Scientia 2006: Lisa Zager

Lisa Zager is receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with a minor in Mathematics. After graduation, Lisa plans to move to Boston and start a career in conference/special events planning. Lisa has enjoyed her time at Marywood both inside and outside of the classroom. She has appreciated her honors classes with their intimate and encouraging environment and felt that pursuing a Citation in Honors would strengthen her undergraduate experience. She is also deeply involved in her extracurricular activities on campus. As a two-year President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association and Co-Chair of the Marywood’s Orientation program in 2005, she has been given the opportunity to excel also in a non-academic setting. Lisa would like to express her deep gratitude to Dr. Art Comstock, whose knowledge, encouragement and enthusiasm has made her four years at Marywood so positive and successful. She would also like to thank Mr. Carl Persing for being so willing to assist her in her research and adding such an interesting perspective to her topic. Finally, Lisa would like to thank her amazingly dedicated family and motivating friends for being there with her during four of the most amazing years of her life.

Factors Affecting Capital Budgeting and Project Decision Processes

Director: Dr. Arthur Comstock
Reader: Mr. Carl Persing


Past research has suggested a significant breach between the theory and application of financial principles, mainly, the use of capital budgeting techniques during the project decision-making process. A total of 200 local businesses were asked to complete a survey in order to gauge if such a breach exists in the local area. Based on the analyzed results of the 58 companies that responded, several significant observations and correlations were found. This study has produced several interesting tendencies and relationships between the project decision-making process and several other relevant variables. Most significantly, the results of this study supported previous research that found a notable gap between theory and practice in the financial processes. As a result of this study, a breach was shown to occur even for those individual with a financial or accounting background, although it is less pronounced in larger companies. Furthermore, as a potential explanation for this breach, the respondents psychological states were explored, mainly their promotion or prevention focus. This study showed that promotion-oriented individuals were less likely to use both time/liquidity and risk analysis techniques when making project decisions, while prevention oriented individuals were more likely to use time/liquidity factors. The general results of this study provided several significant insights into the application of financial theory and how psychological factors can affect the project decision-making process.

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