Short term Thinking in Investment Decisions of Businesses and Financial Markets

Short term Thinking in Investment Decisions of Businesses and Financial Markets

 

When companies buyback shares and pay dividends rather than investing in new capacity, it leads to low economic growth and low aggregate demand.

Central Banks respond by cutting interest rates.  Yet Businesses do not invest in new capacity.

Many studies attribute this to short term thinking dominant in corporate investment decisions.  Pressures from shareholders push corporate managers to be short term oriented.

Many economists and thinkers have criticized this recently as advanced economies are suffering from anemic growth.

Larry Summers has invoked Secular Stagnation.  He says one of the reason for Secular Stagnation is short term thinking.

Andy Haldane of Bank of England has criticized short term thinking as it prevents investments and causes low economic growth.

Key Terms:

  • Quarterly Capitalism
  • Secular Stagnation
  • Short Term Thinking
  • Low Economic Growth
  • Business Investments
  • Real Interest Rates
  • Monetary Policy
  • Income and Wealth Inequality
  • Aggregate Demand
  • Productive Capacity
  • Productivity growth
  • Long Term Investments
  • Share Buybacks
  • Dividends
  • Corporate Cash Pools

 

Capitalism for the Long Term

The near meltdown of the financial system and the ensuing Great Recession have been, and will remain, the defining issue for the current generation of executives. Now that the worst seems to be behind us, it’s tempting to feel deep relief—and a strong desire to return to the comfort of business as usual. But that is simply not an option. In the past three years we’ve already seen a dramatic acceleration in the shifting balance of power between the developed West and the emerging East, a rise in populist politics and social stresses in a number of countries, and significant strains on global governance systems. As the fallout from the crisis continues, we’re likely to see increased geopolitical rivalries, new international security challenges, and rising tensions from trade, migration, and resource competition. For business leaders, however, the most consequential outcome of the crisis is the challenge to capitalism itself.

That challenge did not just arise in the wake of the Great Recession. Recall that trust in business hit historically low levels more than a decade ago. But the crisis and the surge in public antagonism it unleashed have exacerbated the friction between business and society. On top of anxiety about persistent problems such as rising income inequality, we now confront understandable anger over high unemployment, spiraling budget deficits, and a host of other issues. Governments feel pressure to reach ever deeper inside businesses to exert control and prevent another system-shattering event.

My goal here is not to offer yet another assessment of the actions policymakers have taken or will take as they try to help restart global growth. The audience I want to engage is my fellow business leaders. After all, much of what went awry before and after the crisis stemmed from failures of governance, decision making, and leadership within companies. These are failures we can and should address ourselves.

In an ongoing effort that started 18 months ago, I’ve met with more than 400 business and government leaders across the globe. Those conversations have reinforced my strong sense that, despite a certain amount of frustration on each side, the two groups share the belief that capitalism has been and can continue to be the greatest engine of prosperity ever devised—and that we will need it to be at the top of its job-creating, wealth-generating game in the years to come. At the same time, there is growing concern that if the fundamental issues revealed in the crisis remain unaddressed and the system fails again, the social contract between the capitalist system and the citizenry may truly rupture, with unpredictable but severely damaging results.

Most important, the dialogue has clarified for me the nature of the deep reform that I believe business must lead—nothing less than a shift from what I call quarterly capitalism to what might be referred to as long-term capitalism. (For a rough definition of “long term,” think of the time required to invest in and build a profitable new business, which McKinsey research suggests is at least five to seven years.) This shift is not just about persistently thinking and acting with a next-generation view—although that’s a key part of it. It’s about rewiring the fundamental ways we govern, manage, and lead corporations. It’s also about changing how we view business’s value and its role in society.

There are three essential elements of the shift. First, business and finance must jettison their short-term orientation and revamp incentives and structures in order to focus their organizations on the long term. Second, executives must infuse their organizations with the perspective that serving the interests of all major stakeholders—employees, suppliers, customers, creditors, communities, the environment—is not at odds with the goal of maximizing corporate value; on the contrary, it’s essential to achieving that goal. Third, public companies must cure the ills stemming from dispersed and disengaged ownership by bolstering boards’ ability to govern like owners.

When making major decisions, Asians typically think in terms of at least 10 to 15 years. In the U.S. and Europe, nearsightedness is the norm.

None of these ideas, or the specific proposals that follow, are new. What is new is the urgency of the challenge. Business leaders today face a choice: We can reform capitalism, or we can let capitalism be reformed for us, through political measures and the pressures of an angry public. The good news is that the reforms will not only increase trust in the system; they will also strengthen the system itself. They will unleash the innovation needed to tackle the world’s grand challenges, pave the way for a new era of shared prosperity, and restore public faith in business.

1. Fight the Tyranny of Short-Termism

As a Canadian who for 25 years has counseled business, public sector, and nonprofit leaders across the globe (I’ve lived in Toronto, Sydney, Seoul, Shanghai, and now London), I’ve had a privileged glimpse into different societies’ values and how leaders in various cultures think. In my view, the most striking difference between East and West is the time frame leaders consider when making major decisions. Asians typically think in terms of at least 10 to 15 years. For example, in my discussions with the South Korean president Lee Myung-bak shortly after his election in 2008, he asked us to help come up with a 60-year view of his country’s future (though we settled for producing a study called National Vision 2020.) In the U.S. and Europe, nearsightedness is the norm. I believe that having a long-term perspective is the competitive advantage of many Asian economies and businesses today.

Myopia plagues Western institutions in every sector. In business, the mania over quarterly earnings consumes extraordinary amounts of senior time and attention. Average CEO tenure has dropped from 10 to six years since 1995, even as the complexity and scale of firms have grown. In politics, democracies lurch from election to election, with candidates proffering dubious short-term panaceas while letting long-term woes in areas such as economic competitiveness, health, and education fester. Even philanthropy often exhibits a fetish for the short term and the new, with grantees expected to become self-sustaining in just a few years.

Lost in the frenzy is the notion that long-term thinking is essential for long-term success. Consider Toyota, whose journey to world-class manufacturing excellence was years in the making. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s it endured low to nonexistent sales in the U.S.—and it even stopped exporting altogether for one bleak four-year period—before finally emerging in the following decades as a global leader. Think of Hyundai, which experienced quality problems in the late 1990s but made a comeback by reengineering its cars for long-term value—a strategy exemplified by its unprecedented introduction, in 1999, of a 10-year car warranty. That radical move, viewed by some observers as a formula for disaster, helped Hyundai quadruple U.S. sales in three years and paved the way for its surprising entry into the luxury market.

To be sure, long-term perspectives can be found in the West as well. For example, in 1985, in the face of fierce Japanese competition, Intel famously decided to abandon its core business, memory chips, and focus on the then-emerging business of microprocessors. This “wrenching” decision was “nearly inconceivable” at the time, says Andy Grove, who was then the company’s president. Yet by making it, Intel emerged in a few years on top of a new multi-billion-dollar industry. Apple represents another case in point. The iPod, released in 2001, sold just 400,000 units in its first year, during which Apple’s share price fell by roughly 25%. But the board took the long view. By late 2009 the company had sold 220 million iPods—and revolutionized the music business.

It’s fair to say, however, that such stories are countercultural. In the 1970s the average holding period for U.S. equities was about seven years; now it’s more like seven months. According to a recent paper by Andrew Haldane, of the Bank of England, such churning has made markets far more volatile and produced yawning gaps between corporations’ market price and their actual value. Then there are the “hyperspeed” traders (some of whom hold stocks for only a few seconds), who now account for 70% of all U.S. equities trading, by one estimate. In response to these trends, executives must do a better job of filtering input, and should give more weight to the views of investors with a longer-term, buy-and-hold orientation.

If they don’t, short-term capital will beget short-term management through a natural chain of incentives and influence. If CEOs miss their quarterly earnings targets, some big investors agitate for their removal. As a result, CEOs and their top teams work overtime to meet those targets. The unintended upshot is that they manage for only a small portion of their firm’s value. When McKinsey’s finance experts deconstruct the value expectations embedded in share prices, we typically find that 70% to 90% of a company’s value is related to cash flows expected three or more years out. If the vast majority of most firms’ value depends on results more than three years from now, but management is preoccupied with what’s reportable three months from now, then capitalism has a problem.

Roughly 70% of all U.S. equities trading is now done by “hyperspeed” traders—some of whom hold stocks for only a few seconds.

