Puzzling out the choice of capital budgeting techniques : among high-growth small and medium sized firms

Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is to explore the drivers of practitioners’ choices of capital budgeting techniques(CBT). The mainstream literature suggests that sophisticated CBT (SCBT) will best guide organizations inevaluating important strategic investments. Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) choose to go againstthat “wisdom” and choose non-sophisticated CBT (NSCBT).Instead of following the prescriptive path of the mainstream literature, this dissertation adopts an explorativedesign, exploring qualitatively and quantitatively the reasons SMEs choose NSCBT or SCBT to evaluatestrategic investments. Based on the findings in the four included papers, the dissertation describes whenand under which conditions Swedish high-growth SMEs choose different types of CBT. The focus onSwedish high-growth SMEs listed on First North allowed the capture of choices for both SCBT and NSCBT.Institutional and firm-specific forces, decision-maker–specific attributes, market and contextual factorsemerge as important drivers of the choices of CBT made by high-growth SMEs. The dissertation suggeststhat these multi-level determinants define the limits of decision-makers’ discretion and how they inform thechoices of CBT made by high-growth SMEs.