Growth option benefits in foreign direct investment may be limited by a low probability of exercise due to less demand or corporate focus change. Acquisitions driven by management self-interest may even decrease shareholder wealth. Flexibility option benefits are negligible among soft-service multinational enterprises (MNEs), but are better realized by hard-service MNEs, which are operationally less encumbered by hysteresis than manufacturing MNEs. For 235 foreign acquisitions announced by U.S. firms during 1999 and 2000, flexibility options have a positive effect on shareholder value especially for the hard-service acquirers, which are less subject to the muting effects of hysteresis.
- foreign direct investment (FDI)
- multinational enterprise (MNE)
- real option