Some rightly resist playing this game. Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Ford, to name just a few, have stopped issuing earnings guidance altogether. Google never did. IBM has created five-year road maps to encourage investors to focus more on whether it will reach its long-term earnings targets than on whether it exceeds or misses this quarter’s target by a few pennies. “I can easily make my numbers by cutting SG&A or R&D, but then we wouldn’t get the innovations we need,” IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano, told us recently. Mark Wiseman, executive vice president at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, advocates investing “for the next quarter century,” not the next quarter. And Warren Buffett has quipped that his ideal holding period is “forever.” Still, these remain admirable exceptions.

To break free of the tyranny of short-termism, we must start with those who provide capital. Taken together, pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, and sovereign wealth funds hold $65 trillion, or roughly 35% of the world’s financial assets. If these players focus too much attention on the short term, capitalism as a whole will, too.

In theory they shouldn’t, because the beneficiaries of these funds have an obvious interest in long-term value creation. But although today’s standard practices arose from the desire to have a defensible, measurable approach to portfolio management, they have ended up encouraging shortsightedness. Fund trustees, often advised by investment consultants, assess their money managers’ performance relative to benchmark indices and offer only short-term contracts. Those managers’ compensation is linked to the amount of assets they manage, which typically rises when short-term performance is strong. Not surprisingly, then, money managers focus on such performance—and pass this emphasis along to the companies in which they invest. And so it goes, on down the line.

Only 45% of those surveyed in the U.S. and the UK expressed trust in business. This stands in stark contrast to developing countries: For example, the figure is 61% in China, 70% in India, and 81% in Brazil.

As the stewardship advocate Simon Wong points out, under the current system pension funds deem an asset manager who returns 10% to have underperformed if the relevant benchmark index rises by 12%. Would it be unthinkable for institutional investors instead to live with absolute gains on the (perfectly healthy) order of 10%—especially if they like the approach that delivered those gains—and review performance every three or five years, instead of dropping the 10-percenter? Might these big funds set targets for the number of holdings and rates of turnover, at least within the “fundamental investing” portion of their portfolios, and more aggressively monitor those targets? More radically, might they end the practice of holding thousands of stocks and achieve the benefits of diversification with fewer than a hundred—thereby increasing their capacity to effectively engage with the businesses they own and improve long-term performance? Finally, could institutional investors beef up their internal skills and staff to better execute such an agenda? These are the kinds of questions we need to address if we want to align capital’s interests more closely with capitalism’s.

2. Serve Stakeholders, Enrich Shareholders

The second imperative for renewing capitalism is disseminating the idea that serving stakeholders is essential to maximizing corporate value. Too often these aims are presented as being in tension: You’re either a champion of shareholder value or you’re a fan of the stakeholders. This is a false choice.

The inspiration for shareholder-value maximization, an idea that took hold in the 1970s and 1980s, was reasonable: Without some overarching financial goal with which to guide and gauge a firm’s performance, critics feared, managers could divert corporate resources to serve their own interests rather than the owners’. In fact, in the absence of concrete targets, management might become an exercise in politics and stakeholder engagement an excuse for inefficiency. Although this thinking was quickly caricatured in popular culture as the doctrine of “greed is good,” and was further tarnished by some companies’ destructive practices in its name, in truth there was never any inherent tension between creating value and serving the interests of employees, suppliers, customers, creditors, communities, and the environment. Indeed, thoughtful advocates of value maximization have always insisted that it is long-term value that has to be maximized.

Capitalism’s founding philosopher voiced an even bolder aspiration. “All the members of human society stand in need of each others assistance, and are likewise exposed to mutual injuries,” Adam Smith wrote in his 1759 work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. “The wise and virtuous man,” he added, “is at all times willing that his own private interest should be sacrificed to the public interest,” should circumstances so demand.

Smith’s insight into the profound interdependence between business and society, and how that interdependence relates to long-term value creation, still reverberates. In 2008 and again in 2010, McKinsey surveyed nearly 2,000 executives and investors; more than 75% said that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives create corporate value in the long term. Companies that bring a real stakeholder perspective into corporate strategy can generate tangible value even sooner. (See the sidebar “Who’s Getting It Right?”)

Creating direct business value, however, is not the only or even the strongest argument for taking a societal perspective. Capitalism depends on public trust for its legitimacy and its very survival. According to the Edelman public relations agency’s just-released 2011 Trust Barometer, trust in business in the U.S. and the UK (although up from mid-crisis record lows) is only in the vicinity of 45%. This stands in stark contrast to developing countries: For example, the figure is 61% in China, 70% in India, and 81% in Brazil. The picture is equally bleak for individual corporations in the Anglo-American world, “which saw their trust rankings drop again last year to near-crisis lows,” says Richard Edelman.

How can business leaders restore the public’s trust? Many Western executives find that nothing in their careers has prepared them for this new challenge. Lee Scott, Walmart’s former CEO, has been refreshingly candid about arriving in the top job with a serious blind spot. He was plenty busy minding the store, he says, and had little feel for the need to engage as a statesman with groups that expected something more from the world’s largest company. Fortunately, Scott was a fast learner, and Walmart has become a leader in environmental and health care issues.

Tomorrow’s CEOs will have to be, in Joseph Nye’s apt phrase, “tri-sector athletes”: able and experienced in business, government, and the social sector. But the pervading mind-set gets in the way of building those leadership and management muscles. “Analysts and investors are focused on the short term,” one executive told me recently. “They believe social initiatives don’t create value in the near term.” In other words, although a large majority of executives believe that social initiatives create value in the long term, they don’t act on this belief, out of fear that financial markets might frown. Getting capital more aligned with capitalism should help businesses enrich shareholders by better serving stakeholders.

3. Act Like You Own the Place

As the financial sector’s troubles vividly exposed, when ownership is broadly fragmented, no one acts like he’s in charge. Boards, as they currently operate, don’t begin to serve as a sufficient proxy. All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, describes how little awareness Merrill Lynch’s board had of the firm’s soaring exposure to subprime mortgage instruments until it was too late. “I actually don’t think risk management failed,” Larry Fink, the CEO of the investment firm BlackRock, said during a 2009 debate about the future of capitalism, sponsored by the Financial Times. “I think corporate governance failed, because…the boards didn’t ask the right questions.”

What McKinsey has learned from studying successful family-owned companies suggests a way forward: The most effective ownership structure tends to combine some exposure in the public markets (for the discipline and capital access that exposure helps provide) with a significant, committed, long-term owner. Most large public companies, however, have extremely dispersed ownership, and boards rarely perform the single-owner-proxy role. As a result, CEOs too often listen to the investors (and members of the media) who make the most noise. Unfortunately, those parties tend to be the most nearsighted ones. And so the tyranny of the short term is reinforced.

The answer is to renew corporate governance by rooting it in committed owners and by giving those owners effective mechanisms with which to influence management. We call this ownership-based governance, and it requires three things:

Just 43% of the nonexecutive directors of public companies believe they significantly influence strategy. For this to change, board members must devote much more time to their roles.

More-effective boards.

In the absence of a dominant shareholder (and many times when there is one), the board must represent a firm’s owners and serve as the agent of long-term value creation. Even among family firms, the executives of the top-performing companies wield their influence through the board. But only 43% of the nonexecutive directors of public companies believe they significantly influence strategy. For this to change, board members must devote much more time to their roles. A government-commissioned review of the governance of British banks last year recommended an enormous increase in the time required of nonexecutive directors of banks—from the current average, between 12 and 20 days annually, to between 30 and 36 days annually. What’s especially needed is an increase in the informal time board members spend with investors and executives. The nonexecutive board directors of companies owned by private equity firms spend 54 days a year, on average, attending to the company’s business, and 70% of that time consists of informal meetings and conversations. Four to five days a month obviously give a board member much greater understanding and impact than the three days a quarter (of which two may be spent in transit) devoted by the typical board member of a public company.

Boards also need much more relevant experience. Industry knowledge—which four of five nonexecutive directors of big companies lack—helps boards identify immediate opportunities and reduce risk. Contextual knowledge about the development path of an industry—for example, whether the industry is facing consolidation, disruption from new technologies, or increased regulation—is highly valuable, too. Such insight is often obtained from experience with other industries that have undergone a similar evolution.

In addition, boards need more-effective committee structures—obtainable through, for example, the establishment of a strategy committee or of dedicated committees for large business units. Directors also need the resources to allow them to form independent views on strategy, risk, and performance (perhaps by having a small analytical staff that reports only to them). This agenda implies a certain professionalization of nonexecutive directorships and a more meaningful strategic partnership between boards and top management. It may not please some executive teams accustomed to boards they can easily “manage.” But given the failures of governance to date, it is a necessary change.

More-sensible CEO pay.

