Recognizing Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Value Based Management

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Abstract

Value Based Management (VBM) has become a common tool for evaluating corporate strategies and projects from the perspective of shareholder value maximization, and can be an important input for corporate compensation systems. But traditional VBM frameworks make no systematic effort to distinguish between changes in performance attributable to macroeconomic fluctuations beyond management's control and changes in performance that reflect the intrinsic competitive position of the firm.

The authors have developed an approach for “filtering out” the impact of macroeconomic fluctuations on cash flows for purposes of performance evaluation. Such fluctuations are captured by changes in exchange rates, interest rates, and aggregate price levels (both domestically and abroad) that are significantly correlated with a particular company's cash flows. The authors also provide a method for distinguishing between expected and unanticipated cash flow effects of macro events and recommend insulating managers' performance only from the changes they cannot anticipate and manage. In applying the framework to Electrolux, a Swedish multinational, the authors show that unanticipated changes in the krona/pound exchange rate and various interest rates contribute significantly to the variability of the firm's cash flows; and with the help of the sensitivity coefficients used to measure such exposures, they calculate measures of “intrinsic” cash flow that are purged of such macro effects.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics and Business
  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
JournalJournal of Applied Corporate Finance
Volume15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes