general relationship among top managers’ perceptions, their actions, and
the subsequent outcomes than was
previously available. Furthermore, we
advanced the current understanding of
how Upper Echelons Theory applies in
non-western contexts (Hambrick, 2007).
Even though it is not part of our main
hypotheses, we found a negative relationship between the net present values
of projects and real options reasoning.
This finding is in line with Tiwana et al.
(2007), who showed that project managers are less likely to use real options
reasoning when they estimate the net
present value of a project to be high. Our
finding is in contrast with the Bowman
and Moskowitz (2001) argument, which
asserts that investments in based of
real options reasoning make economic
sense only when the value of the option
exceeds the cost of the option.
An important implication of the
findings of the present study is that
project managers in new technology
ventures need to clearly prioritize their
objectives for each electronic commerce project so that they can adopt
the appropriate strategy to facilitate the
achievement of their objectives. If project time efficiency is the main goal
under the condition of uncertainty,
for example, our findings reveal that
project managers need to create and
exercise fewer real options. In contrast,
under such a condition, if the priority
of project managers is to produce high
quality work that ensures the satisfaction of project objectives, the greater
use of real options is suitable.
Limitations and Directions for
Our work has some limitations. Because
our project performance measures are
subjective and we are unable to prove
that the perceptual measure of study is a
valid predictor of more “objective” proj-
ect performance measures, one could
argue that different results might be
obtained for other project performance
measures. Thus, future work in the con-
text of project performance may include
more objective project performance
measures to provide confidence in their
robustness. Our results concern young
and high technology based ventures,
which may limit their applicability to
other sectors. It might be worthwhile to
consider firms in low-technology envi-
ronments and older firms to reinforce
the generalizability of our findings.
Finally, national culture is an influen-
tial factor in risk and uncertainty per-
ception (Weber & Hsee, 1998), which
was not assessed herein. Iranian culture
exhibits a high preference for avoid-
ing uncertainty. This feature makes it
difficult to generalize our findings dis-
regarding of cultural background. The
research results could be generalized
into other national cultures via cross-
cultural comparisons in future studies.
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