An important task of governance is setting executive compensation. Although 70% of board directors say that pay should be tied more closely to performance, CEO pay is too often structured to reward a leader simply for having made it to the top, not for what he or she does once there. Meanwhile, polls show that the disconnect between pay and performance is contributing to the decline in public esteem for business.

Companies should create real risk for executives.Some experts privately suggest mandating that new executives invest a year’s salary in the company.

CEOs and other executives should be paid to act like owners. Once upon a time we thought that stock options would achieve this result, but stock-option- based compensation schemes have largely incentivized the wrong behavior. When short-dated, options lead to a focus on meeting quarterly earnings estimates; even when long-dated (those that vest after three years or more), they can reward managers for simply surfing industry- or economy-wide trends (although reviewing performance against an appropriate peer index can help minimize free rides). Moreover, few compensation schemes carry consequences for failure—something that became clear during the financial crisis, when many of the leaders of failed institutions retired as wealthy people.

There will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to this complex issue, but companies should push for change in three key areas:

• They should link compensation to the fundamental drivers of long-term value, such as innovation and efficiency, not just to share price.

• They should extend the time frame for executive evaluations—for example, using rolling three-year performance evaluations, or requiring five-year plans and tracking performance relative to plan. This would, of course, require an effective board that is engaged in strategy formation.

• They should create real downside risk for executives, perhaps by requiring them to put some skin in the game. Some experts we’ve surveyed have privately suggested mandating that new executives invest a year’s salary in the company.

Redefined shareholder “democracy.”

The huge increase in equity churn in recent decades has spawned an anomaly of governance: At any annual meeting, a large number of those voting may soon no longer be shareholders. The advent of high-frequency trading will only worsen this trend. High churn rates, short holding periods, and vote-buying practices may mean the demise of the “one share, one vote” principle of governance, at least in some circumstances. Indeed, many large, top-performing companies, such as Google, have never adhered to it. Maybe it’s time for new rules that would give greater weight to long-term owners, like the rule in some French companies that gives two votes to shares held longer than a year. Or maybe it would make sense to assign voting rights based on the average turnover of an investor’s portfolio. If we want capitalism to focus on the long term, updating our notions of shareholder democracy in such ways will soon seem less like heresy and more like common sense.

While I remain convinced that capitalism is the economic system best suited to advancing the human condition, I’m equally persuaded that it must be renewed, both to deal with the stresses and volatility ahead and to restore business’s standing as a force for good, worthy of the public’s trust. The deficiencies of the quarterly capitalism of the past few decades were not deficiencies in capitalism itself—just in that particular variant. By rebuilding capitalism for the long term, we can make it stronger, more resilient, more equitable, and better able to deliver the sustainable growth the world needs. The three imperatives outlined above can be a start along this path and, I hope, a way to launch the conversation; others will have their own ideas to add.

The kind of deep-seated, systemic changes I’m calling for can be achieved only if boards, business executives, and investors around the world take responsibility for bettering the system they lead. Such changes will not be easy; they are bound to encounter resistance, and business leaders today have more than enough to do just to keep their companies running well. We must make the effort regardless. If capitalism emerges from the crisis vibrant and renewed, future generations will thank us. But if we merely paper over the cracks and return to our precrisis views, we will not want to read what the historians of the future will write. The time to reflect—and to act—is now.

 

Please see my other related posts.

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

 

 

Key sources of Research:

Secular stagnation and low investment: Breaking the vicious cycle—a discussion paper

McKinsey

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/europe/secular-stagnation-and-low-investment-breaking-the-vicious-cycle

Case Still Out on Whether Corporate Short-Termism Is a Problem

Larry Summers

http://larrysummers.com/2017/02/09/case-still-out-on-whether-corporate-short-termism-is-a-problem/

Where companies with a long-term view outperform their peers

McKinsey

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/long-term-capitalism/where-companies-with-a-long-term-view-outperform-their-peers

How short-term thinking hampers long-term economic growth

FT

https://www.ft.com/content/8c868a98-b821-11e4-b6a5-00144feab7de

Anthony Hilton: Short-term thinking hits nations as a whole, not just big business

http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/anthony-hilton-short-term-thinking-hits-nations-as-a-whole-not-just-big-business-10427294.html

Short-termism in business: causes, mechanisms and consequences

EY Poland Report

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_Poland_Report/$FILE/Short-termism_raport_EY.pdf

Overcoming the Barriers to Long-term Thinking in Financial Markets

Ruth Curran and Alice Chapple
Forum for the Future

https://www.forumforthefuture.org/sites/default/files/project/downloads/long-term-thinking-fpf-report-july-11.pdf

Understanding Short-Termism: Questions and Consequences

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Understanding-Short-Termism.pdf

Ending Short-Termism : An Investment Agenda for Growth

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Ending-Short-Termism.pdf

The Short Long

Speech by
Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, and Richard Davies

Brussels May 2011

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/speeches/2011/speech495.pdf

Capitalism for the Long Term

Dominic Barton

From the March 2011 Issue

https://hbr.org/2011/03/capitalism-for-the-long-term

Quarterly capitalism: The pervasive effects of short-termism and austerity

https://currentlyunderdevelopment.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/quarterly-capitalism-the-pervasive-effects-of-short-termism-and-austerity/

Is Short-Term Behavior Jeopardizing the Future Prosperity of Business?

http://www.wlrk.com/docs/IsShortTermBehaviorJeopardizingTheFutureProsperityOfBusiness_CEOStrategicimplications.pdf

Andrew G Haldane: The short long

Speech by Mr Andrew Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, and Mr Richard
Davies, Economist, Financial Institutions Division, Bank of England,
at the 29th Société
Universitaire Européene de Recherches Financières Colloquium,
Brussels, 11 May 2011

http://www.bis.org/review/r110511e.pdf

THE UNEASY CASE FOR FAVORING LONG-TERM SHAREHOLDERS

Jesse M. Fried

https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/17985223/Fried_795.pdf?sequence=1

The fringe economic theory that might get traction in the 2016 campaign

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/02/the-fringe-economic-theory-that-might-get-traction-in-the-2016-campaign/?utm_term=.932bc0b97758

FCLT Global:  Focusing Capital on the Long Term

Publications

http://www.fcltglobal.org/insights/publications

Finally, Evidence That Managing for the Long Term Pays Off

Dominic Barton

James Manyika

Sarah Keohane Williamson

February 07, 2017 UPDATED February 09, 2017

https://hbr.org/2017/02/finally-proof-that-managing-for-the-long-term-pays-off

Focusing Capital on the Long Term

Dominic Barton

Mark Wiseman

From the January–February 2014 Issue

Is Corporate Short-Termism Really a Problem? The Jury’s Still Out

Lawrence H. Summers

February 16, 2017

Yes, Short-Termism Really Is a Problem

Roger L. Martin

October 09, 2015

Long-Termism or Lemons

The Role of Public Policy in Promoting Long-Term Investments

By Marc Jarsulic, Brendan V. Duke, and Michael Madowitz October 2015

Center for American Progress

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/21060054/LongTermism-reportB.pdf

 

Overcoming Short-termism: A Call for A More Responsible Approach to Investment and Business Management

https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2009/09/11/overcoming-short-termism-a-call-for-a-more-responsible-approach-to-investment-and-business-management/

 

 

Focusing capital on the Long Term

Jean-Hugues Monier – Senior Parter – McKinsey & Company

Princeton University – November 2016

http://jrc.princeton.edu/sites/jrc/files/jean-hugues_j._monier_slides_final.pdf

Hierarchy Theory in Biology, Ecology and Evolution

Hierarchy Theory in Biology, Ecology and Evolution

 

I have always been intrigued by multi-level thinking whether it is in organizations, biology, ecology, and evolutionary theory.

  • Plant – Division – Corporate – Industry – Macro-economy
  • Molecules – Organelles – Cells – Tissue – Organs – Whole body
  • Organism – Populations – Communities – Ecosystem –  Bio-Sphere

 

How does human body forms from Molecules?  Is it all evolutionary?  or is there a role for Vitalism?

How to integrate decision making in organizations at multi levels?  From Corporate level to Plant Level.

How does an Individual fits in Groups, Communities, Society, and Ecosystem?

What is the role of fractals thinking in Evolutionary Biology?

 

A SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF HIERARCHY THEORY

The Hierarchy theory is a dialect of general systems theory. It has emerged as part of a movement toward a general science of complexity. Rooted in the work of economist, Herbert Simon, chemist, Ilya Prigogine, and psychologist, Jean Piaget, hierarchy theory focuses upon levels of organization and issues of scale. There is significant emphasis upon the observer in the system.

