nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2015‒10‒17
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Motivating IT-Mediated Crowds: The Effect of Goal Setting on Project Performance in Online Crowdfunding By Zhuoxin Li; Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa
  2. Collectively exploring the potential of technology derived from university research: the NanoMem case By Jean-Claude Boldrini; Nathalie Schieb-Bienfait
  3. From knowledge to knowing, from boundaries to boundary construction By Claude Paraponaris; Martine Sigal
  4. Planting the Seeds: The Impact of Training on Mango Producers in Haiti By Irani Arráiz; Carla Calero; Songqing Jin; Alexandra Peralta
  5. From fixed to state-dependent duration in public-private partnerships By Daniel Danau; Annalisa Vinella
  6. Hierarchical Experimentation By Chia-Hui Chen; Junichiro Ishida
  7. Robust decision-making in the water sector: a strategy for implementing Lima?s long-term water resources master plan By Kalra,Nidhi Rajiv; Groves,David G.; Bonzanigo,Laura; Perez,Edmundo Molina; Ramos,Cayo; Carter,Brandon Enrique; Rodriguez Cabanillas,Iván

  1. By: Zhuoxin Li (Carroll School of Management, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467); Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa (McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin, 2110 Speedway Stop B6500, Austin, TX, 78712)
    Abstract: In traditional organizations, stretch goals - difficult and seemingly unattainable goals - have been much debated for their paradoxical effects. Recently, their use as a managerial instrument in IT-mediated crowds has increased. Using online crowdfunding on Kickstarter as an example, we investigate how the use of stretch goals influences project performance. Empirical results show that the use of stretch goals is associated with better project funding performance. Such positive effect is even stronger for projects with higher levels of community engagement. However, stretch goals are less effective in project categories where stretch goals are less novel. Our empirical results also reveal that the use of stretch goals significantly increases a project’s likelihood of delivery delay. These results shed light on the potential dark side of using stretch goals in IT-mediated crowds.
    Keywords: goal setting; stretch goals; IT-mediated crowds; motivation; crowdfunding; online community; engagement
    JEL: D12 C81 L26 L86
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Jean-Claude Boldrini (LEMNA - LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes); Nathalie Schieb-Bienfait (LEMNA - LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)
    Abstract: The value creation of research activities is a fully fledged mission at university. This article examines the various issues arising from this requirement and the nature of the organizational mechanisms likely to be implemented to meet it. It describes the NanoMem case – based on a promising technology in the semi conductor sector-, the initial value creation project as well as its risks and limitations. It then attests to the collaborative arrangement set up during companion research in order to extend the perspectives for enhancing this technology as regards applications and markets. Our work demonstrates that this mechanism can be more generally extended and that this type of collaborative workshop makes it possible : 1) to guide the exploration of a concept both concerning the technical and value dimensions, 2) to better manage this upstream phase in innovation projects and 3) to identify the groups that must be mobilized.
    Keywords: Exploration, exploratory project, collaborative project, upstream innovation project phases.
    Date: 2015–10–02
  3. By: Claude Paraponaris (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université - CNRS - Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille 1 - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille 2); Martine Sigal (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - Fédération Hospitalière de France)
    Abstract: This special issue is concerned with knowledge sharing and boundary crossing. Knowledge management is a constantly expanding field. Like any research area, it is shot through with complex questions. This is certainly the case with regard to boundaries, since they constitute both a bounding line that has to be crossed if the knowledge required for innovation is to be diffused and a form of protection for scientific and technological organisations and institutions. The studies published in this special issue clearly illustrate this complexity, since they are concerned with processes such as learning, the dynamic of expertise, the joint creation of knowledge, the resource-based view, brokering activities, HRM (Human Resources Management) processes and the dynamic of scientific disciplines. The objects under investigation are very diverse; they include project teams, luxury hotels, urban projects, hospitals, clusters, the aeronautics industry and agricultural systems. These studies draw on approaches that have become established over time. There is a history behind the succession of approaches in the field of knowledge management (Snowden, 2002),so it may be useful to put these various pieces of research into context. The central question of this special issue is that of boundaries: between projects, between organisations, between types of knowledge, between scientific disciplines and, of course, between actors. This examination of boundaries leads to a state of the art review that begins with the question of knowledge transfer. Van Wijk & al. (2008) consider the antecedents of the transfer considering three major topics: knowledge, organizational and network characteristics. We take adifferent approachusing ahistorical approach to theconcepts. Following Tsoukas (1996, 2009), we propose to criticize the dominant approach of the transfer. In addition, we want to show and comment the change from the concept of knowledge transfer to the concept of boundary. In a constructivist way (Le Moigne, 1994, Von Glasersfeld, 1995) and with Holford (2015) we propose the concept of boundary construction in order to underline the role of interactions " actors-objects-actors " .
