Decisions

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Kinds of Decisions

  • administrative decision
  • admission decision
  • adoption decision
  • allocation decision
  • appropriate decision
  • appropriate treatment decision
  • budgeting decision
  • business decision
  • capital budgeting decision
  • capital investment decision
  • care decision
  • career decision
  • cell fate decision
  • choice decision
  • clinical decision
  • collective decision
  • complex decision
  • compliance decision
  • conservation decision
  • consumer decision
  • consumption decision
  • contracting decision
  • conversion decision
  • corporate decision
  • correct decision
  • court decision
  • design decision
  • development decision
  • diagnostic decision
  • difficult decision
  • dividend decision
  • economic decision
  • employment decision
  • end-of-life decision
  • enrollment decision
  • entry decision
  • ethical decision
  • exit decision
  • fail decision
  • family decision
  • farmer decision
  • fate decision
  • final decision
  • financial decision
  • financing decision
  • firm decision
  • first decision
  • foraging decision
  • foreign policy decision
  • funding decision
  • future decision
  • good decision
  • government decision
  • group decision
  • health care decision
  • health decision
  • healthcare decision
  • hedging decision
  • hiring decision
  • important decision
  • individual decision
  • informed decision
  • initial decision
  • investment decision
  • judicial decision
  • key decision
  • land management decision
  • legal decision
  • lending decision
  • lineage decision
  • location decision
  • major decision
  • make decision
  • making decision
  • management decision
  • managerial decision
  • managers decision
  • many decision
  • medical decision
  • migration decision
  • mother decision
  • movement decision
  • nurse decision
  • operational decision
  • optimal decision
  • output decision
  • outsourcing decision
  • oviposition decision
  • own decision
  • parent decision
  • parental decision
  • participation decision
  • patient decision
  • people decision
  • personal decision
  • physician decision
  • planning decision
  • policy decision
  • political decision
  • portfolio decision
  • practice decision
  • prescribing decision
  • pricing decision
  • production decision
  • purchase decision
  • purchasing decision
  • rational decision
  • recent decision
  • regulatory decision
  • reproductive decision
  • resource allocation decision
  • risky decision
  • same decision
  • selection decision
  • social decision
  • strategic decision
  • structure decision
  • supply decision
  • supreme court decision
  • surgical decision
  • tenure decision
  • therapeutic decision
  • therapy decision
  • timing decision
  • treatment decision
  • triage decision
  • turnover decision
  • voting decision

  • Terms modified by Decisions

  • decision accuracy
  • decision aid
  • decision analysis
  • decision analysis model
  • decision context
  • decision criterioN
  • decision diagram
  • decision error
  • decision limit
  • decision maker
  • decision maker preference
  • decision making
  • decision making process
  • decision model
  • decision models
  • decision outcome
  • decision performance
  • decision point
  • decision problem
  • decision process
  • decision quality
  • decision right
  • decision rule
  • decision scheme
  • decision sciences
  • decision strategy
  • decision structure
  • decision style
  • decision support
  • decision support system
  • decision support tool
  • decision task
  • decision theory
  • decision time
  • decision tool
  • decision tree
  • decision variable

  • Selected Abstracts


    SALES MAXIMIZATION AND PROFIT MAXIMIZATION: A NOTE ON THE DECISION OF A SALES MAXIMIZER TO THE INCREASE OF PER UNIT COST

    PACIFIC ECONOMIC REVIEW, Issue 5 2007
    Ke Li
    A common mistake in currently used textbooks is pointed out, and a new proposition is proposed for replacing a false statement there. [source]


    THE EFFECT OF LEARNING ON THE MAKE/BUY DECISION

    PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2002
    EDWARD G. ANDERSON JR.
    By including the effects of learning over time on both the production of components and their integration into complete products, we develop an engineering-based model of outsourcing. This model provides an alternative explanation for much of what other outsourcing theories predict, as well as making several new predictions. In particular, we show that outsourcing decisions can create a path-dependent outsourcing trap in which a firm experiences higher long-run costs after an immediate cost benefit. We also describe conditions under which outsourcing a small fraction of component production may dominate either complete insourcing or complete outsourcing. Finally, we show that, with discounting, there is a convex, curvilinear relationship between the optimal outsourcing fraction and the rate of technological change. [source]


