Vlerick Repository

The Vlerick Repository is a searchable Open Access publication database, containing the complete archive of research output (articles, books, cases, doctoral dissertations,…) written by Vlerick faculty and researchers and preserved by the Vlerick Library.

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Research Output
Business Research Projects
  • On the summary measures for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem

    Van Eynde, Rob; Vanhoucke, Mario; Coelho, José (Annals of Operations Research, 2024)
    The resource-constrained project scheduling problem is a widely studied problem in the literature. The goal is to construct a schedule for a set of activities, such that precedence and resource constraints are respected and that an objective function is optimized. In project scheduling literature, summary measures are often used as a tool to evaluate the performance of algorithms and to analyze instances and datasets. They can be classified in two groups, network measures describe the precedence constraints of a project, while resource measures focus on the resource constraints of the instance. In this manuscript we make an exhaustive evaluation of the summary measures for project scheduling. We provide an overview of the most prevalent measures and also introduce some new ones. For our tests we combine different datasets from the literature and generate a new set with diverse characteristics. We evaluate the performance of the summary measures on three dimensions: consistency, instance complexity and algorithm selection. We conclude by providing an overview of which measures are best suited for each of the three investigated dimensions.
  • An empirical project forecasting accuracy framework using project regularity

    André de Andrade, Paulo; Vanhoucke, Mario; Martens, Annelies (Annals of Operations Research, 2024)
    Forecasting an ongoing project’s actual duration is an essential aspect of project management which received considerable attention in the research community. In studies using Earned Value Management forecasting, it has been argued that the network topology is a driver to indicate the accuracy of these forecasts. However, a new project indicator has been recently defined, i.e. the project regularity, which reflects the value accrue according to the plan. It has shown to outperform the serial/parallel network topology indicator in specifying the accuracy of project forecasts. This paper introduces a novel way to define the project regularity, which provides project managers with an improved indication of the expected forecasting accuracy for their projects. The study is carried out on an empirical database consisting of 100 projects from different sectors, and the results are compared to the academic literature. The experiments show that the new indicator provides a better categorisation compared to the existing approaches. Further, they have shown that the ability of project categorisers to indicate the expected forecasting accuracy is affected by industry sector and project size.
  • Risk response budget allocation based on fault tree analysis and optimization

    Guan, Xin; Servranckx, Tom; Vanhoucke, Mario (Annals of Operations Research, 2024)
    Budget allocation in project risk response is a vital issue in project risk management since it relates to a reasonable utilization of strict project budgets and effective mitigations of the risks that typify projects. This paper presents an integrated method based on an optimization model and fault tree analysis for allocating a risk response budget from a preventive and protective perspective. The proposed method consists of three main steps. The first step is to analyse and calculate risk probabilities and risk losses which involves identifying risk causes that may trigger a risk event to occur using fault tree analysis. It also identifies consequences once the risk event occurs, evaluates the occurrence probabilities of risk causes and expected financial losses of consequences. The second step is to build a relationship between the budget allocated to risk response strategies and the corresponding response effects. The third step is to construct an optimization model aiming at minimizing the total risk cost. We present proofs for the optimal risk response strategy in special cases of the budget allocation model. Furthermore, a detailed computational experiment is performed to gain insights into the three-phased budget allocation model for more general cases. The results show that an optimal risk response budget can be determined and the structure of the risk network has a significant impact on the preferred risk response strategy.
  • Parimutuel contests with strategic risk-sensitive bettors

    Geertsema, Paul; Schumacher, Christoph Rainer (Applied Economics, 2016)
    Existing models in the parimutuel betting literature typically explain betting data by either assuming a single, representative bettor with certain risk preferences or by assuming that a number of risk neutral bettors compete strategically within a game theoretic framework. We construct a theoretical framework of parimutuel markets in which we model both strategic interaction and individual bettor risk preferences, distinguishing between sophisticated insiders and recreational outsiders. We solve this model analytically for the optimal insider betting amount in a static symmetric Nash equilibrium. A new data set of 126 million individual horse race bets in New Zealand from 2006 to 2014 allows us to calibrate the model. We find that insiders (those betting $100 or more) outperform outsiders by 7.5% in terms of realized returns. The best fit of the model to the data is obtained when insiders are assumed to be risk neutral and to have an information advantage of 0.08 in probability terms. This finding provides empirical support for the common assumption of risk neutrality in strategic interaction models of parimutuel betting.
  • Willingness-to-pay for brands that aim for inclusivity, sustainability and positive societal contribution vs. willingness-to-pay for brands that are perceived as exclusive, on-trend: generational, gender and country differences

    Goedertier, Frank; Weijters, Bert; Van den Bergh, Joeri (2024)
    This study explores consumer preferences for brands that emphasize sustainability and inclusivity, and for brands perceived as exclusive and trendy. Consumer data obtained via a large-scale survey involving 24,798 participants across 20 countries and one special administrative region (SAR) are used to understand how willingness to pay (WTP) for these brand types varies globally, accounting for demographic factors like generation, gender, and country. A substantial body of literature highlights growing consumer interest in brands that stand for sustainability and inclusivity, challenging traditional notions that luxury and exclusivity primarily drive brand value. Despite persistent skepticism among some business executives about consumers’ actual versus claimed willingness to spend more for sustainable and inclusive brands, academics and commercial researchers increasingly signal a shift in purchasing behavior that is influenced by socio-ecological factors. This research aims to provide empirical data on consumer WTP across different demographics and countries/regions, thereby contributing to academic discussions and offering insights for managerial decision making. The study frames its investigation around four research questions, to explore how consumers’ WTP for exclusive and inclusive brands varies across generations, genders, and countries/regions. It employs a robust methodological approach, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the data. This ensures that the constructs of brand inclusiveness and exclusivity are comparable across diverse cultural contexts. Significant gender, generational, and country/region differences are observed. When comparing generations, the findings indicate that GenZ consumers have a higher WTP for sustainable/inclusive brands (compared to older, GenX, and Baby Boomer generations). Similar patterns are found when considering WTP for exclusive, on-trend brands. In terms of gender, women are observed to have a higher WTP for sustainable/inclusive brands, but a lower WTP for exclusive, on-trend brands compared to men. Finally, compared to consumers originating from certain European countries, we find that consumers living in certain Asian countries/regions have a significantly higher WTP for inclusive and sustainable brands, as well as for exclusive/on-trend brands. The study underscores the complexities of consumer behavior in the global market, highlighting the coexistence of traditional preferences for exclusive, trendy brands and preferences for brands that embrace sustainability and inclusivity.

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