Real options are widely applied in strategic and operational decision-making, allowing for managerial flexibility in uncertain contexts. Increased scholarly interest has led to an extensive but fragmented research landscape. We aim to measure and systematize the research field quantitatively. To achieve this goal, we conduct bibliometric performance analyses and bibliographic coupling analyses with an in-depth content review. The results of the performance analyses show an increasing interest in real options since the beginning of the 2000s and identify the most influential journals and authors. The science mappings reveal six and seven research clusters over the last two decades. Based on an in-depth analysis of their themes, we develop a research framework comprising antecedents, application areas, internal and external contingencies, and uncertainty resolution through real option valuation or reasoning. We identify several gaps in that framework, which we propose to tackle in future research.
Gorupec, N., Brehmer, N., Tiberius, V., & Kraus, S. (2022). Tackling uncertain future scenarios with real options: A review and research framework. Irish Journal of Management, in press, doi:10.2478/ijm-2022-0003.