nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2008‒11‒11
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Underinvestment vs. Overinvestment: Evidence from Price Reactions to Pension Contributions By Francesco A. Franzoni
  2. Research and development, profits and firm value: a structural estimation By Missaka Warusawitharana
  3. Getting Into Networks and Clusters: Evidence on the GNSS composite knowledge process in (and from) Midi-Pyrénées By Jérôme Vicente; Pierre-Alexandre Balland; Olivier Brossard
  4. Process-based Organization Design Model: Theoretical Review and Model Conceptualization By Tomislav Hernaus
  5. Analyzing new profit opportunities: a guide to making business projects financially successful By Winther, K. Tobias
  6. Venture Capital and Sequential Investments By Dirk Bergemann; Ulrich Hege; Liang Peng
  7. Generic Process Transformation Model: Transition to Process-based Organization By Tomislav Hernaus

  1. By: Francesco A. Franzoni (University of Lugano and Swiss Finance Institute)
    Abstract: Mandatory contributions to defined benefit pension plans provide a unique identification strategy to estimate the market's assessment of the value of internal resources controlling for investment opportunities. The drop in prices following these cash outflows is magnified for firms that appear a priori more financially constrained, consistent with a negative effect of financing frictions on investment. In contrast, price reactions to pension contributions are positive for poorly governed firms, suggesting that the managers of these companies engage in value-destroying projects. While under- and overinvestment have similar weight in a panel of large firms, the first distortion prevails in a sample that is more representative of the cross-section of listed companies.
    Keywords: underinvestment, overinvestment, financial constraints, corporate governance
    JEL: G12 G32
    Date: 2006–11
  2. By: Missaka Warusawitharana
    Abstract: Is the return to private R&D as high as believed? This study identifies a flaw in the production function approach to estimating the return to R&D. I provide new estimates based on a structural estimation approach that incorporates uncertainty about the outcome from R&D. The results shed light on the rate of innovation, the impact of an innovation on profits, and the market value of the R&D stock. The parameter estimates imply a mean return to R&D of 3.7-5.5%, much lower than previous values. The analysis also demonstrates the unsuitability of using the return to R&D as a basis for policy decisions on tax subsidies to R&D.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Jérôme Vicente; Pierre-Alexandre Balland; Olivier Brossard
    Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to the empirical identification of clusters by proposing methodological issues based on network analysis. We start with the detection of a composite knowledge process rather than a territorial one stricto sensu. Such a consideration allows us to avoid the overestimation of the role played by geographical proximity between agents, and grasp its ambivalence in knowledge relations. Networks and clusters correspond to the complex aggregation process of bi or n-lateral relations in which agents can play heterogeneous structural roles. Their empirical reconstitution requires thus to gather located relational data, whereas their structural properties analysis requires to compute a set of indexes developed in the field of the social network analysis. Our theoretical considerations are tested in the technological field of GNSS (Global Satellite Navigation Systems). We propose a sample of knowledge relations based on collaborative R&D projects and discuss how this sample is shaped and why we can assume its representativeness. The network we obtain allows us to show how the composite knowledge process gives rise to a structure with a peculiar combination of local and distant relations. Descriptive statistics and structural properties show the influence or the centrality of certain agents in the aggregate structure, and permit to discuss the complementarities between their heterogeneous knowledge profiles. Quantitative results are completed and confirmed by an interpretative discussion based on a run of semi-structured interviews. Concluding remarks provide theoretical feedbacks.