    THE ROLE OF SUNK COSTS IN THE DECISION TO INVEST IN R&D,

    THE JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECONOMICS, Issue 4 2009
    JUAN A. MŃ—EZ
    We present a dynamic empirical model of a firm's R&D decisions that is consistent with the existence of sunk R&D costs, taking into account that these costs may differ between small and large firms, and among different technological regimes. We estimate a multivariate dynamic discrete choice model using firm-level data of Spanish manufacturing for 1990,2000. Conditional on firm heterogeneity and serially correlated unobservable factors, we find that R&D history matters. This true state dependence allows inferring the existence of sunk R&D costs associated with performing R&D. Sunk R&D costs are found to be higher for large, high-tech firms. [source]


    STRATEGIC DECISIONS ON LAWYERS' COMPENSATION IN CIVIL DISPUTES

    ECONOMIC INQUIRY, Issue 4 2007
    KYUNG HWAN BAIK
    We study a model of civil dispute with delegation in which a plaintiff's lawyer works on a contingent-fee basis but a defendant's lawyer on an hourly fee basis. We first derive the condition under which delegation to the lawyers brings both litigants more payoffs compared with the case of no delegation. We then show that under this profitable delegation condition, the contingent-fee fraction for the plaintiff's lawyer is about one-third. Next, allowing the plaintiff to choose between the two fees, we show that under the profitable delegation condition, the plaintiff chooses the contingent fee, given that the defendant adopts the hourly fee. (JEL K41, K13, D74, D72) [source]


    AN EXPERIMENTAL TEST ON RETIREMENT DECISIONS

    ECONOMIC INQUIRY, Issue 3 2007
    ENRIQUE FATAS
    As part of the current debate on the reform of pension systems, this paper presents an original experimental test where subjects face three different payoff sequences with identical expected value. Two central questions are analyzed. First, whether the distribution of retirement benefits across time influences the retirement decision. And second, whether actuarially fair pension systems distort the retirement decision. The results indicate both that a lump-sum payment rather than annuity benefits is far more effective in delaying the retirement decision and that recent reforms that encourage the link between lifetime contributions and pension benefits to delay the retirement decision should take into account timing considerations. (JEL C91, H55, J26) [source]


    CHOICES AND RETIREMENT SAVINGS: SOME PRELIMINARY RESULTS ON SUPERANNUATION FUND MEMBER DECISIONS

    ECONOMIC PAPERS: A JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECONOMICS AND POLICY, Issue 3 2001
    MARILYN CLARK-MURPHY
    First page of article [source]


    WHICH VARIABLES EXPLAIN DECISIONS ON IMF CREDIT?

    ECONOMICS & POLITICS, Issue 2 2005
    AN EXTREME BOUNDS ANALYSIS
    This paper analyses which economic and political factors affect the chance that a country receives IMF credit or signs an agreement with the Fund. We use a panel model for 118 countries over the period 1971,2000. Our results, based on extreme bounds analysis, suggest that it is mostly economic variables that are robustly related to IMF lending activity, while most political variables that have been put forward in previous studies on IMF involvement are non-significant. To the extent that political factors matter, they seem more closely related to the conclusion of IMF agreements than to the disbursement of IMF credits. [source]


    USING CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH TO MAKE APPROPRIATE CUSTODY AND ACCESS DECISIONS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

    FAMILY COURT REVIEW, Issue 3 2000
    Joan B. Kelly
    Decisions regarding custody and access are most often made without reference to the research on child development, although this literature can be useful in conceptualizing children's needs after separation and divorce. Research on attachment processes, separation from attachment figures, and the roles of mothers and fathers in promoting psychosocial adjustment are reviewed in this article. It concludes with a discussion of the implications for young children's parenting schedules. [source]


    END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS AND OLD-AGE MORTALITY: A CROSS-COUNTRY ANALYSIS

    JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY, Issue 12 2006
    Fanny Janssen PhD
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]


