The opportunity-threat theory of decision-making under risk

A new theory of decision-making under risk, the Opportunity-Threat Theory is proposed. Analysis of risk into opportunity and threat components allows description of behavior as a combination of opportunity seeking and threat aversion. Expected utility is a special case of this model. The final evaluation is an integration of the impacts of opportunity and threat with this expectation. The model can account for basic results as well as several “new paradoxes” that refuted cumulative prospect theory in favor of configural weight models. The discussion notes similarities and differences of this model to the configural weight TAX model, which can also account for the new paradoxes. 

Investment decisions in pharmaceutical R&D projects

Companies have undertaken negative NPV (net present value) projects consistently, citing strategic importance. These were not intrinsically ‘bad’ business decisions, but the valuation methodology produced negative figures. Correspondingly, however, some were uncomfortable with the purely subjective decisions taken in the face of negative valuations. This sense of discomfort led to intensive research in pharmaceutical research project valuation, culminating in the application of working practices such as real-options-based evaluation of R&D projects, as implemented by Merck. However, real-options-based models proved too complicated for common sense and more troublesome were the assumptions that accompanied this methodology. Between the two extremes of NPV and real options approaches, there lies the simple method of ENPV (expected NPV), which incorporates the virtues of decision-tree analysis and provides an excellent tool for investment decision-making in the pharmaceutical R&D context.
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Axes of the Indian Nation

The thinking of leaders like Nehru, Savarkar and Ambedkar influenced the developing India; Savarkar’s led to the Hindu/Non-Hindu axis, while Ambedkar’s to the Dalit/Non-Dalit Axis, and high income-inequality provided the Rich/Poor axis. These three axes give rise to eight possible groups, which differ widely in their ‘power’ and ‘number shares. State elites, comprising of bureaucrats, external groups and organized interests, Indian and foreign, additionally contribute to the complexity of the situation as the non-axial groups, which are engaged in a continuous tussle that is nowhere near equilibrium. And, this complex situation, is today defining the authority the state can have. The conclusion – from a powerful state, a devolved power structure has to evolve.
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Indian Economy Evolves: Up, Right but Slow

While the Indian economic reforms initiated 1991 were mandated by a crisis, their continuance by the successive non-Congress governments is not easily explained. This note attempts to understand the socio-political back drop of economic realities to explore the nature of the economic growth of Independent India, and argues that the economic reforms of the 1990’s are part of a continuous process of change.
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The Coca Cola Company

Co-authored with Deepti Jerath

Coca cola is famous as an extraordinarily successful example of globalization; as well as of the expansion of “Americanization”, when for many people, globally, the name ‘Coca Cola’ is synonymous with American culture. This wave of ‘Americanization’, however, is simultaneously adapted to national communities, blurring the fundamental distinction between the concept of American and globalization, and between global markets and national communities. This raises the issue of the nature of globalization itself, and within this process, the construction of national community. Coca Cola market culture is understood to have initially developed within the unique environment of the United States. There is a tension between the demands of the global market and this market culture, with this local starting point. At the end of WW-II, amidst the dramatic change in the role of the USA in the world, along with the rise and growth of the multinational enterprises, the construction of the Coca Cola market culture is seen to have undergone a striking change, with the initiation of its own strategy of globalization.
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