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to identify as fully as possible all published material that broadly related to aspects of
the research subject. From this comprehensive search, relevant articles and texts were
obtained, analysed, annotated and classified. Subsequently, the references and bibliographies of key articles and texts identified from these databases were searched
in order to follow up additional potentially relevant material. This literature review
was continually updated throughout the duration of the research process as additional
relevant material was published. The new publications, though not impacting on the
development of the underlying research questions or the specific research instruments,
enhanced the subsequent analysis of the primary data gathered during the field
In seeking to explore the investment decision-making process of the upstream oil and
gas industry, the literature review for the study, presented in Chapters 2 and 3,
examined research from two different areas. Firstly, it investigated the academic
literature on investment decision-making and, in particular, that relating to decision
theory and secondly, it explored the literature relating to the industry and its
investment decision-making process. Reviewing these literatures highlighted gaps in
existing knowledge and the identification of the research questions for the current
study. These three questions are: 58 1. Which techniques are the most appropriate for companies to utilise in their
2. Which techniques do companies use to make investment decisions and how are
they used in the investment decision-making process?
3. Is there a relationship between using decision analysis techniques in investment
appraisal decision-making and good organisational performance?
This section will examine the specific research instruments used to explore these
questions in turn. The following section will evaluate the effectiveness of the methodological approach.
To answer the first research question and identify the decision analysis tools that are
most appropriate for investment appraisal decision-making in the upstream oil and gas
literature, the current study drew primarily on the decision theory and oil industry
literatures. This involved firstly, identifying the whole range of techniques that are
available and, secondly deciding which of these tools are the most appropriate for
upstream investment decision-making. It demanded careful consideration of factors
such as the business environment of the upstream industry and the level and type of
information used for investment decision-making in the industry. Through this process, the research identified the decision analysis techniques that are particularly
useful for upstream investment decision-making. Then, drawing again on the investment appraisal and industry literatures, and also on insights gained at
conferences and seminars, an approach to investment decision-making in the oil
industry was developed that utilised the full spectrum of tools identified. Some
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This document was uploaded on 03/30/2014.
- Summer '14
- The Land