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Real Options in Operations Research: A Review

Trigeorgis, Lenos; Tsekrekos, Andrianos E.


Andrianos E. Tsekrekos


The Real Options 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.


Trigeorgis, L., & Tsekrekos, A. E. (2018). Real Options in Operations Research: A Review. European Journal of Operational Research, 270(1), 1-24.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Nov 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 5, 2017
Publication Date Oct 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2023
Journal European Journal of Operational Research
Print ISSN 0377-2217
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 270
Issue 1
Pages 1-24
Public URL