Review of The relative influence of competitive intensity and business Essay


The intent of this study is to critically measure a research article written by Johnny Jermias titled “ The comparative influence of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and public presentation ” which was published in the British Accounting Review in 2008 ( See Attached ) . It was written as portion of a response to Modigliani and Miller ‘s ( 1958 ) capital construction “ irrelevancy proposition ” .

The aim of the article was to look into the effects of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and the public presentation of houses. It used informations from a instance survey of selected fabrication houses in the US to foreground the nexus between theory and the acceptance of houses ‘ competitory scheme. The article concludes that, competitory strength has a negative consequence on the leverage-performance relationship and that, there is the demand to see chairing factors such as strategic pick and the environment in which a house operates when look intoing the effects of purchase on public presentation.

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Structure of the study

This reappraisal begins with my motive for choosing this peculiar article. It so summarises the research design, methods of informations aggregation and analysis and the research findings. It besides covers a reappraisal of the philosophical premises that underpin the research design and an rating of the ethical position with the position to critically understand the issues raised in the research.


The construct of analysis and review of research articles have been and will ever be an of import and built-in facet of academic scenes. The reviewing procedure allows readers to analyze the informations, facts and thoughts presented in an article to place any possible differences in the reading and impact appraisal, in a strict in-depth mode to determine or otherwise of any causal claims. The thrust behind the choice of this article is based on a figure of factors. First, the discussed topic is in my research country hence really relevant to my apprehension. Second, the capable country is really utile to industries and direction as they ‘ve ever grappled with the optimum capital construction determination that will assist them add value to stockholder ‘s wealth. Besides, it is a cardinal subject that has been really much researched with different dimensions and consequences therefore popular amongst academic diaries in the country. Besides, the methods of informations aggregation tantrum into the intended methodological analysis for my research. Last, it suggests a batch of options for farther surveies which may be relevant for the add-on to knowledge.

Research Design

A research design is a logical construction for the research. It deals with logical jobs and non logistical jobs ( De Vaus, 2001 ) . The map of a research design is to guarantee that the grounds obtained will enable us answer research inquiries every bit unequivocally as possible. When planing research, it is imperative for the research worker to find the type of grounds that is needed to reply the inquiries or prove a theory in a convincing manner. Therefore, in societal scientific discipline research, the issues of sampling, methods of informations aggregation ( questionnaires, observations, document analysis ) etc are all subordinate to the affair of what grounds the research worker needs to roll up ( De Vaus, 2001 ) .

There are assorted research designs some of which are Comparative, Case survey, Experiments, Randomised Control Trials, Cross-sectional, Longitudinal, Action research and the similar. Although some research designs are frequently equated with qualitative and quantitative research methods, Yin ( 1989 ) argues that, it is erroneous and irrelevant to compare a peculiar research design with either qualitative or quantitative methods. Robson ( 1998, p.5 ) observes that: “ Case survey is a scheme for making research which involves an empirical probe of a peculiar coeval phenomenon within its existent life context utilizing multiple grounds. ” The chief research design for this article under reappraisal in my position is a instance survey. The ground for this is that the writer sampled selected US fabrication house and studied the effects of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and the public presentation of houses.

There is a immense dissension over the position that the cost of debt is higher for merchandise distinction houses than cost leading houses. So by utilizing instance surveies to analyze the effects of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and the public presentation of houses, it may be possible to bring out the existent theorization whether merchandise distinction is more dearly-won a scheme than being a low cost manufacturer. The usage of instance survey made it possible for the writer to include past and present phenomena drawn from multiple beginnings of grounds ( Leonard-Barton, 1990 ) and personal observation. The major benefit for utilizing instance survey as a research design stems from the fact that it allows the accomplishment of a personal apprehension of organizational phenomena ( Patton, 1987 )

The job of internal cogency in instance surveies may be resolved through the usage of ideographic, nomothetic and reactive consequence etc. In peculiar, ( Jermias, 2008 ) dealt with internal cogency by utilizing nomothetic attack where peculiar instances ( US fabrication houses ) were used to accomplish a more generalised apprehension of broader theoretical propositions. However, the issue of external cogency is non properly dealt with as ( Jermias, 2008 ) statistical selected instances contrary to the recommendation of ( Yin, 1989 ) who argues that, the external cogency of instance surveies is enhanced by the strategic choice of instances instead than by the statistical choice of instances as the strategic choice of instances contributes to actual and theoretical reproduction.

Hypothesiss proving and its relevancy to the survey

In order to look into the comparative influence of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and public presentation, the writer came up with two hypotheses. On the one manus the void hypothesis stated that the impact of purchase on public presentation will change across different schemes, such that the relationship will be more negative for merchandise distinction houses compared to be leading houses. On the other manus, the alternate hypothesis was that, competition will move as a replacement for debt in restricting directors ‘ timeserving behaviors, such that the relationship between purchase and public presentation will be more negative as the degree of competitory strength additions. In the terminal, the void hypothesis was accepted whilst the alternate 1 was rejected.

