nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒12‒19
four papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Multi-mode resource constrained pro ject scheduling using RCPSP and SAT solvers By J. COELHO; M. VANHOUCKE
  2. Fit and complementarity: cognitive distance and combined competence as predictors of co-operative R&D projects' outcomes in Europe By Zibell, Laurent; Allen, Peter M.
  3. International R&D cooperation: the perceptions of SMEs and Intermediaries By Margarida Catarino; Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  4. Foreign Direct Investment Flows between the EU and the BRICs By Roman Stöllinger; Gábor Hunya

    Abstract: This paper reports on a new solution approach for the well-known multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling problem (MMRCPSP). This problem type aims at the selection of a single activity mode from a set of available modes in order to construct a precedence and a (renewable and non-renewable) resource feasible project schedule with a minimal makespan. The problem type is known to be NPhard and has been solved using various exact as well as (meta-)heuristic procedures.<br><br>The new algorithm splits the problem type into a mode assignment and a single mode project scheduling step. The mode assignment step is solved by a satisfiability (SAT) problem solver and returns a feasible mode selection to the project scheduling step. The project scheduling step is solved using a efficient meta-heuristic procedure from literature to solve the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP). However, unlike many traditional meta-heuristic methods in literature to solve the MMRCPSP, the new approach executes these two steps in one run, relying on a single priority list. Straightforward adaptations to the pure SAT solver by using pseudo boolean non-renewable resource constraints has led to a high quality solution approach in a reasonable computational time. Computational results show that the PSPLIB problem instances can be solved better than the current best procedures from literature.
    Keywords: project scheduling, SAT, multi-mode RCPSP
    Date: 2009–09
  2. By: Zibell, Laurent; Allen, Peter M.
    Abstract: This article considers cognitive distance and combined competence as predictors of concrete outcomes in co-operative Research and Development projects. The operationalisation is based upon a dedicated survey, answered by matched pairs of projects managers in partnering organisations, addressing technical and scientific competence, R&D management competence and cultural features. Empirical validation was performed on 92 projects based in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in the industry of electronics and telecommunications equipment. Selected dimensions of the cognitive distance and of combined competence being developed appear to be better predictors of concrete project outcomes than geographic distance, differences in organisation size or in legal status. --
    Keywords: Cognitive distance,Competence,Capability,Cooperation,R&D
    JEL: M14 L24 L25 O31 O32
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Margarida Catarino (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto)
    Abstract: Despite the large number of studies on Research and Development (R&D) cooperation, this is, in general, focused on the firms’ perceptions, neglecting the perception of the R&D Intermediary (e.g., universities, technology centres, R&D institutes, intellectual property supporting offices). Moreover, cooperation has been analyzed on a national perspective with cooperation projects in R&D involving entities from different countries being rarely studied. In the present paper we gathered empirical evidence on the motivation, obstacles and outcomes of international R&D cooperation projects based on the perceptions from both firms and intermediaries. Resorting to an unique database that includes 473 R&D international cooperation projects, developed within the 6th Framework Programme, we demonstrate that the heterogeneity is quite large as far as the motivations are concerned for the international R&D cooperation. This high heterogeneity might explain the high failure rate of R&D partnerships, namely the ones involving firms and universities. Not losing sight of the necessary enhancement of the scientific and knowledge basis, essential for the technological progress of nations, evidence gathered seem to advise an attitude on behalf of Intermediaries more focused on firms’ intended results.
    Keywords: international R&D cooperation, Intermediaries, firms
    Date: 2009–11
  4. By: Roman Stöllinger (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Gábor Hunya (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: On a global level, the EU emerges as the most important foreign direct investor, also if considering extra-EU investments only. This reflects the capability and propensity of EU firms to internationalize their business activities. A joint analysis of two methodologically very distinct databases - Eurostat FDI data for FDI flows and stocks, and the FDI Intelligence from Financial Times Ltd. for the number of investment projects - made it possible, for the period 2001-2007 and 2003-2008 respectively, to reveal several facts and trends concerning the competitive position of EU firms in the BRICs and vice versa. The EU is among the main investors in each of the BRICs and the dominant investor in Brazil and Russia. In China and India, the EU has less weight. But after correcting for particularities in FDI data, such as the prominent role of Hong Kong and off-shore centres in Chinese FDI and of Mauritius in Indian FDI, the EU ranks higher also in these countries. In a direct comparison with the US and Japan, the EU emerges as the leading investor among the Triad countries in each of the BRICs. This suggests that EU firms are well positioned to compete with other multinational corporations in the BRICs. The analysis of the number of projects confirms this finding, the role of the EU in China is much greater than suggested by FDI data. China emerges as the main BRICs target for EU projects, but in terms of FDI inflows China occupies rank three after Russia and Brazil. The divergent results can be explained by the small number of very large projects in the natural resource sector of Russia and the great number of finance- and trade-related small investments in China. In some cases, FDI has become the major entry strategy of EU firms into the BRICs markets. Global and EU-15 investments in the BRICs, as measured by the number of investment projects, were resilient to the global crisis until 2008. With regards to the current economic downturn and the expected drop in global FDI, the BRICs may find themselves in a privileged position in several respects. First of all they are large economies where FDI is mainly attracted by the local markets with growth expectations above world average, although not in Russia. Local economic growth especially in China and India will allow for FDI to grow if companies from crisis-hit countries are in the position to invest. Larger multinationals may increasingly concentrate on the very few countries in the world where they can expand sales, such as China, India and Brazil, and shift investments there. Also for European companies the expansion to the BRICs remains a major attraction. Due to the size of the BRICs and their distance to Europe, only larger or more specialized investors may benefit from this opportunity. The main conclusion based on the statistical analysis is that the EU is well positioned as a direct investor both on the global level and in the BRICs. In the fast growing markets of China and India, however, the share of EU firms in total FDI is rather low and not particularly dynamic. As investments in such geographically more distant places are mainly realized by large corporations while SMEs typically limit their foreign operations to nearby countries, policy levers may be necessary to expand EU presence there. This is all the more desirable as China and India have a high market potential and EU firms can expect high returns on FDI.
    Keywords: FDI, competitiveness, EU, BRICs, Brazil, China, European Union, India, Russia, Foreign Direct Investment
    JEL: F21 O52 O53 O54
    Date: 2009–12

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