nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2010‒05‒02
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Delays and Cost Overruns in Infrastructure Projects -- An Enquiry into Extents, Causes and Remedies By Ram Singh
  2. A model for determining whether a firm should exercise multiple real options individually or simultaneously By Michi Nishihara
  3. Decision criteria for climate projects By Osmundsen, Petter; Emhjellen, Magne
  4. Fragments on the black swan: money, credit and finance in The Arcades Project of Walter Benjamin By Estrada, Fernando
  5. Linking competency development to career success: exploring the mediating role of employability By De Vos, A.; De Hauw, S.
  6. Disentangling the Effects of New Venture Team Functional Heterogeneity on New Venture Performance By Uwe Cantner; Maximilian Goethner; Michael Stuetzer
  7. Outsourcing and its Impact on Manufacturing Flexibility: Contingencies Matter By Maike Scherrer-Rathje; Patricia Deflorin; Gopesh Anand

  1. By: Ram Singh (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)
    Abstract: Media reports abound on instances of prolonged delays and excessive cost overruns in infrastructure projects. Only a small number of projects get delivered in time and within the budget. Examples of successful project implementation, like construction of the Delhi Metro Rail, are few and appear only far in between. Indeed, the problem of time and cost overruns in India is widespread and severe. Yet, very few empirical studies exist on the subject. Even rarer are the studies based on completed projects. As a result, the extents as well as the causes behind delays and cost overruns have remained under-researched. This study investigates the various issues related to delays and cost overruns in publically funded infrastructure projects. The following questions are posed and answered -- How common and how large are the time and the cost overruns? What are the essential causes behind these delays and cost overruns? Are the underlying causes statistically significant? Are Contractual and Institutional failures among the significant causes? What are the policy implications for planning, development and implementation of infrastructure projects? The study is based on, by far, the largest dataset of 894 projects from seventeen infrastructure sectors. Among other results, it shows that the contractual and the institutional failures are economically and statistically significant causes behind cost and time overruns.
    Keywords: Delays, Cost Overruns, Time Overruns, Infrastructure, Projects, Causes, Contractual Failures, Organizational Failures, Institutional Failures
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Michi Nishihara (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: We develop a model for determining whether a firm should exercise two real options individually or simultaneously. The simultaneous exercise of both options has positive synergy, such as economies of scale, scope, and networks, while separate exercise of each option benefits from project flexibility. This tradeoff determines the optimal exercise policy. We investigate the static and dynamic management of multiple real options. A firm under static management determines the type of exercise of real options ex ante; on the other hand, a firm under dynamic management makes the decision at the time of exercise. The analysis reveals the gap between the two styles of managing. Most importantly, we highlight the advantage of dynamic management over static management, particularly for weakly correlated markets. We also explain empirical implications regarding a firmfs entry into several countries and regions in Asia.
    Keywords: multiple real options, optimal stopping, exercise region, entry into Asia
    JEL: C61 G13 G31
    Date: 2010–04
  3. By: Osmundsen, Petter (University of Stavanger); Emhjellen, Magne (PETORO)
    Abstract: .
    Keywords: Decision criteria; climate projects
    JEL: A10
    Date: 2010–03–18
  4. By: Estrada, Fernando
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to present a reading of The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin in the context of the financial crisis, in particular, reflect from a few fragments of Benjamin's work appear to lie around a Black Swan. The recovery of the fragments of The Arcades seems appropriate at a time when the financial crisis should be taught as a deeper crisis. Walter Benjamin is placed beyond its time, with a powerful sense of observation worthy of emulation analytical.
    Keywords: Financial theory, markets, Black swan, stock markets, financial crisis, risk, Walter Benjamin, Arcades Project.
    JEL: A1 G3 G33 D84 D70 D8 C72 B5 D81 B50 D82 C70 C7 D0 D7 A13 A12 G0
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: De Vos, A.; De Hauw, S. (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)
    Abstract: The present study aims to unravel the relationship between competency development, employability and career success. To do so, we test a model in which we specify associations between employees’ participation in competency development initiatives, perceived support for competency development, employability, career satisfaction and marketability. A survey was conducted among a sample of 561 employees in a large financial organization. The results support the idea that participation in competency development initiatives as well as perceived support for competency development enhances employability. Moreover, employability was found to positively influence perceived career success, measured in terms of career satisfaction and marketability. A test of the mediating role of employability showed a full mediation effect for the relationship between participation in competency development and career success, and a partial mediation effect for the relationship between perceived support for competency development and career success. The implications of these findings for understanding the process through which organizations and individuals can affect career success are discussed.
    Keywords: competency development, perceived support for competency development, employability, career satisfaction, marketability
    Date: 2010–03–05
  6. By: Uwe Cantner (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Maximilian Goethner (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Department of Economics, DFG-GK-1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change"); Michael Stuetzer (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Department of Economics, DFG-GK-1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change")
    Abstract: Previous research on entrepreneurial teams has failed to settle the controversy over whether team heterogeneity helps or hinders new venture performance. Reconciling this inconsistency, this paper suggests a new conceptual approach to disentangle differential effects of team heterogeneity by modeling two separate heterogeneity dimensions, namely knowledge scope and knowledge disparity. Analyzing unique data on functional experiences of the members of 337 start-up teams, we find support for our contention of team heterogeneity as a two-dimensional concept. Results suggest that knowledge disparity negatively relates to both start-ups' entrepreneurial and innovative performance. In contrast, we find knowledge scope to positively affect entrepreneurial performance, while it shows an inverse U-shaped relationship to innovative start-up performance.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurial teams, New venture performance, Team heterogeneity, Team diversity
    JEL: L26 M13 L25
    Date: 2010–04–26
  7. By: Maike Scherrer-Rathje (Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen); Patricia Deflorin (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Gopesh Anand (College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: Despite the growing prevalence of outsourcing in manufacturing organizations, research examining how outsourcing impacts different types of flexibility is considerably lacking. This study seeks to advance our understanding of this relatively unexplored relationship by examining how outsourcing influences product, process, volume, and labor flexibilities. To achieve this goal, a mixed case study approach with eleven manufacturing companies that outsourced some portion of their product development or manufacturing activities is used. Our findings indicate that contingencies such as the speed of learning, the accuracy of transfer of learning, absorptive and desorptive capacities, and the distribution of power between the procuring and provider companies determine whether the effects of outsourcing on manufacturing flexibility are positive, negative, or if the type of flexibility is not affected at all. We find that process and product flexibility are impacted mainly positively by outsourcing, while the effects on volume and labor flexibility are ambiguous. A company that decides to outsource must therefore carefully analyze the possible consequences of outsourcing on different flexibility types and in relation to multiple contingencies.
    Keywords: Flexibility, outsourcing, contingency factors, supply chain management, multiple case study
    Date: 2010–04

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