Hierarchies occur in social systems, biological structures, and in the biological taxonomies. Since scholars and laypersons use hierarchy and hierarchical concepts commonly, it would seem reasonable to have a theory of hierarchies. Hierarchy theory uses a relatively small set of principles to keep track of the complex structure and a behavior of systems with multiple levels. A set of definitions and principles follows immediately:

Hierarchy: in mathematical terms, it is a partially ordered set. In less austere terms, a hierarchy is a collection of parts with ordered asymmetric relationships inside a whole. That is to say, upper levels are above lower levels, and the relationship upwards is asymmetric with the relationships downwards.

Hierarchical levels: levels are populated by entities whose properties characterize the level in question. A given entity may belong to any number of levels, depending on the criteria used to link levels above and below. For example, an individual human being may be a member of the level i) human, ii) primate, iii) organism or iv) host of a parasite, depending on the relationship of the level in question to those above and below.

Level of organization: this type of level fits into its hierarchy by virtue of set of definitions that lock the level in question to those above and below. For example, a biological population level is an aggregate of entities from the organism level of organization, but it is only so by definition. There is no particular scale involved in the population level of organization, in that some organisms are larger than some populations, as in the case of skin parasites.

Level of observation: this type of level fits into its hierarchy by virtue of relative scaling considerations. For example, the host of a skin parasite represents the context for the population of parasites; it is a landscape, even though the host may be seen as belonging to a level of organization, organism, that is lower than the collection of parasites, a population.

The criterion for observation: when a system is observed, there are two separate considerations. One is the spatiotemporal scale at which the observations are made. The other is the criterion for observation, which defines the system in the foreground away from all the rest in the background. The criterion for observation uses the types of parts and their relationships to each other to characterize the system in the foreground. If criteria for observation are linked together in an asymmetric fashion, then the criteria lead to levels of organization. Otherwise, criteria for observation merely generate isolated classes.

The ordering of levels: there are several criteria whereby other levels reside above lower levels. These criteria often run in parallel, but sometimes only one or a few of them apply. Upper levels are above lower levels by virtue of: 1) being the context of, 2) offering constraint to, 3) behaving more slowly at a lower frequency than, 4) being populated by entities with greater integrity and higher bond strength than, and 5), containing and being made of – lower levels.

Nested and non-nested hierarchies: nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels. Non-nested hierarchies are more general in that the requirement of containment of lower levels is relaxed. For example, an army consists of a collection of soldiers and is made up of them. Thus an army is a nested hierarchy. On the other hand, the general at the top of a military command does not consist of his soldiers and so the military command is a non-nested hierarchy with regard to the soldiers in the army. Pecking orders and a food chains are also non-nested hierarchies.

Duality in hierarchies: the dualism in hierarchies appears to come from a set of complementarities that line up with: observer-observed, process-structure, rate-dependent versus rate-independent, and part-whole. Arthur Koestler in his “Ghost in The Machine” referred to the notion of holon, which means an entity in a hierarchy that is at once a whole and at the same time a part. Thus a holon at once operates as a quasi-autonomous whole that integrates its parts, while working to integrate itself into an upper level purpose or role. The lower level answers the question “How?” and the upper level answers the question, “So what?”

Constraint versus possibilities: when one looks at a system there are two separate reasons behind what one sees. First, it is not possible to see something if the parts of the system cannot do what is required of them to achieve the arrangement in the whole. These are the limits of physical possibility. The limits of possibility come from lower levels in the hierarchy. The second entirely separate reason for what one sees is to do with what is allowed by the upper level constraints. An example here would be that mammals have five digits. There is no physical reason for mammals having five digits on their hands and feet, because it comes not from physical limits, but from the constraints of having a mammal heritage. Any number of the digits is possible within the physical limits, but in mammals only five digits are allowed by the biological constraints. Constraints come from above, while the limits as to what is possible come from below. The concept of hierarchy becomes confused unless one makes the distinction between limits from below and limits from above. The distinction between mechanisms below and purposes above turn on the issue of constraint versus possibility. Forget the distinction, and biology becomes pointlessly confused, impossibly complicated chemistry, while chemistry becomes unwieldy physics.

Complexity and self-simplification: Howard Pattee has identified that as a system becomes more elaborately hierarchical its behavior becomes simple. The reason is that, with the emergence of intermediate levels, the lowest level entities become constrained to be far from equilibrium. As a result, the lowest level entities lose degrees of freedom and are held against the upper level constraint to give constant behavior. Deep hierarchical structure indicates elaborate organization, and deep hierarchies are often considered as complex systems by virtue of hierarchical depth.

Complexity versus complicatedness: a hierarchical structure with a large number of lowest level entities, but with simple organization, offers a low flat hierarchy that is complicated rather than complex. The behavior of structurally complicated systems is behaviorally elaborate and so complicated, whereas the behavior of deep hierarchically complex systems is simple.

Hierarchy theory is as much as anything a theory of observation. It has been significantly operationalized in ecology, but has been applied relatively infrequently outside that science. There is a negative reaction to hierarchy theory in the social sciences, by virtue of implications of rigid autocratic systems or authority. When applied in a more general fashion, even liberal and non-authoritarian systems can be described effectively in hierarchical terms. There is a politically correct set of labels that avoid the word hierarchy, but they unnecessarily introduce jargon into a field that has enough special vocabulary as it is.

A SHORT ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HIERARCHY THEORY.

This bibliography is in chronological order, so that the reader can identify the early classics as opposed to the later refinements. If you must choose just one book to read, turn to the last reference in this bibliography, Ahl and Allen, 1996. Simon, H.. A. 1962. The architecture of complexity. Proceedings of the American philosophical society 106: 467-82. This is the foundation paper of hierarchy theory originating from an economist. It was a re-published in “Sciences of the Artificial” by Simon. It introduces the idea of near-decomposability. If systems were completely decomposable, then there would be no emergent whole, because the parts would exist only separately. The “near” in near-decomposable allows the upper level to emerge from the fact that the parts anre not completely separate.

Koestler, Arthur. 1967. The ghost in the machine. Macmillan, New York. This is a long hard look at human social structure in hierarchical terms. The notion of holon first occurs in this work. This is a classic work, but is easily accessible to the lay public.

Whyte, L.. L.., A. G. Wilson and D. Wilson (eds.). 1969. Hierarchical structures. American Elsevier, New York. This is a classic collection of early scholarly works by some of the founders of hierarchical thinking.

Pattee, H.. H. (ed.) 1973. Hierarchy theory: the challenge or complex systems. Braziller, New York. This edited volume has some classic articles by Pattee, Simon and others.

Allen, T. F. H. and T. B. Starr. 1982. Hierarchy: perspectives for ecological complexity. University Chicago Press. This book has a significant ecological component but is much more generally about hierarchical structure. It is abstract and a somewhat technical treatment but has been the foundation work for the application of hierarchy theory in ecology and complex systems theory at large.

Salthe, S. 1985. Evolving Hierarchical Systems: their structure and representation. Columbia University Press, New York. This book has a strong structural bias, in contrast to the process oriented approach of Allen and the other ecologists in this bibliography. Salthe introduces the notion of the Triadic, where there is a focus on 1) the system as both a whole above the levels below and 2) a part belonging to another level above, 3) not forgetting the level of the structure itself in between. While much biological hierarchy theory takes an anti-realist point view, or is at least reality-agnostic, wherein the ultimate reality of hierarchical arrangement is left moot, Salthe’s version of hierarchy theory is concerned with the ultimate reality of structure. The anti-realist view of structure is that it is imposed by the observer, and may or may not correspond to any ultimate reality. If structure does correspond to ultimate, external reality, we could never know that to be so. Salthe’s logic is consistent but always takes a structural and ontological position.

O’Neill, R. V., D. DeAngelis, J. Waide and T. F. H. Allen. 1986. A hierarchical concept of ecosystems. Princeton University Press. This is a distinctly ecological application of hierarchy theory, making the critical distinction between process functional ecosystem approaches as opposed to population and community relationships. It is an application of hierarchy theory to ecosystem analysis.

Allen T. F. H. and T. Hoekstra. 1992. Toward a unified ecology. Columbia University Press. This book turns on hierarchy theory, but is principally a book about ecology. It goes beyond the O’Neill et al book, in that it makes the distinction between many types of ecology (landscape, ecosystem, community, organism, population, and biomes) on the one hand, and scale of ecology on the other hand. It ends with practical applications of hierarchy theory and ecological management.

