Given that engineering flexibility can potentially provide a competitive advantage, the question then becomes: Precisely how valuable is this flexibility? However, traditional methods often fail to accurately capture the economic value of investments in an environment of widespread uncertainty and rapid change. The real options method represents the new state-of-the-art technique for valuation and management of strategic investments, enabling corporate decision-makers to leverage uncertainty and limit downside risk.
Real Options in Engineering Design, Operations, and Management presents and synthesizes the body of knowledge in the area of real options for engineering systems. Providing case studies and step-by-step computations of real options valuation, it covers engineering applications across different disciplines such as industrial and civil engineering, and computer science. The authors review financial-option research results, consider how to quantify engineering activities, and analyze optimal business strategies based on a variety of real option models. They integrate academic work on real options in engineering, current practice, and discussion of future needs and opportunities.
Flexibility in decision making allows firms to compete more effectively in a world of substantial price and demand uncertainty, product variety, short product life cycles, and rapid product development. And with more frequent demands being placed on engineering systems to change, managers and manufacturing systems must react to events as they unfold. This book explores a real options modeling framework for engineering transitions that allows decision makers to capture and investigate several alternatives for improving an engineering system.
About the Author:
Dr. Harriet Black Nembhard is associate professor of industrial engineering at Penn State University and Bashore Career Professor Director of QUEST (Quality Engineering and System Transitions Lab), established in 1998. Her research mission is to investigate the design and implementation of concepts and methods of quality, productivity, and system improvement for organizations during periods of change and transition. She examines ways to combine these methods with economic cost, risk, and capital measurements to advance the understanding of dynamic systems and improve decision making. Her current work focuses on the areas of nanomanufacturing, health-care and environmental sustainability. A certified Six Sigma Black Belt, she has served as a consultant for numerous corporations. She is a senior member of the American Society for Quality and of the Institute for Industrial Engineers. In 2003, she won the Armand V. Feigenbaum Medal award and the Lloyd S. Nelson award for her professional contributions. In 2006, she was elected to the International Academy for Quality.