    OPTIMAL CONSUMPTION AND PORTFOLIO DECISIONS WITH PARTIALLY OBSERVED REAL PRICES

    MATHEMATICAL FINANCE, Issue 2 2009
    Alain Bensoussan
    We consider optimal consumption and portfolio investment problems of an investor who is interested in maximizing his utilities from consumption and terminal wealth subject to a random inflation in the consumption basket price over time. We consider two cases: (i) when the investor observes the basket price and (ii) when he receives only noisy observations on the basket price. We derive the optimal policies and show that a modified Mutual Fund Theorem consisting of three funds holds in both cases. The compositions of the funds in the two cases are the same, but in general the investor's allocations of his wealth into these funds will differ. However, in the particular case when the investor has constant relative risk-aversion (CRRA) utility, his optimal investment allocations into these funds are also the same in both cases. [source]


    UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF PERSONALITY TRAITS ON INDIVIDUALS' TURNOVER DECISIONS: A META-ANALYTIC PATH MODEL

    PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 2 2008
    RYAN D. ZIMMERMAN
    Historically, researchers have sought to identify environmental causes of employee turnover. This paradigm has led to the underemphasis of individual differences as being an important cause of individuals' turnover decisions. The results of the meta-analysis show that personality traits do have an impact on individuals' turnover intentions and behaviors. The trait of Emotional Stability best predicted (negatively) employees' intentions to quit, whereas the traits of Conscientiousness and Agreeableness best predicted (negatively) actual turnover decisions. A theoretically developed path model showed important direct effects from personality to intentions to quit and turnover behaviors that were not captured through job satisfaction or job performance. These direct effects indicate that employees who are low on Emotional Stability may intend to quit for reasons other than dissatisfaction with their jobs or not being able to perform their jobs well. The direct effects on turnover suggest that individuals who are low on Agreeableness or high on Openness may engage in unplanned quitting. Personality traits had stronger relationships with outcomes than did non-self-report measures of job complexity/job characteristics. [source]


    TORT DECISIONS AND CAMPAIGN DOLLARS

    POLITICS & POLICY, Issue 2 2000
    Eric N. Waltenburg
    There has recently been growing concern over the massive infusion of special interest dollars in state judicial elections. Commentators worry that these contributions may undermine the public's confidence in the operation and impartiality of the judicial system, or worse, "buy" the decision of the successful judicial candidate. The purpose of this analysis is to determine the extent to which there is good cause to worry. It examines contribution patterns for, and the decisional behavior of, the state supreme court justices on the Alabama, Kentucky, and Ohio courts who have had electoral contests in the 1990s. Results indicate that worries over the American bench being "for sale" have some traction. Under electoral pressures, the justices do appear to position themselves to appeal more to their contributors. This effect is not enduring, however. Whatever relationships exist between contributions to judicial candidates and their decisional behavior are short-term. Following his or her election, a justice's decision-making shows no signs of being influenced by interest group contributions. [source]


    PRODUCT OFFERING, PRICING, AND MAKE-TO-STOCK/MAKE-TO-ORDER DECISIONS WITH SHARED CAPACITY

    PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2002
    GREGORY DOBSON
    In an era of mass customization, many firms continue to expand their product lines to remain competitive. These broader product lines may help to increase market share and may allow higher prices to be charged, but they also cause challenges associated with diseconomies of scope. To investigate this tradeoff, we considered a monopolist who faces demand curves, which for each of its potential products, decline with both price and response time (time to deliver the product). The firm must decide which products to offer, how to price them, whether each should be make-to-stock (mts) or make-to-order (mto), and how often to produce them. The offered products share a single manufacturing facility. Setup times introduce disceonomies of scope and setup costs introduce economies of scale. We provide motivating problem scenarios, model the monopolist's problem as a non-linear, integer programming problem, characterize of the optimal policy, develop near-optimal procedures, and discuss managerial insights. [source]


    THE IMPACT OF CHILDCARE COSTS ON THE FULL-TIME/PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS OF AUSTRALIAN MOTHERS

    AUSTRALIAN ECONOMIC PAPERS, Issue 2 2007
    ANU RAMMOHAN
    Using data from the HILDA (Household Income and Labour Dynamics), this paper examines the implications of childcare costs on maternal employment status by distinguishing between full-time and part-time work. Our empirical approach uses an ordered probit model taking into account the endogeneity associated with both wages and childcare costs. Results indicate that childcare costs have a statistically insignificant effect on the decision to work either full time or part time. Moreover, the reported elasticities of part-time and full-time work with respect to childcare costs are relatively low. Finally, our results indicate that Australian mothers respond to an increase in wages by increasing both their full-time and part-time employment. Conversely, an increase in the number of young children (particularly under four years of age) and an increase in non-labour income reduce the likelihood of the mother is observed to be working. [source]


    ARE PATIENTS' DECISIONS TO REFUSE TREATMENT BINDING ON HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS?