Ahl, V. and T. F. H. Allen. 1996. Hierarchy theory, a vision, vocabulary and epistemology. Columbia University Press. This slim a volume is an interdisciplinary account of a hierarchy theory, and represents the shallow end of the pool. It is the primer version of Allen and Starr 1982. It is full of graphical images to ease the reader into a hierarchical perspective. It makes the distinction between levels of organization and levels of observation. It takes a moderate anti-realist point of view, wherein there may be an external reality, but it is not relevant to the discourse. We only have access to experience, which must of necessity involve observer values and subjectivity. There are examples from a wide discussion of many disciplines. Included are examples from psychology, ecology, the law, political systems and philosophy. It makes reference to the global and technological problems facing humanity, and offers hierarchy theory as one tool in the struggle. The summary of hierarchy theory in the opening paragraphs above comes from this book.

This summary was compiled by

Timothy F. Allen, Professor of Botany,
University of Wisconsin Madison,
Madison Wisconsin 53706 — 1381.
Email – tfallen@facstaff.wisc.edu

 

 

Key People:

  • James Grier Miller
  • Howard Pattee
  • Stanley Salthe
  • T F Allen
  • Herbert Simon
  • NILES ELDREDGE
  • CS Holling

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

A SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF HIERARCHY THEORY

T Allen

http://www.isss.org/hierarchy.htm

http://www.botany.wisc.edu/allenlab/AllenLab/Hierarchy.html

 

 

Hierarchy Theory

Paweł Leśniewski

 

http://www.uni-kiel.de/ecology/users/fmueller/salzau2006/ea_presentations/Data/2006-06-28_-_Hierarchy_Theory.pdf

 

 

Summary of the Principles of Hierarchy Theory

S.N. Salthe

 

http://www.nbi.dk/~natphil/salthe/Summary_of_the_Principles_o.pdf

 

 

HOWARD PATTEE’S THEORETICAL BIOLOGY:

A RADICAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL STANCE TO APPROACH LIFE, EVOLUTION ANDCOMPLEXITY.

Jon Umerez

 

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/rocha/publications/pattee/umerez.pdf

 

 

 

Hierarchy Theory as the Formal Basis of Evolutionary Theory

 

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/tpru/StephenWood/Publications/HierarchyTheoryastheFormalBasisofEvolutionaryTheory.pdf

 

 

The Concept of Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences

 

PhD Thesis Submitted August 2014 Revised June 2015

Daniel Stephen Brooks

 

http://d-nb.info/1082033960/34

 

 

A spatially explicit hierarchical approach to modeling complex ecological systems: theory and applications

Jianguo Wu , John L. David

 

http://leml.asu.edu/jingle/Web_Pages/Wu_Pubs/PDF_Files/Wu_David_2002.PDF

 

 

What is the Hierarchy Theory of Evolution?

 

http://hierarchygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/What-Is-The-Hierarchy-Theory.pdf

 

 

HIERARCHICAL ORGANIZATION OF ECOSYSTEMS

Jackson R. Webster

 

http://coweeta.uga.edu/publications/274.pdf

 

 

Ecological hierarchies and self-organisation – Pattern analysis, modelling and process integration across scales

Hauke Reutera,, Fred Jopp, José M. Blanco-Morenod, Christian Damgaarde, Yiannis Matsinosf, Donald L. DeAngelis

 

http://izt.ciens.ucv.ve/ecologia/Archivos/ECO_POB%202010/ECOPO1_2010/Reuter_etal_BAAE%202010.pdf

 

 

Levels of organization in biology: on the nature and nomenclature of ecology’s fourth level

William Z. Lidicker, Jr

 

http://www.uff.br/ecosed/Artigo4.pdf

 

 

Chapter 24

Hierarchy Theory: An Overview

Jianguo Wu

 

http://izt.ciens.ucv.ve/ecologia/Archivos/ECO_POB%202016/ECOPO7_2016/Jorgensen%20et%20al%202016.pdf

 

 

Heterarchies: Reconciling Networks and Hierarchies

Graeme S. Cumming

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303508940_Heterarchies_Reconciling_Networks_and_Hierarchies

 

 

Evolutionary Theory

A HIERARCHICAL PERSPECTIVE

EDITED BY NILES ELDREDGE, TELMO PIEVANI, EMANUELE SERRELLI, AND ILYA TEMKIN

 

 

Holons, creaons, genons, environs, in hierarchy theory: Where we have gone

Timothy Allen, Mario Giampietro

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380014002993

 

 

The Evolutionary Foundations of Hierarchy: Status, Dominance, Prestige, and Leadership

Mark van Vugt & Joshua M. Tybur

http://www.professormarkvanvugt.com/images/files/Handbook_of_Evolutionary_Psychologymvv2014rev.pdf

 

 

The Microfoundations of Macroeconomics: An Evolutionary Perspective

Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

John M. Gowdy

 

https://papers.tinbergen.nl/00021.pdf

 

 

Understanding the complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems

C S Holling

http://www.esf.edu/cue/documents/Holling_Complexity-EconEcol-SocialSys_2001.pdf

 

 

Hierarchical Structures

Stanley N. Salthe

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Salthe_Stanley/publication/257522907_Hierarchical_Structures/links/5768411408ae7f0756a2248c.pdf

 

 

Two Frameworks for Complexity Generation in Biological Systems

Stanley N. Salthe

 

http://www.nbi.dk/natphil/salthe/A-life_Conf_paper_Word.pdf

http://www.nbi.dk/~natphil/salthe/_publ_classified_by_topic.pdf

 

 

Spatial scaling in ecology

J. A. WIENS

 

http://www.functionalecology.org/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/fec/file/Spatial%20scaling%20in%20ecology%20v3%20n4.pdf

 

 

The Spirit of Evolution

by Roger Walsh

An overview of Ken Wilber’s book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (Shambhala, 1995).

http://cogweb.ucla.edu/CogSci/Walsh_on_Wilber_95.html

Jay W. Forrester and System Dynamics

Jay W. Forrester and System Dynamics

 

 

Jay Forrester passed away at the age of 98 on November 16, 2016

The link below will take you to JWF memorial webpage.

Jay W Forrester Memorial Web Page at the System Dynamics Society

I admire Jay W Forrester greatly.  I was introduced to Operational Research and System dynamics back in early 1980s after I graduated from IIT Roorkee Engineering undergraduate degree in India.  I had bought a book on Operations Research at a road side book seller in Dariya Ganj, Old Delhi, India.

I met Jay on three occasions.  I attended Business Dynamics Executive Education program at MIT Sloan School of Management back in 2002.  Jay was one of the Instructor.  Then I again met Jay at 2003 SDS International Conference at New York City.  Last time I met Jay was in Washington DC at the Club of Rome Symposium celebrating 40 yrs anniversary of publication of The Limits to Growth book.

Jay will be missed greatly.

– Mayank Chaturvedi

 

Jay Forrester’s vision of future of Economics and System Dynamics.

Traditional mainstream academic economics, by trying to be a science, has failed to answer major questions about real- life economic behavior. Economics should become a systems profession, such as management, engineering, and medicine. By closely observing the structures and policies in business and government, simulation models can be constructed to answer questions about business cycles, causes of major depressions, inflation, monetary policy, and the validity of descriptive economic theories. A system dynamics model, as a general theory of economic behavior, now endogenously generates business cycles, Kuznets cycles, the economic long wave, and growth. A model is a theory of the behavior that it generates. The economic model provides the theory, thus far missing from economics, for the Great Depression of the 1930s and how such episodes can recur 50–70 years apart. Simpler system dynamics models can become the vehicle for a relevant and exciting pre-college economics education.

 

From PHD thesis of I David Wheat

Within the interdisciplinary system dynamics (SD) community, the motivation to improve understanding of economic systems came nearly fifty years ago with Jay W. Forrester’s seminal call for a new kind of economics education, a call that he has renewed in the K-12 education setting in recent years. John Sterman’s encyclopedic Business Dynamics is a symbol not only of the breadth of his own economic policy and management research and teaching but also the range of work done by others in this field.

Teaching the economics of resource management with system dynamics tools has been the devotion of Andrew Ford and Erling Moxnes. James Lyneis took his management consultant’s expertise into the university classroom and developed an SD-based microeconomics course. Economists Michael Radzicki and Kaoru Yamaguchi have developed complete graduate-level economics courses on a system dynamics foundation. An informal survey produced this list of others who have used SD as a teaching tool in economics courses: Glen Atkinson, Scott Fullwiler, John Harvey, Steve Keen, Ali Mashayekhi, Jairo Parada, Oleg Pavlov, Khalid Saeed, Jim Sturgeon, Linwood Tauheed, Pavlina Tcherneva, Scott Trees, Eric Tymoigne, Lars Weber, and Agnieszka Ziomek, and that is surely just a fraction.

