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Strategy and Financial Policy in UK Small Firms


  • Judith Jordan

    (Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, England)

  • Julian Lowe

    (Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, England)

  • Peter Taylor

    (Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, England)


There is growing evidence that capital structure and firm strategy are linked but most studies to date have focused on large, publicly quoted firms, with little attention given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A major proposition of the study is that both strategic and financial factors are necessary to explain chosen debt levels. The empirical question adopted for this work, given the best financial model of capital structure, is - does strategy provide any additional explanatory power? Hence strategy and financial variables are seen as complementary rather than competing determinants of capital structure. There appears to be strong evidence supporting the proposition that competitive strategy affects the capital structure of SMEs, but there is little evidence of any impact from corporate strategic factors. The study also supports the notion that there is a 'pecking order' in SME financing and that variability in profits results in 'distress' borrowing. This study provides important empirical evidence to support work on the capital structure puzzle and the funding problems of SMEs. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1998.

Suggested Citation

  • Judith Jordan & Julian Lowe & Peter Taylor, 1998. "Strategy and Financial Policy in UK Small Firms," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1&2), pages 1-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:25:y:1998-01:i:1&2:p:1-27

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