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The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures 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 The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Tom Tyler, John Dienhart, Terry Thomas. The The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures (referred as “Procedural Justice” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Leadership & Managing People. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Corporate communications, Organizational culture, Regulation.

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 The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures Case Study


The 2004 amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines state that organizations should "create a culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to comply with the law." This article presents data that show that procedural fairness-which concerns the objectivity and consistency of organizational procedures-is an essential component of such a culture. The data show that employees tend to believe that procedurally just organizations are legitimate. This belief in legitimacy, in turn, encourages them to act ethically and to comply with rules. This is a "market" approach to compliance because employees "buy in" to the organization, its values, and rules. Command-and-control approaches based on reward-and-punishment programs are significantly less effective, suggesting that rigid, rules-based approaches such as Sarbanes-Oxley are counter-productive. Procedural justice encourages employees to go beyond their job descriptions to create organizational value. This value creation aspect of procedural justice suggests a new role for ethics officers. Finally, this article includes an instrument organizations can use to measure their own level of procedural justice as well as a set of national benchmarks.


Case Authors : Tom Tyler, John Dienhart, Terry Thomas

Topic : Leadership & Managing People

Related Areas : Corporate communications, Organizational culture, Regulation




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10011799) -10011799 - -
Year 1 3455788 -6556011 3455788 0.9434 3260177
Year 2 3961245 -2594766 7417033 0.89 3525494
Year 3 3950845 1356079 11367878 0.8396 3317206
Year 4 3233003 4589082 14600881 0.7921 2560841
TOTAL 14600881 12663718


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2651919

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. Payback Period
2. Internal Rate of Return
3. Net Present Value
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. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Procedural Justice shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.
2. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Procedural Justice have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures

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 Leadership & Managing People 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 Procedural Justice 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 Procedural Justice 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 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10011799) -10011799 - -
Year 1 3455788 -6556011 3455788 0.8696 3005033
Year 2 3961245 -2594766 7417033 0.7561 2995270
Year 3 3950845 1356079 11367878 0.6575 2597745
Year 4 3233003 4589082 14600881 0.5718 1848480
TOTAL 10446528


The Net NPV after 4 years is 434729

(10446528 - 10011799 )






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 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10011799) -10011799 - -
Year 1 3455788 -6556011 3455788 0.8333 2879823
Year 2 3961245 -2594766 7417033 0.6944 2750865
Year 3 3950845 1356079 11367878 0.5787 2286369
Year 4 3233003 4589082 14600881 0.4823 1559126
TOTAL 9476182


The Net NPV after 4 years is -535617

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9476182 - 10011799 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Procedural Justice 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 Procedural Justice has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Procedural Justice 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 Procedural Justice, then the stock price of the Procedural Justice 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 Procedural Justice 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 will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

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 can impact the cash flow of the project.

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

Tom Tyler, John Dienhart, Terry Thomas (2018), "The Ethical Commitment to Compliance: Building Value-Based Cultures Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.