Real Options in Management and Organizational Strategy: A Review of Decision-making and Performance Implications


  • Acknowledgements: Thanks are due to Noel O'Sullivan and Allan Macpherson, the Associate Editor and the Editor, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this work.



This paper contributes to the debate on the role of real options theory in business strategy and organizational decision-making. It analyses and critiques the decision-making and performance implications of real options within the management theories of the (multinational) firm, reviews and categorizes the organizational, strategic and operational facets of real options management in large business settings. It also presents the views of scholars and practitioners regarding the incorporation and validity of real options in strategy, international management and business processes1. The focus is particularly on the decision-making and performance attributes of the real options logic concerning strategic investments, governance modes and multinational operations management. These attributes are examined from both strategic and operating perspectives of decision-making in organizations, also with an overview of the empirical evidence on real options decision-making and performance.