nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2008‒03‒08
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. The risk rhetoric of environmental impact assessments (EIA): The case of off-shore wind farms in Sweden By Corvellec, Hervé; Boholm, Åsa
  2. Gains and Pains from Contract Research: A Transaction and Firm-level Perspective By Grimpe, Christoph; Kaiser, Ulrich
  3. The Role of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy By Furuoka, Fumitaka
  4. Board structures around the world: An experimental investigation By Ann B. Gillette; Thomas H. Noe; Michael J. Rebello
  5. Choosing between Auctions and Negotiations in Online B2B Markets for IT Services: The Effect of Prior Relationships and Performance By Radkevitch, U.L.; Heck, H.W.G.M van; Koppius, O.R.
  6. The Clean Development Mechanism and the International Diffusion of Technologies: An Empirical Study By Matthieu Glachant; Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Yann Ménière

  1. By: Corvellec, Hervé (Gothenburg Research Institute); Boholm, Åsa (Centrum för forskning om offentlig sektor (CEFOS), University of Gothenburg.)
    Abstract: Risk is a key topic in the communication between developers of infrastructure projects, permit-granting authorities, and civil society. The nature of risk communication is contested among academics, however. Whereas some scholars conceive of risk communication as a matter of effectively communicating expert knowledge on factual matters to the public, others emphasize the role of symbolic construction and rhetoric. This article analyses how wind farm developers rhetorically construct risks in relation to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a proposed project. In Sweden, an EIA is a legally mandatory step in the application for an environmental permit. Our analysis is inspired by the New Rhetoric, the theory of argumentation developed by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958). It deals with the EIA for the Kriegers Flak project, the largest wind farm project granted an environmental permit in Scandinavia to date. We suggest that the authors of the EIA adopt a dual risk communication strategy; in the EIA they associate numerous risks to the project by identifying and cataloguing them; however, these risks are immediately disconnected from the project by being described as acceptable, manageable, negligible, or nonexistent. Although we draw from a single case study, we suggest that this paradoxical risk/no-risk dualism is characteristic of risk communication in EIAs, and we discuss some implications of such rhetoric of communication.
    Keywords: Risk communication; Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); New Rhetoric; Environmental Planning; Wind power
    Date: 2008–03–03
  2. By: Grimpe, Christoph; Kaiser, Ulrich
    Abstract: Determining the research and development (R&D) boundaries of the firm as the choice between internal, collaborative and external technology acquisition has since long been a major challenge for firms to secure a continuous stream of innovative products or processes. While research on R&D cooperation or strategic alliances is abundant, little is known about the outsourcing of R&D activities to contract research organizations and its implications for innovation performance. This paper investigates the driving forces of external technology sourcing through contract research based on arguments from transaction cost theory and the resource-based view of the firm. Using a large and comprehensive data set of innovating firms from Germany our findings suggest that technological uncertainty, contractual experience and openness to external knowledge sources motivate the choice for engaging in contract research activities. Moreover, we show that internal and external R&D sourcing are complements: the marginal contribution of internal (external) R&D is the larger the more firms spend on external (internal) R&D.
    Keywords: Contract research, innovation, transaction cost theory, firm capabilities
    JEL: C24 O32
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Furuoka, Fumitaka
    Abstract: The reinforcement of the Non-governmental organisations’ role in Japan’s ODA program is a challenging task. However, if this objective is achieved, at least three advantages could ensue. Firstly, Japanese NGOs would be able to independently carry out the small-scale aid projects that directly address the needs of local communities in aid recipient countries. These grassroots aid projects could complement the government-supervised large-scale aid projects. Secondly, the Japanese government could utilize NGOs’ staff as an alternative source of information. Finally, effective co-operation between NGOs and the government could help enhancing the transparency of Japan’s foreign aid policy. Under the current system, bureaucrats dominate the policymaking process so that it is difficult for outsiders to access the information on Japan’s ODA program.
    Keywords: Foreign Aid; NGOs; Japan
    JEL: F35
    Date: 2008–03–02
  4. By: Ann B. Gillette; Thomas H. Noe; Michael J. Rebello
    Abstract: We model and experimentally examine the board structure-performance relationship. We examine single-tiered boards, two-tiered boards, insider-controlled boards, and outsider-controlled boards. We find that even insider-controlled boards frequently adopt institutionally preferred rather than self-interested policies. Two-tiered boards adopt institutionally pre- ferred policies more frequently but tend to destroy value by being too conservative, frequently rejecting good projects. Outsider-controlled single-tiered boards, both when they have multiple insiders and only a single insider, adopt institutionally preferred policies most frequently. In those board de-signs where the efficient Nash equilibrium produces strictly higher payoffs to all agents than the coalition-proof equilibria, agents tend to select the efficient Nash equilibria.
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Radkevitch, U.L.; Heck, H.W.G.M van; Koppius, O.R. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: The choice of contract allocation mechanism in procurement affects such aspects of transactions as information exchange between buyer and supplier, supplier competition, pricing and, eventually, performance. In this study we investigate the buyer’s choice between reverse auctions and bilateral negotiations as an allocation mechanism for IT services contracts. Prior studies into allocation mechanism choice focused on factors pertaining to discrete exchange situation, such as con-tract complexity or availability of suppliers. We broaden the research by focusing on buyers’ past exchange relationships with vendors. Based on the literature on the economics of contracting and agency theory, we hypothesize that prior re-peat interaction with vendors favors the use of negotiations over auctions in the next transaction, while the need to explore the marketplace due to buyer’s inexperience or dissatisfaction with vendor’s performance in the most recent project leads to the use of auctions instead of negotiations. We find support for these hypotheses in a longitudinal dataset of 2,081 IT projects realized by 91 repeat buyers at a leading online services marketplace over a period of eight years. Taken together, the results show that analyzing B2B auctions and negotiations should move beyond analyzing discrete instances and instead analyze them in the context of the individual firm’s history and supplier strategy.
    Keywords: reverse auctions;online marketplace;IT services;outsourcing
    Date: 2008–02–04
  6. By: Matthieu Glachant (CERNA École des mines de Paris); Antoine Dechezleprêtre (CERNA École des mines de Paris); Yann Ménière (CERNA École des mines de Paris)
    Abstract: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is expected to stimulate the North-South transfer of climate-friendly technologies. This paper provides an assessment of the technology transfers that take place through the CDM using a unique data set of 644 registered projects. It provides a detailed description of the transfers (frequency, type, by sector, by host country, etc.). It also includes an econometric analysis of their drivers. We show that transfer likeliness increases with the size of the projects. The transfer probability is 50% higher in projects implemented in a subsidiary of Annex 1 companies while the presence of an official credit buyer has a lower – albeit positive – impact. The analysis also yields interesting results on how technological capabilities of the host country influence technology diffusion in the CDM.
    Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, Clean Development Mechanism, International Technology Transfer
    JEL: Q5 Q55
    Date: 2007–12

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