nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2019‒10‒21
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Teaming up with Large R&D Investors: Good or Bad for Knowledge Production and Diffusion? By Sara Amoroso; Simone Vannuccini
  2. Sequential Learning By Antler, Yair; Bird, Daniel; Oliveros, Santiago
  3. Policy initiatives to enhance the impact of public research: Promoting excellence, transfer and co-creation By José Guimón
  4. Meeting SB1 Transportation Systems Performance Goals By Mauch, Michael; McKeever, Benjamin; Skabardonis, Alexander
  5. Organizational Culture as Equilibrium? Rules Versus Principles in Building Relational Contracts By Robert S. Gibbons; Manuel Grieder; Holger Herz; Christian Zehnder

  1. By: Sara Amoroso (European Commission - JRC); Simone Vannuccini
    Abstract: The participation of top R&D players to publicly funded research collaborations is a common yet unexplored phenomenon. If, on the one hand, including top R&D firms creates opportunities for knowledge spillovers and increases the chance for a project to be funded, on the other hand, the uneven nature of such partnerships and the asymmetry in knowledge appropriation capabilities could hinder the overall performance of such collaborations. In this paper, we study the role of top R&D investors in the performance of publicly funded R&D consortia (in terms of number of patents and publications). Using a unique dataset that matches information on R&D collaborative projects and proposals with data on international top R&D firms, we find that indeed teaming up with leading R&D firms increases the probability to obtain funds. However, the participation of such R&D leaders hinders the innovative performance of the funded projects, both in terms of patents and publications. In light of this evidence, the benefits of mobilizing top R&D players should be carefully leveraged in the evaluation and design of innovation policies aimed at R&D collaboration and technology diffusion.
    Keywords: Collaboration, public funding, innovation performance, appropriability, top R&D investor
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Antler, Yair; Bird, Daniel; Oliveros, Santiago
    Abstract: Two players sequentially and privately examine a project of unknown quality. Launching the project requires mutual consent and the first player values the project more than the second player does. The combination of the conflict of interest and private learning leads to moral hazard. We show that an efficient equilibrium must take one of two forms as a function of the prior: either one player relinquishes control of the project, thereby rendering the collaboration moot, or the first player occasionally makes false claims about achieving positive findings. In the latter case, the players' relevant beliefs diverge as time progresses. In addition, we show that projects for which an initial examination failed to generate positive findings may be launched, and that projects known to be good by the first player may be delayed or even aborted.
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: José Guimón (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: Policies to boost the impact of public research can be classified into three broad categories. Firstly, policy initiatives promoting research excellence encourage frontier research by providing large-scale, long-term competitive funding to selected research centres. Secondly, policies supporting knowledge transfer aim at commercialising the results of public research through patent licensing, spin-off companies, and other channels. Thirdly, policies promoting science-industry co-creation focus on fostering more intense modes of research collaboration through joint funding, shared facilities and mixed teams; often involving other civil society stakeholders besides public research institutions and firms. This paper illustrates the variety of options available within each of these three types of policies, based on a review of twelve case studies across nine different countries. The analysis draws attention to the design options, budgets, implementation challenges, international scope, evaluation practices and lessons learnt from these policy initiatives.
    Date: 2019–10–17
  4. By: Mauch, Michael; McKeever, Benjamin; Skabardonis, Alexander
    Abstract: This research project directly addresses the Caltrans policy question of “How to meet the SB 1 ten-year (2027) mandated preliminary performance outcomes for additional state highway investments?” More specifically, the study focuses on performance outcome number 4: “Not less than 90 percent of the transportation management system units in good condition”. As part of this project, the research team evaluated the Caltrans performance-based methodology to achieve the 90% performance goal in addition to completing a review of relevant reports from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), state departments of transportation, and Caltrans. The research team also conducted multiple meetings, phone calls and emails with Caltrans management. The research team found that the Caltrans Transportation Asset Management Plan, which governs its SB 1 implementation, follows FHWA guidance and published best asset management practices. Further, Caltrans has a solid asset management plan in place to meet the SB 1 target. The research team also provides several recommendations including but not limited to: 1) Caltrans should continue working on defining deterioration rates or models for transportation management systems (TMS), 2) state of being in “good condition” for TMS must be more clearly defined, 3) Caltrans should continue monitoring innovations in asset management, and 4) Caltrans should consider conducting more pilots of performance-based ITS maintenance.
    Keywords: Engineering, Performance measurement, asset management, highway maintenance, capital investments, intelligent transportation systems
    Date: 2018–08–01
  5. By: Robert S. Gibbons; Manuel Grieder; Holger Herz; Christian Zehnder
    Abstract: Effective organizations are able not only to coordinate their members on efficient strategies but also to adapt members’ strategies to unforeseen change in an efficient manner. We explore whether part of organizational culture - namely, relational contracts that facilitate both coordi-nation and adaptation - enable organizations to achieve these ends. In a novel experiment, we explore how parties establish such relational contracts, whether they achieve efficient coopera-tion, and how they adapt to exogenous shocks. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that basing a relational contract on general principles rather than specific rules is more successful in achieving efficient adaptation. In our Baseline condition, we observe that pairs who articulate general principles achieve significantly higher performance than those who rely on specific rules. The mechanism underlying this correlation is that pairs with principle-based agreements are more likely to expect their pair to take actions that are consistent with what their relational contract prescribes. To investigate whether there is a causal link between principle-based agreements and performance, we implement a “Nudge” intervention to foster principle-based relational con-tracts. The Nudge succeeds in motivating more pairs to formulate principles and in making pairs significantly more likely to select efficient initial choices. However, the intervention fails to increase performance in the long run. Our results suggest that principle-based relational con-tracts may improve organizational performance, but our results also illustrate the difficulty of building such an organizational culture, which is consistent with the idea that high-performing relational contracts constitute a competitive advantage only if they are difficult to imitate.
    Keywords: organization economics, adaptation, relational contracts
    JEL: D02 D23 L14
    Date: 2019

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