This paper is based on agency theory, resource-based and upper-echelons perspectives to examine the relationship between R&D investment and capital structure and the moderating effects of top management team (TMT) characteristics on the financing decisions of R&D investment in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Using data for SMEs in Taiwan’s IT industry, we find that (1) SMEs involved in R&D activities tend to have lower debt levels and (2) TMT characteristics exert considerable influence on the R&D investment-financial leverage relationship in SMEs. One important implication of the empirical evidence is that for SMEs trying to compete on the basis of innovation, the TMT characteristics significantly influence financing decisions. As innovative activities increase, the selection and development of top executives, who are responsible for choosing an optimal capital structure that could keep financial costs low while providing sufficient financial resources for maintaining a continuous, uninterrupted rate of R&D, is crucial for SMEs.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 11, 2008
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