    BIOETHICS, Issue 3 2005
    Peter Murphy
    ABSTRACT When patients refuse to receive medical treatment, the consequences of honouring their decisions can be tragic. This is no less true of patients who autonomously decide to refuse treatment. I distinguish three possible implications of these autonomous decisions. According to the Permissibility Claim, such a decision implies that it is permissible for the patient who has made the autonomous decision to forego medical treatment. According to the Anti-Paternalism Claim, it follows that health-care professionals are not morally permitted to treat that patient. According to the Binding Claim it follows that these decisions are binding on health-care professionals. My focus is the last claim. After arguing that it is importantly different from each of the first two claims, I give two arguments to show that it is false. One argument against the Binding Claim draws a comparison with cases in which patients autonomously choose perilous positive treatments. The other argument appeals to considered judgments about cases in which disincentives are used to deter patients from refusing sound treatments. [source]


    OPTIMAL EXPORT AND HEDGING DECISIONS WHEN FORWARD MARKETS ARE INCOMPLETE

    BULLETIN OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, Issue 1 2007
    Kit Pong Wong
    D81; F23; F31 ABSTRACT This paper examines the behaviour of the competitive firm that exports to two foreign countries under multiple sources of exchange rate uncertainty. There is a forward market between the home currency and one foreign country's currency, but there are no hedging instruments directly related to the other foreign country's currency. We show that the separation theorem holds when the firm optimally exports to the foreign country with the currency forward market. The full-hedging theorem holds either when the firm exports exclusively to the foreign country with the currency forward market or when the relevant spot exchange rates are independent. In the case that the relevant spot exchange rates are positively (negatively) correlated in the sense of regression dependence, the firm optimally opts for a short (long) forward position for cross-hedging purposes. [source]


    Repigmentation after Surgery of Melanoma in a Burn Scar: Dermoscopy as Aid for the Management Decision

    DERMATOLOGIC SURGERY, Issue 7 2007
    ERIKA RICHTIG MD
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]


    Acquired Melanocytic Lesions and the Decision to Excise: Role of Color Variegation and Distribution as Assessed by Dermoscopy

    DERMATOLOGIC SURGERY, Issue 2 2005
    Stefania Seidenari MD
    Background Because melanoma may sometimes be difficult to differentiate from nevi with clinical atypia, many benign lesions also undergo surgical removal. Objective To assess color type and distribution in dermoscopic melanocytic lesion images and to analyze the influence of color parameters on the diagnostic process and the decision to excise. Methods Overall, 603 images, referring to 112 melanomas and 491 nevi, were retrospectively subdivided into four groups: "clearly benign,""follow-up,""dermoscopic atypical nevi," and "dermoscopic melanomas," according to their dermoscopic aspects. The frequency of color type, number, and asymmetry were evaluated on digital images. Results With respect to lesions not eligible for excision according to dermoscopy (but excised for cosmetic reasons), those excised with a suspicion of malignancy showed a higher number of colors, whose distribution was also more asymmetric. Moreover, the frequency of the presence of black and blue-gray progressively increased from clearly benign lesions to atypical nevi and dermoscopic melanomas. Conclusion In dermoscopic images, color parameters are essential elements for the diagnosis of atypical nevus, which can be differentiated from both a clearly benign lesion and a melanoma. Furthermore, pigmentation asymmetry and the presence of blue-gray represent the main color features, which should lead to the decision to excise. THIS STUDY WAS PARTIALLY SUPPORTED BY A GRANT FROM MINISTERO ISTRUZIONE UNIVERSIT« E RICERCA. [source]


