As the capital market in China is still developing, several constraints on a Chinese-listed firm’s financing strategy have a direct impact on its financial flexibility. The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct traditional financial flexibility index (FFI) derived from the western context, provide empirical evidence within eastern context by modified FFI and examine how the managerial efficiency of Chinese-listed firms is demonstrated with modified FFI to escort corporate life cycle hypothesis.
By tailored FFI to fit the contemporary operations of Chinese-listed firms, this study investigates how managerial efficiency varies across different life stages to demonstrate the moderating power in the firm performance of financially flexible firm.
It is found that financially flexible firms in the Chinese stock market generally experience good firm performance, yet the managerial efficiency could gradually be diminishing at their mature stage even firms’ financial flexibility remains consistent with the agency theory. This paper sheds light on the necessity to reexamine the components in financial flexibility based on the eastern context, and provides avenue to further understand the managerial behavior of Chinese listed firms when considering firm life cycles.
Although it is difficult for this current study to offer the precise weights on each factor in calculating financial flexibility, the judgment matrix method is adopted to at least provide reliable estimates in accordance with Chinese business contexts with less than 10 percent errors in contrast to the actual weights.
This modified FFI is particularly suitable for Chinese-listed firms under certain unique financial reporting regulations by adjusting a number of weights and factors. This study may help practitioners understand the managerial conduct of publicly listed firms in China.
The paper constructs a modified FFI with Chinese stock market characteristics embedded, and provides insightful evidence to explain the new pecking order theory by considering the life cycle stage of Chinese-listed companies.
Chang, H. and Ma, C. (2019), "Financial flexibility, managerial efficiency and firm life cycle on firm performance: An empirical analysis of Chinese listed firms", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 168-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAMR-06-2017-0072Download as .RIS
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