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

Economic theory for the new millennium

Jay W. Forrester

2003

 

System Dynamics Review vol 29, No 1 (January-March 2013): 26–41

 

 

 

Three slices of Jay Forrester’s general theory of economic behavior: An interpretation

 

Khalid Saeed

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA, USA

February 13, 2013

 

http://www.systemdynamics.org/conferences/2013/proceed/papers/P1018.pdf

 

 

System Dynamics: A disruptive science

A conversation with Jay W. Forrester, founder of the field

Khalid Saeed Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sept. 2013

 

http://static.clexchange.org/ftp/ISDC2013_forresterchat.pdf

http://digitalcommons.wpi.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=ssps-papers&sei-redir=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fstart%3D40%26q%3Djay%2Bw%2Bforrester%2Bsystem%2Bdynamics%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C47%26as_ylo%3D2013#search=%22jay%20w%20forrester%20system%20dynamics%22

 

 

Unintended Consequences

Jay Forrester

http://simgua.com/documents/SB_Forrester.pdf

 

 

A dynamic synthesis of basic macroeconomic theory : implications for stabilization policy analysis

Nathan Forrester

PHD THESIS

https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/15739

 

 

SYSTEM DYNAMICS: PORTRAYING BOUNDED RATIONALITY

 

John D.W. Morecroft

1982

 

https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/49181/systemdynamicspo00more.pdf?sequence=1

 

 

THE SYSTEM DYNAMICS NATIONAL MODEL:  MACRO BEHAVIOR FROM MICRO STRUCTURE

JAY W FORRESTER

 

http://systemsmodelbook.org/uploadedfile/1470_0a924c5b-b909-42fa-be9b-932588278f36_forre004.pdf

 

 

1976 Economic Forecast Report including studies by Jay W Forrester and Nathial Mass

US congress Joint Economic Review of US Economy

http://njlaw.rutgers.edu/collections/gdoc/hearings/7/76603310f/76603310f_1.pdf

 

 

Backround Material for a Meeting on Long Waves, Depression and Innovation –

IMPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY

Jay W. Forrester, Alan K.Oraham, Peter M.Senge, John D Sterman

 

Siena/Florence, October 26-29, 1983

Bianchi, G., Bruckmann, G. and Vasko, T.

 

http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2338/1/CP-83-044.pdf

 

 

 

Industrial Dynamics-After the First Decade

Author(s): Jay W. Forrester

Management Science, Vol. 14, No. 7, Theory Series (Mar., 1968), pp. 398-415

 

http://www.sfu.ca/~vdabbagh/Forrester68.pdf

 

 

Systems Analysis as a Tool for Urban Planning

JAY W. FORRESTER, FELLOW, IEEE

1970

 

http://web.boun.edu.tr/ali.saysel/ESc59M/forrester.pdf

 

 

IS ECONOMETRIC MODELING OBSOLETE?

AUTHOR: Mr. Oakley E. Van Slyke

 

https://www.casact.org/pubs/dpp/dpp80/80dpp650.pdf

 

 

Money and Macroeconomic Dynamics : Accounting System Dynamics Approach

 

Kaoru Yamaguchi

Ph.D. Japan Futures Research Center

Awaji Island, Japan

November 11, 2016

 

http://muratopia.org/Yamaguchi/macrodynamics/Macro%20Dynamics.pdf

 

 

The Feedback Method : A System Dynamics Approach to Teaching Macroeconomics

I. David Wheat, Jr.

Dissertation for the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD)

System Dynamics Group, Social Science Faculty University of Bergen

 

http://bora.uib.no/bitstream/handle/1956/2239/Introduction_David_Wheat.pdf?sequence=46

 

 

Disequilibrium Systems Representation of Growth Models—Harrod-Domar, Solow, Leontief, Minsky, and Why the U.S. Fed Opened the Discount Window to Money-Market Funds

Frederick Betz

2015

 

http://file.scirp.org/pdf/ME_2015120814432915.pdf

 

 

Cyclical dynamics of airline industry earnings

Kawika Piersona and John D. Sterman

System Dynamics Review vol 29, No 3 (July-September 2013): 129–156

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Sterman2/publication/259542762_Cyclical_dynamics_of_airline_industry_earnings/links/5550ead108ae739bdb9202a9.pdf

 

 

 

Modeling Financial Instability

Steve Keen

http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Keen2014ModelingFinancialInstability.pdf

 

 

Harvey, J.T.,

2013.

Keynes’s trade cycle: a system dynamics model.

Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 36(1), pp.105-130.

 

 

ECONOMICS, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Jay Forrester

 

https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/2197/SWP-1983-18213738.pdf?sequence=1

 

 

Forrester, J. W. (1968). Market Growth as Influenced by Capital Investment. Industrial Management Review (now Sloan Management Review), 9(2), 83-105.

 

 

Forrester, J. W 1971). Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems. Collected Papers of J.W. Forrester. Cambridge, MA: Wright-Allen Press.

 

 

Forrester, J. W (1976). Business Structure, Economic Cycles, and National Policy. Futures, June.

 

 

Forrester, J. W (1979). An Alternative Approach to Economic Policy: Macrobehavior from Microstructure. In Kamrany & Day (Eds.), Economic Issues of the Eighties. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

 

 

Forrester, J. W., Mass, N. J., & Ryan, C. (1980). The System Dynamics National Model: Understanding Socio-economic Behavior and Policy Alternatives. Technology Forecasting and Social Change, 9, 51-68.

 

 

Forrester, N. B. (1982). A Dynamic Synthesis of Basic Macroeconomic Theory: Implications for Stabilization Policy Analysis. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

 

 

Low, G. (1980). The Multiplier-Accelerator Model of Business Cycles Interpreted from a System Dynamics Perspective. In J. Randers (Ed.), Elements of the System Dynamics Method. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

 

 

Mass, N. J. (1975). Economic Cycles: An Analysis of Underlying Causes. Cambridge, MA: Wright-Allen Press, Inc.

 

 

Mass, N. J.(1980). Stock and Flow Variables and the Dynamics of Supply and Demand. In J. Randers (Ed.), Elements of the System Dynamics Method. (pp. 95-112). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

 

 

Meadows, D. L., Behrens III, W. W., Meadows, D. H., Naill, R. F., & Zahn, E. (1974). Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World. Cambridge, MA: Wright-Allen Press.

 

 

Morecroft, J. D. W. & Sterman, J. D. (Eds.). (1994). Modeling for Learning Organizations. Portland, OR: Productivity Press.

 

 

Radzicki, M. (1993). A System Dynamics Approach to Macroeconomics (Guest lecture at the Department of Information Science, University of Bergen.).

 

 

Richardson, G. P. (1991). Feedback Thought in Social Science and Systems Theory. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications, Inc.

 

 

Senge, P. M. (1990). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday.

 

 

Sterman, J. D. (1985). A Behavioral Model of the Economic Long Wave. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 6, 17-53.

 

 

Sterman, J. D. (2000). Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

 

I can see now how low interest rates begets low interest rates.

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments seem to have a Circular Causality.

Low Interest rates result in low investments as a result of business decisions by corporations.  Low Investments result in Low Interest Rates as a result of Monetary Policy response to boost investments.

As a result, M&A activity, thus, increases.

 

Historical Trends and Cycles

A. Long Term Interest Rates

From Real Interest Rates Over the Long Run

real-interest-rates

 

B. Business Investments

From Real Interest Rates Over the Long Run

investments

 

C.  Merger and Acquisitions
From M&A Statistics

usmabest

D. Worldwide Monthly M&A

From M&A Statistics

maaworld

ma-monthly

 

Mergers and Acquisitions Waves

  • THE FIRST WAVE: 1897 – 1904
  • THE SECOND WAVE: 1916 – 1929
  • THE THIRD WAVE: 1965 – 1969
  • THE FOURTH WAVE: 1984 – 1989
  • THE FIFTH WAVE: 1992 – 2000
  • THE SIXTH WAVE: 2003 – 2007

 

These waves are typically labeled as

  • the horizontal merger wave of the 1890s,
  • the vertical mergers of the 1920s,
  • the conglomerate merger wave of the 1960s,
  • the refocusing wave of the 1980s,
  • and the global wave of the 1990s
  • the private equity/LBO led wave of 2000s

 

From  The Business Environment / Mergers and Merger Waves: A Century of Cause and Effect / Killian J. McCarthy

Mergers are everyday occurrences. And individual mergers can be motivated by any number of motives. Proportionately, however, history tells us that most mergers are announced during a merger wave; that is, during a period of intense activity, which is usually followed by an interval of relatively less intense activity. And merger waves are very different animals.