    Keywords: Communities of practice,Knowledge-based systems,Cognition,Knowledge transfer,Interaction,Knowledge sharing
    Date: 2015–10–01
  4. By: Irani Arráiz; Carla Calero; Songqing Jin; Alexandra Peralta
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the short-term impacts of a development project that aims to increase mango yields, sales of mango products, and the income of small mango farmers in rural Haiti. Various matching methods, in combination with difference-in-difference (DID), are used to deal with the potential selection bias associated with nonrandom treatment assignment. Robustness checks are conducted to investigate whether and to what extent the results are affected by the coexistence of other similar projects in the same sites. Rosenbaum bounds analysis is carried out to check the sensitivity of the estimated impacts---based on matching methods---to deviations from the conditional independence assumptions; the relative importance of unobserved factors in the decision to participate. Our results show that in a 16-month period, the project increased the number of young Francique trees planted---a type that has greater market and export potential than traditional mango varieties---and likely encouraged the adoption of best practices. But the project has not yet led to a noticeable increase in total sales. The adoption of improved production practices is too recent to translate into significant changes in production and sales. While the robustness check suggests that the results are not caused by the presence of other similar programs on the same sites, the Rosenbaum bounds sensitivity analysis suggests that the matching results are robust against potential "hidden bias" arising from unobserved outcome variables in some but not all cases.
    Keywords: Agricultural technology transfer, Agricultural productivity, Impact evaluation, Agriculture, impact evaluation, extension services
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Daniel Danau (Universitè de Caen Basse-Normandie - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management); Annalisa Vinella (Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro" - Dipartimento di Scienze economiche e metodi matematici)
    Abstract: A government delegates a build-operate-transfer project to a private Örm. In the contracting stage, the operating cost is unknown. The Örm can increase the likelihood of facing a low cost, rather than a high cost, by exerting costly e§ort when building the infrastructure. Once this is in place, the Örm learns the true cost and begins to operate. We show that, under limited commitment, if the break-up of the partnership is su¢ciently costly to the government and/or information problems are su¢ciently severe, the contract is not robust to renegotiation unless it has a longer duration when the realized cost is low. This result is at odds with the prescription of the literature on aÌexible-term contracts, which recommends a longer duration when operating conditions are unfavourable.
    Keywords: Public-private partnerships; state-dependent duration; aÌexible-term con- tract; limited commitment; renegotiation; break-up
    JEL: D82 H57 H81
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Chia-Hui Chen; Junichiro Ishida
    Abstract: We consider a bandit problem faced by a team of two heterogeneous players. The team is hierarchical in that one (the principal) retains the exclusive right to terminate the project while the other (the agent) focuses strictly on implementing the project assigned to him. As a key departure, we assume that the principal may be privately informed about the project quality. In contrast to the existing literature, the belief in our model is generally non-monotonic: while each failure makes the agent less confident in the project, the uninformed principal drops out gradually over time, which partially restores his confidence. We derive explicit solutions for the agent's effort and the principal's exit decisions, which allow us to obtain a full characterization of the equilibrium. We also discuss the role of effort monitoring in this context and suggest a new rationale for delegation.
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Kalra,Nidhi Rajiv; Groves,David G.; Bonzanigo,Laura; Perez,Edmundo Molina; Ramos,Cayo; Carter,Brandon Enrique; Rodriguez Cabanillas,Iván
    Abstract: How can water resource agencies make smart investments to ensure long-term water reliability when the future is fraught with deep climate and economic uncertainty? This study helped SEDAPAL, the water utility serving Lima, Peru, answer this question by drawing on state of the art methods for decision making under deep uncertainty. These methods provide techniques for evaluating the performance of a water system over a wide range of plausible futures and then developing strategies that are robust across these futures. Rather than weighting futures probabilistically to define an optimal strategy, these methodologies identify the vulnerabilities of a system and then evaluate the key trade-offs among different adaptive strategies. Through extensive iteration and collaboration with SEDAPAL, the study used these methods to define an investment strategy that is robust, ensuring water reliability across as wide a range of future conditions as possible while also being economically efficient. First,on completion, the study helped SEDAPAL realize that not all projects included in the Master Plan were necessary to achieve water reliability, and the utility could save 25 percent (more than $600 million) in investment costs. Second, the study helped focus future efforts on demand-side management, pricing, and soft infrastructure, a refocusing that is difficult to achieve in traditional utility companies. Third, the study helped SEDAPAL gain the support of regulatory and budget agencies through the careful analysis of alternatives. Fourth, the study allowed the utility to postpone lower priority investments, and to analyze future options based on climate and demand information that simply is not available now.
    Keywords: Town Water Supply and Sanitation,Water Conservation,Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions,Water Supply and Systems,Water and Industry
    Date: 2015–10–14

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