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Real Options in Operations Research: A Review and Synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lenos Trigeorgis, Andrianos E. Tsekrekos

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Issue number1
Early online date5 Dec 2017
StatePublished - Oct 2018

King's Authors


The Real Options (RO) approach to decision-making has been useful in capturing and valuing the flexibility inherent in many operating decisions that decision makers are faced with. In Operations Research (OR), a field that encompasses a plethora of problem-solving techniques for improving decision-making, we note an observable steady increase in contributions that apply the Real Options approach to model, analyze and evaluate flexible operating alternatives available to decision-makers or to optimize the operational efficiency of decision timing. We review 164 papers that appeared in five internationally-renowned OR journals in the last twelve years, cataloguing the main subject themes and contributions where the Real Options approach has been most valuable to Operations Research. We classify the reviewed papers into six main subject themes, and identify their main characteristics, the modeling approaches used, key issues and sub-categories. We further document current trends and suggest promising opportunities for future research.

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