Since the late 19th century, the world has experienced a number of major merger waves (see Figure 2.1). The first (ca. 1895–1904) and second (ca. 1918–1929) of these merger waves were US-based events, driven by changes in the physical operating environment of a US firm (Weston et al., 2004; Gaughan, 2010). The third (ca. 1960–1969) was driven, among other factors, by the rise of modern management theory (Weston & Mansinghka, 1971); a theory which spread from the USA to the UK. The fourth – the first anti-merger wave (ca. 1981–1989) – occurred when corporate raiders discovered that many of the conglomerates created in the 1960s were worth less than the sum of their parts (Shleifer & Vishny, 1991; Allen et al., 1995). And during this period, merger activity spread from the USA to the UK, and then to Continental Europe. The fifth (ca. 1991–2001) was driven by deregulation, market liberalization and globalization (Andrade et al., 2001; de Pamphilis, 2008; Gaughan, 2010), and during this merger wave records were broken in all regions (Sudarsanam and Mahate, 2003), as the wave spread from its usual North American base to engulf Europe and then Asia (de Pamphilis, 2008). Finally, in the sixth wave (ca 2003–2008), private equity firms took advantage of historically low interest rates to make speculative acquisitions. This was the first merger wave of the 21st century, and perhaps the first truly global merger wave.

 

Mergers and Acquisitions have gone up considerably in last few years.  2015 was the best year ever in history of M&A.  2016 also will prove to be almost as good as 2015.  As the interest rates rise, the M&A activity will pick up as companies would like to lock-in current low interest rates for capital.  Forward guidance by the Fed Reserve on interest rates increases for 2017 is also going to influence M&A decisions.

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

Real Interest Rates Over the Long Run

Decline and convergence since the 1980s

Kei-Mu Yi

Jing Zhang

 

https://www.minneapolisfed.org/~/media/files/pubs/eppapers/16-10/kei-mu-yi-epp.pdf

 

 

M&A Statistics

https://imaa-institute.org/mergers-and-acquisitions-statistics/

 

 

Monthly M&A Insider – December 2016

http://mergermarketgroup.com/publication/ma-insider-december-2016/#.WIFzPrG-JUE

 

 

US M&A News and Trends

 

https://www.factset.com/mergerstat_em/monthly/US_Flashwire_Monthly.pdf

 

 

2015 M&A TRENDS

financial.thomsonreuters.com

 

 

Eat or Be Eaten: A Theory of Mergers and Merger Waves

Gary Gorton, Matthias Kahl, Richard Rosen

NBER Working Paper No. 11364
Issued in May 2005

http://www.nber.org/papers/w11364

 

 

Understanding mergers and acquisitions: activity since 1990

Greg N. Gregoriou and Luc Renneboog

 

https://booksite.elsevier.com/samplechapters/9780750682893/02~Chapter_1.pdf

 

 

THE Q-THEORY OF MERGERS

Boyan Jovanovic Peter L. Rousseau

Working Paper 8740 http://www.nber.org/papers/w8740

http://www.nber.org/papers/w8740.pdf

 

 

Mergers as Reallocation

Boyan Jovanovic and Peter L. Rousseau

October 2002

http://www.nber.org/papers/w9279.pdf?new_window=1

 

 

Mergers and Technological Change: 1885-1998

Boyan Jovanovic and Peter L. Rousseau∗

May 15, 2001

 

http://www.econ.nyu.edu/user/jovanovi/merge23a.pdf

 

 

Corporate Governance and Merger Activity in the U.S.: Making Sense of the 1980s and 1990s

Bengt R. Holmström

Steven N. Kaplan

February 2001

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=261112

 

 

”What drives merger waves?”

Harford, Jarrad.

Journal of Financial Economics, V ol.77(2005):.529-560.

 

 

The Determinants of Merger Waves: An International Perspective

Dennis C. Mueller

Klaus Peter Gugler

2008

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1275293

 

 

The Determinants of Merger Waves

Klaus Peter Gugler

Dennis C. Mueller

B. Burcin Yurtoglu

January 2006

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=507282

 

 

Economists’ Hubris – The Case of Mergers and Acquisitions

Shahin Shojai

June 14, 2009

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1418986&download=yes

 

 

New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers

Gregor Andrade

Mark L. Mitchell

Erik Stafford

January 2001

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=269313&download=yes

 

 

AN OVERVIEW ON THE DETERMINANTS OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS WAVES

Vancea Mariana

University of Oradea Faculty f Economics

http://steconomiceuoradea.ro/anale/volume/2012/n2/055.pdf

 

 

DRIVERS OF MERGER WAVES A Revisit

Soegiharto

https://journal.ugm.ac.id/index.php/gamaijb/article/viewFile/5586/4557

 

 

Business Cycle and Aggregate Industry Merger

Srdan Komlenovic1, Abdullah Mamun2 & Dev Mishra2

University of Saskatchewan

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.527.8260&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

 

Are There Waves in Merger Activity After All?

Dennis L. Gärtner and Daniel Halbheer

August 2008

ftp://ftp.repec.org/opt/ReDIF/RePEc/iso/ISU_WPS/92_ISU_full.pdf

 

 

Strategic merger waves: A theory of musical chairs

Flavio Toxvaerd

Journal of Economic Theory 140 (2008) 1 – 26

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.557.4982&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Hierarchical Planning: Integration of Strategy, Planning, Scheduling, and Execution

Hierarchical Planning: Integration of Strategy, Planning, Scheduling, and Execution

In Manufacturing environments, there are hierarchical levels of planning and analysis.

  • Strategic – Tactical – Operational
  • Long Term – Medium Term – Short Term
  • Corporate – Business – Functional
  • Aggregate Plans – Detailed Schedules – Execution Results
  • Time Buckets – Gantt Charts – Plan Vs Actuals
  • Forecasts – Plans – Schedules – Results
  • Strategy – Planning – Execution
  • Time Series – Optimization-Simulation-Statistics
  • Structural – Cyclical – Sequential

 

slide_18

Beyond this, there are other analytical approaches:

  • Industry Analysis,
  • Scenario Planning,
  • Environmental Scanning,
  • Sectorial Analysis
  • Macro-Economics

 

From Integration of multi-scale planning and scheduling problems

A supply chain may be defined as an integrated process wherein various entities work together in an effort to meet the objectives of each entity as well as the common objectives of the overall supply chain. It is theoretically possible and preferable to build mathematical models for entire supply chains including all interacting strategic and operational decisions throughout the supply chain. Such monolithic models will not be consistent with the nature of the managerial decision process or practical due to computational complexity of models, data and solution techniques. Mathematical programming is most commonly used to formulate planning and scheduling problems within the process industry. The problems are combinatorial in nature which makes them very difficult to solve and it is vital to develop efficient modelling strategies, mathematical formulations and solutions methods. One of the major difficulties in building mathematical programming models is to keep the size within reasonable limits without sacrificing accuracy. To solve full-scale real-world planning and scheduling problems efficiently, simplification, approximation or aggregation strategies are most often necessary (Grunow et al., 2002, Engell et al., 2001).

It is widely recognized that the complex problem of what to produce and where and how to produce it is best considered through an integrated, hierarchical approach which also acknowledges typical corporate structures and business processes (Shah, 1999). Production planning and scheduling in a typical enterprise involves managers at various echelons within the organization and the decisions that need to be made differ by scope and time horizon and the underlying input information differs by its degree of certainty and aggregation. The decisions also need to be made with different timing and frequency and according to the correct sequence which even further makes the case for an integrated hierarchical approach.

The literature often describes problems solved individually but less often the integration of different problems or the integration of different detail levels of the same problems. An example of an integrated strategic and operational planning problem is described by Kallrath (2002) and an investigation on the integration of long-term, mid-term and short-term planning operations through a common data model is reported by Das et al. (2000). Some typical economical benefits of integrated decision making are listed by Shobrys and White (2002) who conclude that the major challenges in integrating planning, scheduling and control systems are involved in issues like changing human and organizational behavior rather than technical issues. The general conclusion made in the literature is that the integration of decisions with synchronized models is desirable but at the same time it is very difficult to solve such models efficiently.

 

Key Sources of Research:

Bodington, Charles E., and Thomas E. Baker.

“A history of mathematical programming in the petroleum industry.”

Interfaces 20.4 (1990): 117-127.

 

Baker, Thomas E., and Leon S. Lasdon.

“Successive linear programming at Exxon.”

Management science 31.3 (1985): 264-274.

 

Baker, Thomas E.

“Petro-chemical industry.”

Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. Springer US, 2001. 612-614.

