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Real Options in Ship and Force Structure Analysis: A Research Agenda

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In the evaluation of large, risky expenditures on long‐lived capital investments, conventional engineering economic analysis methods do not provide adequate insight into the option value of managerial flexibility and strategic interactions. A common practical remedy is to set aside the (incomplete) analysis in favor of intuition and judgment, which in many instances results from tacit knowledge of embedded option‐type value. If this value could be explicitly documented then the decision criteria would be more transparent. With this in mind, a “real” options analogy with financial options has been proposed; the attraction is that methods for valuing financial options are mature. Naval ship design and acquisition is an option‐laden environment. Therefore if a naval version of the real options analogy were developed, it would add considerable insight. In this paper, the motivation for option‐based analysis is introduced, the basic mechanics of financial options are reviewed, and an agenda for developing options‐informed naval analyses is suggested.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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