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Working capital allocations and productivity: empirical issues and role of asset utilization

Gaurav Singh Chauhan (Finance and Accounting, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore, India)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 15 July 2021

Issue publication date: 30 January 2023

613

Abstract

Purpose

The article highlights potential mismeasurement in working capital allocations among academicians and practitioners and revisits the relationship between firms' working capital and productivity, as evident from their values.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design acknowledges the relative role of firms' working capital vis-a-vis other assets in generating revenue, thereby effectively accounting for the overall asset efficiency in influencing firm value. The authors use a multivariate framework to draw inferences from the marginal impact of working capital and its components on firm value while controlling for asset utilization.

Findings

The authors find that, after accounting for asset utilization, the marginal impact of working capital and its components on firm value is quite weak. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that firms' trade-off between short-term and long-term assets per se should not have any value implications. After controlling for their asset turnovers, the authors find that higher allocations to working capital relative to other assets are not necessarily value-destructive. The findings contrast with the past literature.

Research limitations/implications

The article, through its analytical and empirical insights, suggests that working capital allocations should be measured by managers and academicians relative to firms' other asset rather than their sales. Firm values should, therefore, be compared based on firms' overall asset utilization rather than inter-temporal allocations to short-term versus long-term assets.

Originality/value

Contrary to the existing literature so far, the article explicitly acknowledges the relative role of firms' other assets, and hence the overall asset utilization, to infer the marginal impact of working capital on firm value.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Declarations: There is no specific funding or conflict of interest to be declared for the present research work. All the data used are available with the author upon request.

Citation

Chauhan, G.S. (2023), "Working capital allocations and productivity: empirical issues and role of asset utilization", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 2, pp. 388-409. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-10-2020-0515

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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