 

Baker, Thomas E., and Donald E. Shobrys.

“The integration of planning, scheduling and control.”

Natl. Pet. Refiners Assoc.,(Tech. Pap.);(United States) 200.CONF-8510288- (1985).

 

Baker, Thomas E.

“A hierarchical/relational approach to modeling.”

Computer Science in Economics and Management 3.1 (1990): 63-80.

 

Jones, Chris, and Thomas E. Baker.

“MIMI/G: A graphical environment for mathematical programming and modeling.”

Interfaces 26.3 (1996): 90-106.

 

 

Cleaves, Gerard W., and Thomas E. Baker.

“Chesapeake R&D sponsor groups.”

Interfaces 20.6 (1990): 83-87.

 

A RELATIONAL MODELING SYSTEM FOR LINEAR AND INTEGER PROGRAMMING

A.ATAMTU RK,E.L.JOHNSON,J.T.LINDEROTH,andM.W.P.SAVELSBERGH

http://www.ieor.berkeley.edu/~atamturk/pubs/_published/or48-2000.pdf

 

A bibliography for the development of an intelligent mathematical programming system

Harvey J. Greenberg

http://www.math.ucdenver.edu/~hgreenbe/papers/Greenberg96impsBib.pdf

 

Supply Chain Planning Optimization 

http://www74.homepage.villanova.edu/sohail.chaudhry/MBA8503/Readings/Supply%20Chain/AMR%20Supply%20Chain.pdf

 

MIMI Brings OR Tools Together

http://www.eudoxus.com/mp-in-action/software/mpac9712

 

INTEGRATION OF PRODUCTION PLANNING AND SCHEDULING: OVERVIEW, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Christos T. Maravelias and Charles Sung

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christos_Maravelias2/publication/220341953_Integration_of_production_planning_and_scheduling_Overview_Challenges_and_Opportunities/links/004635251c8f0cd8fd000000.pdf

 

HIERARCHICAL INTEGRATION OF PRODUCTION PLANNING AND SCHEDULING

Arnoldo C. Hax and Harlan C. Meal

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.459.2470&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Discrete Optimization Methods and their Role in the Integration of Planning and Scheduling

Ignacio E. Grossmann , Susara A. van den Heever and Iiro Harjunkoski

March 1, 2001

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.12.1826&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Planning and scheduling models for refinery operations

J.M. Pinto , M. Joly , L.F.L. Moro

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marcel_Joly2/publication/242817901_Planning_and_Scheduling_Models_for_Refinery_Operations/links/5686be3508ae1e63f1f5aa45.pdf

 

MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING MODELS AND METHODS FOR PRODUCTION PLANNING AND SCHEDULING

by Jeremy F. Shapiro

January, 1989

http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/5082/OR-191-89-24512977.pdf?sequence

 

Supporting supply chain planning and scheduling decisions in the oil and chemical industry

Winston Lasschuit, Nort Thijssen

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nort_Thijssen/publication/222406596_Supporting_Supply_Chain_Planning_and_Scheduling_Decisions_in_the_Oil_and_Chemical_Industry/links/5516aa990cf2f7d80a383c39.pdf

 

Planning and Scheduling in Supply Chains: An Overview of Issues in Practice

Stephan Kreipl • Michael Pinedo

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Pinedo/publication/240271728_Planning_and_Scheduling_in_Supply_Chains_An_Overview_of_Issues_in_Practice/links/0c96052de86f847e9b000000.pdf

 

Hierarchical approach for production planning and scheduling under uncertainty

Dan Wu, Marianthi Ierapetritou

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.169.9977&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Supply chain management and advanced planning––basics, overview and challenges

Hartmut Stadtler

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hartmut_Stadtler/publication/223817098_Supply_chain_management_and_advanced_planning_-_Basics_overview_and_challenges/links/00b7d53327c5cd6d44000000.pdf

 

Integration of multi-scale planning and scheduling problems

Hlynur Stefanssona, Pall Jenssonb, Nilay Shah

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hlynur_Stefansson/publication/251469193_Integration_of_multi-scale_planning_and_scheduling_problems/links/00b7d53aa958d6f7ba000000.pdf

 

Bitran, Gabriel R., and Arnold C. Hax.

“On the design of hierarchical production planning systems.”

Decision Sciences 8.1 (1977): 28-55.

 

Bitran, Gabriel R., Elizabeth A. Haas, and Arnoldo C. Hax.

“Hierarchical production planning: A single stage system.”

Operations Research 29.4 (1981): 717-743.

 

Bitran, Gabriel R., Elizabeth A. Haas, and Arnoldo C. Hax.

“Hierarchical production planning: A two-stage system.”

Operations Research 30.2 (1982): 232-251.

 

Bitran, Gabriel R., and Devanath Tirupati.

“Hierarchical production planning.”

Handbooks in operations research and management science 4 (1993): 523-568.

 

Axsäter, Sven, and Henrik Jönsson.

“Aggregation and disaggregation in hierarchical production planning.”

European Journal of Operational Research 17.3 (1984): 338-350.

 

Gfrerer, Helmut, and Günther Zäpfel.

“Hierarchical model for production planning in the case of uncertain demand.”

European Journal of Operational Research 86.1 (1995): 142-161.

 

Hax, Arnoldo C., and Gabriel R. Bitran.

“Hierarchical planning systems—a production application.”

Disaggregation. Springer Netherlands, 1979. 63-93.

 

THE CORPORATE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS

Arnoldo C.:,Hax and Nicolas S. Majluft

1983

 

http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/2031/SWP-1396-09362356.pdf?..

 

A hierarchical decision support system for production planning (with case study)

 

Linet Ozdamar *, M. Ali Bozyel, S. Ilker Birbi

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Linet_Ozdamar/publication/261592155_Hierarchical_planning_approach_for_a_production-distribution_system/links/55f3fdbf08ae63926cf26516.pdf

Gelders, Ludo F., and Luk N. Van Wassenhove.

 

“Hierarchical integration in production planning: Theory and practice.”

Journal of Operations Management 3.1 (1982): 27-35.

Gabbay, Henry.

 

A Hierarchical Approach to Production Planning.

No. TR-120. MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE OPERATIONS RESEARCH CENTER, 1975.

 

Axsäter, Sven.

“Technical note—On the feasibility of aggregate production plans.”

Operations Research 34.5 (1986): 796-800.

 

Gabbay, Henry.

“Optimal aggregation and disaggregation in hierarchical planning.”

Disaggregation. Springer Netherlands, 1979. 95-106.

 

Fleischmann, Bernhard, and Herbert Meyr.

“Planning hierarchy, modeling and advanced planning systems.”

Handbooks in operations research and management science 11 (2003): 455-523.

 

Liberatore, Matthew J., and Tan Miller.

“A hierarchical production planning system.”

Interfaces 15.4 (1985): 1-11.

 

Nam, Sang-jin, and Rasaratnam Logendran.

“Aggregate production planning—a survey of models and methodologies.”

European Journal of Operational Research 61.3 (1992): 255-272.

 

Hierarchical mathematical programming for operational planning in a process industry 

W.G.M.M. Rutten

https://pure.tue.nl/ws/files/1423171/394701.pdf

 

Saad, Germaine H.

“Hierarchical production-planning systems: extensions and modifications.”

Journal of the Operational Research Society 41.7 (1990): 609-624.

 

Omar, Mohamed K., and S. C. Teo.

“Hierarchical production planning and scheduling in a multi-product, batch process environment.”

International Journal of Production Research 45.5 (2007): 1029-1047.

 

Kistner, Klaus-Peter, and Marion Steven.

“Applications of operations research in hierarchical production planning.”

Modern Production Concepts. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1991. 97-113.

 

Shobrys, Donald E., and Douglas C. White.

“Planning, scheduling and control systems: why cannot they work together.”

Computers & chemical engineering 26.2 (2002): 149-160.

 

Stadtler, Hartmut.

“Hierarchical production planning: Tuning aggregate planning with sequencing and scheduling.”

Multi-stage production planning and inventory control. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1986. 197-226.

 

McKay, Kenneth N., Frank R. Safayeni, and John A. Buzacott.

“A review of hierarchical production planning and its applicability for modern manufacturing.”

Production Planning & Control 6.5 (1995): 384-394.

 

Combined Strategic and Operational Planning – An MILP Success Story in Chemical Industry

Josef Kallrath

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.506.4194&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Das, B. P., et al.

“An investigation on integration of aggregate production planning, master production scheduling and short-term production scheudling of batch process operations through a common data model.”

Computers & Chemical Engineering 24.2 (2000): 1625-1631.