Pecking Order Theory and the financial structure of manufacturing SMEs from Australia's Business Longitudinal Survey


The principal objective in this paper is to ascertain the extent to which Myers' (1984) Pecking Order Theory (POT) of business financing appears to explain financial structure amongst a panel of 871 manufacturing SMEs legally organised as proprietary companies, taken from the Australian federal government's Business Longitudinal Survey for three financial years from 1995-96 to 1997-98.

The research findings reported in the paper provide further substantial empirical evidence broadly suggesting pecking order financing behaviour amongst SMEs. However, the findings also suggest the need for a modified POT that more fully reflects the special circumstances and nuances of SME financing. A full specification for a modified POT of financing for SMEs is proposed as a basis for further inquiry in the area.


Adrian Zoppa
Lamberts BRS Financial Planning Pty Ltd

Richard G P McMahon
Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide SA


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