Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by John E. Katsos, Timothy L. Fort. The Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees (referred as “Peace Ethical” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Global Business. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Ethics, Social enterprise.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment

Case Description of Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees Case Study

Ethical leadership can lead to many positive organizational outcomes. Previous studies have shown a correlation between ethical conduct and profitability; in addition, firms that have high ethical standards have fewer legal issues. The existing ethical leadership literature assumes a stable external environment. The business and peace literature, on the other hand, assumes instability but has thus far largely ignored the role of leadership within companies as a possible driver of peacebuilding activities. The practitioner community has already begun to recognize that leaders of organizations are the key drivers of change in the peacebuilding context. The Business for Peace Foundation, the foremost organization in the practitioner community, gives its annual award to business leaders who promote peace within their organizations and communities. These Business for Peace honorees represent the 'ethical leadership' qualities of peace promotion, without reference to academic theories in either area. We conducted semi-structured interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace honorees and combined those with their public speeches at the Business for Peace events to examine what role these business and peace leaders saw between ethical leadership and peace promotion. Unlike the academic research that suggests only a theoretical and sometimes a direct but tangential connection to peacebuilding, the honorees highlight the direct and visible connection of ethical leadership to peace in unstable environments. We begin by describing the relevant business for peace and ethical leadership literatures. Then we highlight the significant aspects of the interviews and speeches and relate these to the prevailing theories of both business and peace and ethical leadership. Our findings suggest that ethical leadership may be an important missing link within the business and peace literature as an avenue for peace promotion, and that the leadership literature may be ignoring an important positive impact of ethical leadership.

Case Authors : John E. Katsos, Timothy L. Fort

Topic : Global Business

Related Areas : Ethics, Social enterprise

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10006617) -10006617 - -
Year 1 3471058 -6535559 3471058 0.9434 3274583
Year 2 3980850 -2554709 7451908 0.89 3542942
Year 3 3960381 1405672 11412289 0.8396 3325212
Year 4 3222638 4628310 14634927 0.7921 2552631
TOTAL 14634927 12695369

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2688752

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting

What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.

Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting

There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Net Present Value
2. Payback Period
3. Internal Rate of Return
4. Profitability Index

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Peace Ethical have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.
2. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Peace Ethical shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.

Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Global Business Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Peace Ethical often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Peace Ethical needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10006617) -10006617 - -
Year 1 3471058 -6535559 3471058 0.8696 3018311
Year 2 3980850 -2554709 7451908 0.7561 3010095
Year 3 3960381 1405672 11412289 0.6575 2604015
Year 4 3222638 4628310 14634927 0.5718 1842554
TOTAL 10474974

The Net NPV after 4 years is 468357

(10474974 - 10006617 )

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%

If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10006617) -10006617 - -
Year 1 3471058 -6535559 3471058 0.8333 2892548
Year 2 3980850 -2554709 7451908 0.6944 2764479
Year 3 3960381 1405672 11412289 0.5787 2291887
Year 4 3222638 4628310 14634927 0.4823 1554127
TOTAL 9503042

The Net NPV after 4 years is -503575

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9503042 - 10006617 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Peace Ethical to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.

Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Peace Ethical has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Peace Ethical can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Peace Ethical, then the stock price of the Peace Ethical should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Peace Ethical should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.

References & Further Readings

John E. Katsos, Timothy L. Fort (2018), "Leadership in the Promotion of Peace: Interviews with the 2015 Business for Peace Honorees Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.