to innovation.
    JEL: L17 O34
    Date: 2007–08
  7. By: Alm, Susanne (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: The study analyzes three generations of future studies on work life and leisure, performed at the Secretariat and later the Swedish Institute for Future Studies. The ideal types of Tore Frängsmyr, “The efficient society” and “The good life”, are used as analytical tools. The primary information consists of program declarations and reports from projects in the 1970- 1980- and 1990s. <p> In the 1970s the original plan to produce a final report failed, and the analyses here show that differences in terms of the ideal types here used could explain the failure. While in one of the reports studied, the focus is on how Sweden is to maintain a high export ratio and a prominent position in international competition, the two other reports are written from an explicit Marxist perspective and discuss how the sharp split between work and leisure in modern capitalist societies could be remedied. That is, while the first report is focused on “The efficient society”, the two latter deal exclusively with a version of “The good life”. <p> The final report from the project of the 1980s is characterized by a reserved, but still in some sense accepting, attitude towards the high-technological society. Utopian thoughts of a completely different society are non-existing, but the discussion mainly focuses on ways to make high-technological society as tolerable as possible to humans. In terms of the here used terminology the report can be said to deal with “The good life” within the realms of “The efficient society”. <p> In the final report from the 1990s the point of departure is that industrial society is being replaced by a new post-industrial one. Unlike in earlier projects here studied, the entire discussion of driving forces behind societal development is on the structural level. The possibilities of individuals to shape their future seem small or non-existing. Neither are consequences at the individual level of structural development in focus. It’s is difficult to label the report according to the ideal types “The efficient society” and “The good life” respectively, mainly since it aims at pure description of the development at structural level, rather than it offers a value-based discussion on how to shape future society. <p> Finally in the study the general lack of continuity and cumulativity within future studies is discussed, and a call is made for increased documentation and research of the history of the field.
    Keywords: futures studies; work life; leisure; 1970-1990
    JEL: J17 J19
    Date: 2007–06

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