    Venture Capitalists' Decision to Syndicate

    ENTREPRENEURSHIP THEORY AND PRACTICE, Issue 2 2006
    Sophie Manigart
    Financial theory, access to deal flow, selection, and monitoring skills are used to explain syndication in venture capital firms in six European countries. In contrast with U.S. findings, portfolio management motives are more important for syndication than individual deal management motives. Risk sharing, portfolio diversification, and access to larger deals are more important than selection and monitoring of deals. This holds for later stage and for early stage investors. Value adding is a stronger motive for syndication for early stage investors than for later stage investors, however. Nonlead investors join syndicates for the selection and value-adding skills of the syndicate partners. [source]


    Critical thresholds, evaluation and regional development

    ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 2 2008
    Patrick ten Brink
    Abstract This paper is part of the Special Issue of European Environment devoted to the outputs of the EU SRDTOOLS project, which developed and applied a new model of regional sustainable development evaluation. This paper introduces as an evaluation criterion the idea of critical thresholds, which up to now have not been sufficiently integrated into thinking and decision making in the context of regional development. Decision making explicitly or implicitly accepts trade-offs across economic, social, human and nature domains. Some of these trade-offs, especially when they may threaten system integrity, are not sufficiently understood. The paper discusses how critical thresholds and trends can be integrated into evaluation methods and provides some insights from practical applications. It concludes that such integration into regional planning and evaluation should support objectives for sustainable development and improve decision making and environmental governance. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


    Factors Influencing the Decision to Forego Conventional Cancer Treatment

    EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CANCER CARE, Issue 4 2002
    Article first published online: 19 DEC 200
    First page of article [source]


    Decision making in ear, nose, and throat disorders, by Cuneyt M. Alper, Eugene N. Myers, David E. Eibling, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 2001, 385 pp

    HEAD & NECK: JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES & SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK, Issue 2 2003
    Adair Blackledge MD
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]


    Soft Decision with Soft Target for Car-like Mobile Vehicle in Dynamic Environment

    IEEJ TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Issue 4 2009
    Yougen Chen Non-member
    Abstract Online flexible operation of a car-like mobile vehicle with non-holonomic constraints in dynamic environment is still a very challenging problem because the surrounding situations are not qualified in static, knowledge is only partial and the execution is often associated with uncertainty. The difficulty lies in the setting of appropriate moving sub-targets in real-time to obtain a collision-free and low-cost path. In this paper, we present a new approach for the autonomous motion control of mobile vehicle in a narrow area with static and dynamic obstacles. It is based on the selection of sub-target points of vehicle's movement called ,soft target' which is a target set defined as all possible and reachable via-points in a navigation space. The soft target is acquired by online learning based on the final target and environment information. Each element of it has its membership value in [0, 1] denoting its evaluation degree. With the acquired soft target, soft decision is made like human's decision process by predictive fuzzy control (PFC) to achieve final target safely and economically. The simulation results show the effectiveness and flexibility of the proposed vehicle motion control method. © 2009 Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [source]


    Application of multicriteria decision analysis in environmental decision making

    INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT, Issue 2 2005
    Gregory A. Kiker
    Abstract Decision making in environmental projects can be complex and seemingly intractable, principally because of the inherent trade-offs between sociopolitical, environmental, ecological, and economic factors. The selection of appropriate remedial and abatement strategies for contaminated sites, land use planning, and regulatory processes often involves multiple additional criteria such as the distribution of costs and benefits, environmental impacts for different populations, safety, ecological risk, or human values. Some of these criteria cannot be easily condensed into a monetary value, partly because environmental concerns often involve ethical and moral principles that may not be related to any economic use or value. Furthermore, even if it were possible to aggregate multiple criteria rankings into a common unit, this approach would not always be desirable because the ability to track conflicting stakeholder preferences may be lost in the process. Consequently, selecting from among many different alternatives often involves making trade-offs that fail to satisfy 1 or more stakeholder groups. Nevertheless, considerable research in the area of multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has made available practical methods for applying scientific decision theoretical approaches to complex multicriteria problems. This paper presents a review of the available literature and provides recommendations for applying MCDA techniques in environmental projects. A generalized framework for decision analysis is proposed to highlight the fundamental ingredients for more structured and tractable environmental decision making. [source]


    Decision making in elderly patients with severe dementia and pneumonia

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY, Issue 3 2010
    Renzo Rozzini
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]


    A dual-observer design for global output feedback stabilization of nonlinear systems with low-order and high-order nonlinearities

