Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2013 | WPS 1/2013 | 1-14

Article title

The capital structure of Polish small and medium-sized enterprises and its impact on their competitiveness


Title variants

Languages of publication



The article discusses the problem of the relationship between the capital structure and the level of competitiveness of SMEs in Poland. The objective of the article is to determine the impact capital structure has on the level of competitiveness of SMEs in Poland. The capital structure of SMEs is dominated by internal funds. Among external sources of financing, bank loans and leasing are predominant. This structure is consistent with the relevant theoretical models. The study shows no significant differences in the financing of current operations, innovation, and competitiveness improvement. The lack of relationship indicates that the capital structure of SMEs has little impact on their competitiveness. The results of the study demonstrate that all external sources of financing improve the competitiveness of SMEs, but the strength of their impact is different. The strongest impact is shown for venture capital, guarantees, and leasing; the weakest – for bank loans and the issuance of shares and bonds. A significant factor is the degree of alignment of a particular financing source with the special needs of SMEs. This significant relationship is demonstrated for all the sources most commonly used by SMEs






Physical description




  • Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw


  • Barton, S. L., Gordon, P. J. (1998). “Corporate Strategy and Capital Structure”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 9, 623–632.
  • Barton, S. L., Matthews, C. H. (1989).“Small Firm Financing: Implications from a Strategic Management Perspective”, Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 27, no. 1, 1–7.
  • Binks, M. R., Ennew, C. T., Reed, G. V. (1992). “Information Asymmetries and the Provision of Finance to Small Firms”, International Small Business Journal, vol. 11, nr 1, 35-43.
  • Churchill, N. C., Lewis, V. L. (1983). “The Five Stages of Small Business Growth”, Harvard Business Review, vol. 63, no. 3, 30–50.
  • Jensen, M., Meckling, W. (1996). “Theory of the firm: Managerial behaviour, agency costs and ownership structure”, Journal of Financial Economics, nr 3 (4), 305-360.
  • Kochlar, R. (1996).“Explaining firm capital structure: The role of agency theory vs transaction cost economics”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 17, 713-728.
  • Modigliani, F., Miller, M. H. (1958). “The Cost of Capital Corporation Finance, and the Theory of Investment”, American Economic Review, June.
  • Myers, S. C. (1984).“The Capital Structure Puzzle”, Journal of Finance, vol. 39, no. 3, 575-592.
  • Nicos, M., Chittenden, F., Poutziouris, P. (1998). “A model of capital structure decision making in small firm”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 5, no. 3.
  • Quinn, R. E., Cameron, K. (1983). “Organizational Life Cycle and Shifting Criteria of Effectiveness: Some Preliminary Evidence”, Management Science, vol. 29, no. 1, 33-51.
  • Scott, M., Bruce, R. (1987). “Five Stages of Growth in Small Business”, Long Range Planning, vol. 20, no. 3, 45–52.
  • Williamson O. E. (1975). “Markets and Hierarchies”, The Free Press, New York – London.

Document Type

Publication order reference



YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.