Net Present Value

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Critics to DCF methods
Ducht an UK companies

* However, it is found inappropriate to use DCF methods for investments that have got strategic implications. * There are various reasons for the use of open approach. Since the outcomes of these projects are highly unforeseen, according one interviewee, the application of quantitative tools is not plausible. Therefore, companies tend to apply the rule of thumb methods rather than standardized quantitative models. The justification for not applying quantitative models is some times attributed to the nature of a project.

Capital inv appraisal of new technologies: Problems, misconceptions and research directions

* Specifically, it has been alleged that the traditional appraisal methods of payback, discounted net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) undervalues the long-term benefits; that traditional financial appraisals assume a far too static view of future industrial activity, under-rating the effects and pace of technological change; that there are many benefits from investments in new technology which are difficult to quantify and are often ignored in the appraisal process; and lastly, it is claimed that the systems of management control often employed by large organizations compound the bias against those investments which, although expensive, reap rewards vital for long-term viability. The first issue is a criticism of financial technique; the next two are criticisms of the way in which business operations are modelled; and the last is an issue of organizationalc ontrol and behavior.

* We show that the criticisms directeda traditional appraisal methods may to some extent be based on misconceptions of the financial models and the ways in which they are best used * A similar objection is raised to the use of NPV and IRR. The claim is that discounting future cash benefits under-emphasizes the future benefits of new technology. This problem may be exacerbated by the application of risk premia to the discount rate. New technology is assumed to be riskier than that which has been well established,

Why DCF are bad for business and why business schools should stop using it * The assumptions related to DCF are increasingly becoming so disconnected from business reality that its continued use should come with the following warning, ‘This financial management technique is hazardous to your business.’ * DCF as a capital investment appraisal tool suffers from a number of major limitations. These limitations include its narrow perspective, exclusion of non-financial benefits, overemphasis on the short-term, faulty assumptions about the status quo, inconsistent treatment of inflation, and promotion of dysfunctional/cheating behaviour. Previous authors, including Hastie (1974); Ramasesh and Jayakumar (1993); and Adler (2000) have enumerated and discussed the various sins of DCF. * The objections against the use of DCF for capital investment appraisal have often been objected to themselves. Kaplan (1986), for example, feels that the supposed limitations of DCF are in truth a limitation of the user and not of the technique. For example, the selection of a static discount rate is a failure of the user and not of the technique itself. Likewise, the inconsistent treatment of inflation, the overemphasis on the short-term, faulty assumptions about the status quo alternative, the adoption of a narrow organisational perspective, and manipulative and cheating behaviour are again all mistakes of the user. Even the difficulty of including non-financial benefits is seen as a lack of the financial analyst’s imagination rather than an inherent shortcoming of the technique. To help overcome the problems of DCF for capital investment decision-making, proponents of real options theory have argued for the tandem use of the Black and Scholes’ (1973) model and DCF.

- The problem with DCF, and which cannot be overcome by its real options complement, occurs...
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