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Why Small Manufacturing Firms Shun DCF


  • Joe Walker

    (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

  • Richard Burns

    (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

  • Chad Denson

    (North Georgia College)


Although there is ample literature on the use of capital budgeting techniques by small firms, there is practically no research available on why small firms don’t use discounted cash flow methods. This paper looks at this rationale issue in die light of Brigham's 10 hypodieses (in Fundamentals of Financial Management, sixth edition). Support is found primarily for Brigham’s ignorance hypothesis, but also for his other hypotheses concerning small firms’ short-run cash flow orientation, the comparatively small size of their projects, the managers’ overall knowledge of their firms, and the irrelevance of value analysis when the value of the firm itself is unknown. Furthermore, small firms seem quite satisfied with their present techniques. Since the chief difficulty of small firms is forecasting future cash flows, changing to more sophisticated techniques offers no obvious and effective remedy for that problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Joe Walker & Richard Burns & Chad Denson, 1993. "Why Small Manufacturing Firms Shun DCF," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 2(3), pages 233-249, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:2:y:1993:i:3:p:233-249

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Runyon, L. R., 1983. "Capital expenditure decision making in small firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 389-397, September.
    2. Scott, David F, Jr & Petty, J William, II, 1984. "Capital Budgeting Practices in Large American Firms: A Retrospective Analysis and Synthesis," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 19(1), pages 111-123, March.
    3. James S. Ang, 1991. "Small Business Uniqueness and the Theory of Financial Management," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 1(1), pages 1-13, Spring.
    4. Richard Burns & Joe Walker, 1991. "A Survey of Working Capital Policy among Small Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 1(1), pages 61-74, Spring.
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    More about this item


    Small Firm ; Small Business ; Manufacturing; DCF; Discounted Cash Flow;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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