Epistemology of capital structure decisions by building contractors in Hong Kong

Yat‐Hung CHIANG, Wai Lun Eddie CHENG, Patrick T.I. LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper aims to identify a set of potential determinants of capital structure. By knowing the key determinants, it is possible to understand how building contractors make decisions on capital structure.
Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire survey was conducted to solicit Hong Kong building contractors' view on the predictive power of a set of financial ratios on capital structure. Each of the seven proxies of capital structure was regressed on the five financial ratios. The usual diagnostic tests (i.e. Durbin‐Watson and variance inflation factor tests) and plots of residuals and normality were carried out to ensure that assumptions of linear regression analysis were met. To validate the findings, eight contractors were further interviewed.
Findings - Both measures of long‐term debts (i.e. “long‐term debt divided by total assets” and “long‐term debt divided by total debt”) are proven to be related to “tangibility” significantly. Also, perceived growth opportunities are significantly related to three proxies for capital structure (i.e. total debt to capital, long‐term debt and long‐term leverage).
Research limitations/implications - Further research should be undertaken to improve the quality of data and to enrich the understanding of how contractors define their capital structures.
Originality/value - Despite a plethora of research having been done by financial researchers, there are very few relevant papers in the construction field. This paper is intended to explore how building contractors made decisions on capital structure. Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-345
JournalConstruction Innovation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Chiang, Y.-H., Cheng, E. W. L., & Lam, P. T. I. (2010). Epistemology of capital structure decisions by building contractors in Hong Kong. Construction Innovation, 10(3), 329-345. doi: 10.1108/14714171011060105


  • Capital structure
  • Decision making
  • Contract workers
  • Financing
  • Construction industry
  • Hong Kong


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