    Keywords: Knowledge, Networks, Economic Geography, Cluster, GNSS
    JEL: O32 R12
    Date: 2008–10
  4. By: Tomislav Hernaus (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: The complexity of today's business world is translated into complexity of the company's organization design (Galbraith, 2002). Organizations are forced to quickly adapt to emerging complexity if they want to survive. The change is addressing all areas of business, especially questioning organizational effectiveness and trying to find optimal solutions for doing business. In accordance with requirements, competitive trends are pushing executives to rethink traditional design configurations. Factors such as increased competition in cost, quality and service, and technical change have forced companies not only to seek out new ways of doing old tasks, but also new ways of organizing either old or new tasks (Cross, 1990). Such focus on the flow of work within organizations, but as well as between them, is emphasizing process orientation as a new management paradigm. Inefficiencies of the two most commonly present structures – functional and divisional, in addition to emerging business trends, place the emphasis on a process-based organization as one of the possible solutions. The process-based organization is lead by the process paradigm, which is focused on the horizontal view of business activities and alignment of organizational systems towards business processes. Regardless of a large interest on business processes, existing organization design theory offers only general guidelines for process-based organizations or more precisely, a process-based organization design model. Consequently, the purpose of the paper is to demystify process-based organization design model. By clearly distinguishing between different levels of process orientation, and by addressing characteristics of the chosen model the paper will lead to better understanding of this way of organizing. Eventually, an operationalized model of process-based organization is developed. Furthermore, the paper elaborates on differences between process-based and other organizational structures and philosophies (e.g. functional, product, matrix, project, team-based). Besides structural elements, which will be in the primary focus, the paper will discuss the alignment of all other important organization design elements for process environment (e.g., management style, reward systems, performance metrics, people practices, organizational culture, etc.). There would be proposed necessary adjustments of organizational elements which should be aligned with the process-based structural solution. In such way, some of the blind spots of process-based organization design model would be revealed, providing practical implications for its implementation and ultimately, offering solution for rising business complexity.
    Keywords: organization design, process-based organization, process-based organization design model, business processes
    JEL: L22 M10
    Date: 2008–10–28
  5. By: Winther, K. Tobias
    Abstract: This book presents a simple, yet very powerful, conceptual framework, which can be used to estimate market sizes, prices and their interdependency for new products based on historical market data for existing products in related areas. Even in situations where insufficient data is available the methods can be used in a semi-quantitative manner to evaluate the market potential for a given product or find ways to improve upon the product to make it more successful in the marketplace. The methods are explained in detail, examples of practical applications are provided; and the foundation in existing economic theory is discussed.
    Keywords: Business planning; car market; change management; cost; decision making; enabling mindset; enabling technology; innovation; market power; market size; marketing research; modeling; new product adoption; optimization; pricing; profit optimization; profit; radical innovation; risk; risk adjusted value; risk management; scenario planning; strategic planning; strategy; theory-structured learning; technology adoption; utilityscape; value; value chain; value creation; value driver; value net.
    JEL: D40 M30
    Date: 2008–08–18
  6. By: Dirk Bergemann (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Ulrich Hege (Dept of Finance and Economics, HEC School of Management); Liang Peng (Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado)
    Abstract: We analyze sequential investment decisions in an innovative project that depend on the investor's information about the project failure risk and its potential final value. We consider the feedback effects between learning about the project parameters and the continuous adjustment of the investment strategy. Investors decide sequentially about the speed of investment and the optimal degree of involvement. We develop three types of predictions from our theoretical model and test these predictions in a large sample of venture capital investment in the U.S. for the period of 1987-2002. First, the investment flow starts cautiously if the failure risk is high and accelerates as the projects mature. Second, the investment flow reacts positively to information that arrives while the project is developed. We find that interim information is more significant for investment decisions than the information prior to the project launch. Third, investors distribute their investments over more funding rounds if the failure risk is larger.
    Keywords: Venture Capital, Sequential investment, Stage financing, Intertemporal returns
    JEL: D83 D92 G11 G24
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Tomislav Hernaus (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: The competitive global market climate of the new millennium has raised awareness of business processes as the most important management paradigm (Levi, 2002). Consequently, process elements, as well as process-based organizational solutions, have become an emergent need. However, the question is how companies should transform themselves to become more process-oriented? Many attempts under the helm of Business Process Reengineering movement were not successful in reaching benefits of lateral orientation, what additionally emphasizes the delicacy of business process transformation. Concerning the literature, there is a lack of clarity and presence of organizational change models which could provide managers with guidance for process transformation. The models are mostly focused on the transformation generally, and they do not address the specificity of a change from traditional to process paradigm. Furthermore, they are mostly single-oriented, either on the organizational elements or steps which should be taken during the change, thus only partially answering the dilemma. The purpose of the paper is to present an overview of existing transformation models which could be relevant for taking a process journey, as well as propose a Generic Process Transformation Model which should be able to ensure smooth transition, with emphasis on specific problems related to process transformation. Although the proposed model is theoretically and logically based, without empirical evidence, it represents a first step in convergence of process transformation concepts to business world. Ultimately, only its usage in a real world would or would not prove its severity.
    Keywords: process transformation, process-based organization, organizational change, transformation models
    JEL: L22 M10
    Date: 2008–10–28

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