A Real Options Model for Workforce Cross-Training
In this article, we propose using a real options framework to model and financially value a cross-training policy. The cross-training policy involves a dynamic investment on workforce flexibility. We model it as an approximation of an American call option using binomial lattices. Value stems from the merit of dynamic cross-training compared with the deterministic case using traditional discounted cash flow techniques. This work is discussed in the context of a volatile production system characterized by product dynamics, labor dynamics, task heterogeneity and workforce heterogeneity. Results suggest that cross-training based on the real options approach is dependent on the production capability and the level of workforce heterogeneity. Thus, valuing workforce flexibility using real options has strategic utility beyond that of the net present value approach.
D. Nembhard et al., "A Real Options Model for Workforce Cross-Training," The Engineering Economist, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 95-116, Institute of Industrial Engineers, Jan 2005.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00137910590949850
Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
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