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ROBUST AND NONLINEAR CONTROL, Issue 15 2009
    Ji Li
    Abstract This paper employs a dual-observer design to solve the problem of global output feedback stabilization for a class of nonlinear systems whose nonlinearities are bounded by both low-order and high-order terms. We show that the dual-observer comprised of two individual homogeneous observers, can be implemented together to estimate low-order and high-order states in parallel. The proposed dual observer, together with a state feedback controller, which has both low-order and high-order terms, will lead to a new result combining and generalizing two recent results (Li J, Qian C. Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 2005; 2652,2657) and (Qian C. Proceedings of the 2005 American Control Conference, June 2005; 4708,4715). Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    When and How Parliaments Influence Foreign Policy: The Case of Turkey's Iraq Decision

    INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PERSPECTIVES, Issue 1 2010
    Baris Kesgin
    Turkey's decision on its role in the Iraq war in 2003 illustrates the power,and limits,of parliaments as actors in foreign policy. Traditionally, assemblies are not seen as important players in the foreign policies of parliamentary democracies. Instead, cabinets are generally considered the chief policymaking authorities. If the government enjoys a parliamentary majority, legislatures typically support the cabinet, if they are brought into the process at all. The March 1, 2003 vote by the Turkish parliament to not allow the United States to use Turkey as a base for the Iraq invasion challenges this conventional wisdom on parliamentary influence (in addition to many interest-based explanations of foreign policy). This paper examines this decision in the context of the role of parliaments in foreign policies and explores the relationships between parliamentary influence, leadership, intraparty politics, and public opinion. [source]


    JAGS Enters the New Millennium: Direction, Decision, Determination, Dedication, and Distinction

    JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY, Issue 1 2001
    Thomas T. Yoshikawa MD Editor
    [source]


    The Influence of Fear of AIDS and Expectancies About Employees With AIDS on the Decision to Fire Employees With AIDS

    JOURNAL OF APPLIED BIOBEHAVIORAL RESEARCH, Issue 1 2006
    Michael J. Vest
    This research investigated the relationship of managers' fear of AIDS and expectancies about employees with AIDS (EWAs; e.g., managers' beliefs about EWAs' ability to perform the job) to the likelihood of firing EWAs. In addition, the relationship of fear of AIDS to expectancies about EWAs also was assessed. Path analysis was used to test the proposed relationships using a sample of 194 managers. Fear of AIDS and expectancies about disruptions in the workplace and reductions in revenue were related significantly to likelihood of firing EWAs. Fear of AIDS also was related significantly to expectancies about disruptions in the workplace, reduced revenue, and increased insurance costs. Suggestions for future research, implications, and study limitations are discussed. [source]


    How To Choose a Capital Structure: Navigating the Debt-Equity Decision

    JOURNAL OF APPLIED CORPORATE FINANCE, Issue 1 2005
    Anil Shivdasani
    In corporate offices as well as the classroom, there continues to be significant debate about the costs and benefits of debt financing. There is also considerable variation in corporate credit ratings, even among companies as large and successful as those that make up the S&P 500. Many companies have been reassessing how they manage their balance sheet and their rating agency relationships; and with the market's generally favorable response to recapitalizations and dividend increases, such financing issues are likely to receive even more attention. Underlying the diversity of corporate credit ratings is widespread disagreement about the "right" credit rating,a matter that is complicated by the fact that the cost of debt varies widely among companies with the same rating. Although credit ratings are clearly tied to measures of indebtedness such as leverage and coverage ratios, the most important factor in most industries is a company's size. For many mid-sized companies, an investment-grade rating can be attained only by making a large, equity-financed acquisition,or by making minimal use of debt. In this sense, the corporate choice of credit rating can be as much a strategic issue as a financial decision. Maintaining the right amount of financial fl exibility is a key consideration when determining the right credit rating for a given company (although what management views as value-preserving flexibility may be viewed by the market as value-reducing financial "slack"). A BBB rating will accommodate considerably more leverage (30,60%) in companies with fairly stable cash flows and limited investment requirements than in more cyclical or growth-oriented companies (10,20%). When contemplating taking on more leverage, companies should examine all major operating risks and view their capital structure in the context of an enterprisewide risk management framework. [source]