nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒01‒17
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Project Work Uncertainties and the Boundaries of the Firm By Nigel Wadeson
  2. Bidding for Complex Projects: Evidence From the Acquisitions of IT Services By Gian Luigi Albano; Federico Dini; Roberto Zampino
  3. Free Riders, Holdouts, and Public Use: A Tale of Two Externalities By Thomas J. Miceli
  4. Supporting Measures for Research & Development as a Stimulus for Technology Transfer and Academic Entrepreneurship in Estonia By Indrek Jakobson; Valter Ritso
  5. Real Option Games with R&D and Learning Spillovers By Martzoukos, Spiros H; Zacharias, Eleftherios
  6. A Multicriteria Approach for the Evaluation of the Sustainability of Re-use of Historic Buildings in Venice By Margaretha Breil; Silvio Giove; Paolo Rosato
  7. Managerial Practices, Performance and Innovativeness: Some Evidence from Finnish Manufacturing By Heli Koski; Luigi -Mäkinen Marengo

  1. By: Nigel Wadeson (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: The effective use of resources in an economy requires both that they are available where and when most needed and that they are kept employed as fully and effectively as possible. A lack of certainty over future resource needs within firms brings these two requirements into conflict. It is argued that the firm and the market offer alternative means of handling this trade-off. The market switches resource services between customers to keep specialist resources employed. However, this does not guarantee the firm that a resource will always be available when needed. The firm may therefore internalise resources, switching them between different tasks to keep them employed and to make their specialist capabilities available where most needed. Idiosyncratic advantages form an important part of the theory, often severely exacerbating resource availability issues. A model of resource planning in a project with uncertain task durations is presented to illustrate the problem faced by the firm.
    Keywords: Project, Organisation, Uncertainty, Resources, Scheduling, Internalisation
    JEL: L22 L23 M21
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Gian Luigi Albano (Italian Public Procurement Agency (Consip S.p.A.)); Federico Dini (Italian Public Procurement Agency (Consip S.p.A.)); Roberto Zampino (Italian Public Procurement Agency (Consip S.p.A.))
    Abstract: Competitive bidding (as auctions) is commonly used to procure goods and services. Public buyers are often mandated by law to adopt competitive procedures to ensure transparency and promote full competition. Recent theoretical literature, however, suggests that open competition can perform poorly in allocating complex projects. In exploring the determinants of suppliers’ bidding behavior in procurement auctions for complex IT services, we find results that are consistent with theory. We find that price and quality do not exhibit the classical tradeoff one would expect: quite surprisingly, high quality is associated to low prices. Furthermore, while quality is mainly driven by suppliers’ experience, price is affected more by the scoring rule and by the level of expected competition. These results might suggest that (scoring) auctions fail to appropriately incorporate buyers’ complex price/quality preferences in the tender design.
    Keywords: Procurement Auctions, Scoring Rules, IT Contracts, Price/Quality Ratio
    JEL: D44 D86 H51 H57
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: Thomas J. Miceli (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Free riders and holdouts are market failures that potentially impede the completion of otherwise beneficial transactions. The key difference is that the free rider problem is a demand side externality that requires taxation to compel payment for a public good, while the holdout problem is a supply side externality that requires eminent domain to force the sale of land for large scale projects. This paper highlights that distinction between these two problems and uses the resulting insights to clarify the meaning of the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment takings clause.
    Keywords: Eminent domain, free riders, holdouts, public use, takings
    JEL: H41 K11
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Indrek Jakobson (Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology); Valter Ritso (Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology)
    Abstract: The main aim of the article is to emphasise the need for governmental support in the process of building knowledge-based economy. The authors focus on the knowledge creating process in the form on R&D activities and also on entrepreneurial process, mostly in participation with universities. That means an analytical description of the survey provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, outlining the major barriers to this process, proposes the main directions for development through business development of innovative and knowledge-based companies and also the survey conducted in Tallinn University of Technology about academic entrepreneurship. The authors are going to analyse companies’ cooperation with universities for better utilisation of their R&D possibilities, entrepreneurial attitude of universities and also to find out possibilities how further activate the stronger cooperation with universities in Estonia for better collaborative research. On the contrary, university as a partner for entrepreneurs is getting the possibilities to enhance the awareness of science-intensive entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Research and development (R&D), innovation, technology transfer, knowledge transfer, academic entrepreneurship, spin-off, supporting measure
    JEL: L26 I23 O32 O38
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Martzoukos, Spiros H; Zacharias, Eleftherios
    Abstract: We model pre-investment R&D decisions in the presence of spillover effects in an option pricing framework with analytic tractability. Two firms face two decisions that are solved for interdependently in a two-stage game. The first-stage decision is: what is the optimal level of coordination (optimal policy/technology choice)? The second-stage decision is: what is the optimal effort for a given level of the spillover effects and the cost of information acquisition? The framework is extended to a two-period stochastic game with (path-dependency inducing) switching costs that make strategy revisions harder. Strategy shifts are easier to observe in more volatile environments.
    Keywords: Benefit Analysis; Real Options; Coordination Games; R&D
    JEL: G31 G13
    Date: 2008–04
  6. By: Margaretha Breil (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Silvio Giove (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice); Paolo Rosato (University of Trieste)
    Abstract: The paper presents a multiple criteria model for the evaluation of the sustainability of projects for the economic re-use of historical buildings in Venice. The model utilises the relevant parameters for the appraisal of sustainability, aggregated into three macro-indicators: intrinsic sustainability, context sustainability and economic-financial feasibility. The model has been calibrated by a panel of experts and tested on two reuse hypotheses of the Old Arsenal in Venice. The tests have proven the model to be a useful support in the early stages of evaluation of re-use projects, where economic improvements are to be combined with conservation, as it supports the identification of critical points and the selection of projects, thus providing not only a check-list of variables to be considered, but an appraisal of trade-offs between economic uses and requirements of conservation.
    Keywords: Economic Reuse, Historical Building Conservation
    JEL: Z1 R52
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Heli Koski; Luigi -Mäkinen Marengo
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : Our study aims at shedding light on the organizational mechanisms that produce differences in the firms´ innovation performance. We use a survey data collected from 398 Finnish manufacturing firms for the years 2002 and 2005 to empirically explore whether and which organizational factors explain why certain firms produce larger innovative research output than others, and whether the incentives to innovate that certain organizational practices generate differ between the SME’s and large firms, and between those firms that are operating in low-tech and high-tech industries. Our study indicates that one size does not fit all when it comes to the selection of organizational practices creating a business environment that is fruitful for innovation. There are vast differences in the organizational practices leading to more innovation both between the small and large firms, and between the firms that are functioning in high- and low-tech industries. While innovation in the small firms tend to benefit from the practices that enhance employee participation in the decision-making, the large firms that have more decentralized decision-making patterns do not seem to perform better in terms of innovation than those with a more bureaucratic decision-making structure. The most efficient incentive-based compensation means encouraging innovation among the sampled companies seems to be the ownership of a firm’s stocks by the employees and/or managers. Performance based wages also relates positively to innovation, but only when it is combined with a systematic monitoring of the firm´s performance.
    Keywords: innovation, firm size, organizational practices, HRM practices
    JEL: L25 M54 O31
    Date: 2009–01–07

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