Contemporary working capital practices in australia

Zhao, Y 2011, Contemporary working capital practices in australia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Contemporary working capital practices in australia
Author(s) Zhao, Y
Year 2011
Abstract Corporate finance focuses on investment and financing decisions. Within this framework, however, the finance literature has given little consideration to working capital management. Similarly, in practice, working capital managers are regarded as passive contributors to major business decisions. This thesis attempts to increase academic awareness of the importance of working capital management. When we combine the existing literature with recent events, such as industrial technological advances, changes in Australian accounting standards, and the global financial crisis, a fertile research ground is evident and allows us to explore current practices in working capital management. Data are collected through interviews with 10 corporate treasurers and a survey of 120 Australian corporations to document the approaches used by working capital managers in the areas of cash, inventory, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and risk management. This thesis reports how fundamental factors such as firm size, company performance, credit ratings, industry, and education, gender, and age of the working capital manager play a vital role in the management of these areas. This paper’s major contribution lies in its examination of the behavioural aspects of working capital managers. We show that Australian managers are prone towards behavioural biases such as loss aversion, overconfidence, anchoring, and self-serving biases, and that some of these can be desirable for efficiency. Taking into account all of these factors, we propose a profile of a good working capital manager.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Economics, Finance and Marketing
Keyword(s) Working capital management
Global financial crisis
Behavioural bias
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