Research method

Research methods are the techniques and processs used to obtain and analyze research informations. The research worker adopted the moderated arrested development theoretical account, which indicates his positive epistemic position to show his apprehension of the causal link between competitory strength and concern scheme on one manus and fiscal purchase and public presentation on the other through a hypothesis proving. Most old research done in the country of the relationship between fiscal purchase and public presentation have produced contradictory consequences partially because of the usage of the cosmopolitan attack ( Ghosh, 1992 ; Harris and Raviv, 1991 ; O’Brien, 2003 ; Robinson and Mcdougall, 2001 ; Barton and Gordon, 1987 ) . O’Brien ( 2003 ) for illustration notes that these old surveies overlooked the effects of a house ‘s concern scheme and contends that this may account for their contradictory consequences.

Sample choice and Method of informations aggregation

Data aggregation is an indispensable portion of every research. For a research to be completed, informations must be collected and analysed for warranted claims if any to be established and for decisions to be drawn. The peculiar type of informations aggregation method adopted is dependent on the type of research. Related to informations aggregation is the construct of trying which is the procedure of choosing a figure of instances from a population such that the selected sample may accurately stand for the population. To supply utile descriptions of a population, the sample must incorporate basically the same fluctuations as the population. There are fundamentally two major types of samples viz. non-probability sampling and chance or random sampling. Non-probability sampling could be convenience samples, quota samples, purposive or judgmental samples, theoretical samples and sweet sand verbena or web samples. Probability sampling could be a simple random sample, systematic sample, graded sample and multi-stage bunch sampling.

The research worker efficaciously used secondary informations of fabrication houses from the US ( SIC 2000-3999 ) listed in the Compustat S & A ; P 500 database, the US economic nose count ( US Department of Commerce, 2000 ) together with fiscal information of houses from the COMPUSTAT S & A ; P500 in his analysis. There are several beginnings of secondary informations including achieves, authorities publications, and corporate paperss. The usage of such an bing informations could supply valuable information in a less expensive mode particularly if it is of good and choice beginning. It besides helps the research worker to salvage clip and money. However, secondary informations can besides present greater challenges for the research worker. The major challenge could be the designation a dependable quality beginning of information to avoid prejudices and the turning away of the usage of out-of-date information into the research.

The analysis of the sampling technique showed that the survey adopted purposive sampling technique to choose participants for this survey. The ground is that the writer was interested in specific houses with certain properties such as “ a house had to describe entire assets, entire gross revenues grosss, entire liabilities, entire equities, cost of goods sold, net income, market value and research and development disbursals ” ( Jermias, 2008, p. 5 ) . The concentration ratios ( HI ) for the house ‘s SIC codification had to be available in the US 1997 economic nose count every bit good ” . The result of this was the riddance of those houses that did non run into the choice standards even though these houses may be progressive in footings of strategic way and focal point. This has the potency of impacting the consequence of the survey. For illustration, the decrease in sample size may impact the representativeness of the sample thereby impacting generalisability of the survey findings across the industry.


In my position, the unequal classification of the 582 sampled houses into 325 cost leaders and 257 discriminators may hold had an consequence on the result, although the procedure of extinguishing houses from the database was strict, just and nonsubjective. In add-on, the concentration of houses in the fabrication sector on the footing that houses in the fabrication industry employ different types of schemes to vie is defect. In today ‘s competitory and dynamic concern universe, all houses in all industries employ different schemes to vie. Similarly the concentration of USA fabrication houses may non sit good with effectual generalization as different states and continent may present different political, economic, societal, technological and environmental challenges.

Findingss and warrant claims

It is of import as research workers to guarantee that the claims that are made are ever supported by relevant grounds because a coherent statement based on a clear logical thinking and decisions allow readers to judge if such claims are adequately supported by grounds. It is besides necessary to guarantee that both the claim and the grounds are logically related. Gorard ( 2002 ) argues that, if a research is intended to alter the reader ‘s position, so the warrants must be explicit in the research study

The intent of the article was to look into the effects of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and public presentation. In line with the hypothesis, the consequences indicate that competitory strength and concern scheme do impact the leverage-performance relationship such that it is less negative for cost leaders than for merchandise discriminators. The consequences are consistent with the position that debt funding offer cost leaders the benefit of revenue enhancement advantages and harmonize them increased efficiency due to the restraints imposed by debt holders ( Jensen, 1986 ; O’Brien, 2003 ; Simerly & A ; Li, 2000 ) . However, the cost of debt will be higher for merchandise distinction houses since loaners ‘ restraints might restrict directors ‘ ability to be originative and advanced, which is important for these houses to boom and win.

Furthermore, the consequences suggest that competition acts as a replacement for debt in cut downing the hard currency flow available to directors. Therefore, the benefits of debt diminish as the degree of competitory strength additions.

The consequence of the strategy/leverage and competitory intensity/leverage interactions on public presentation is inconsistent with the irrelevancy proposition made by Modigliani and Miller ( 1958 ) .

In my position, the research worker is able to do these claims because there is a clear, expressed warrant between the observation informations and the decision. A claim which is in line with what Fisher ( 2001 ) states that an “ arguments… ever contain a set of claims which are presented as grounds for accepting some farther claim ” which is confirmed by Thouless ( 1930 ) that, “ every statement can be reduced to the signifier of an averment that if P is true, so Q is true ”

Areas of concern

There are some countries that need farther attending associated with the research, some of which are highlighted below:

In the first topographic point, the research merely considered limited scope variables that may impact the relationship between fiscal purchase and public presentation. However, the consequences could be different if other confounders in the signifier of other organizational variables such as managerial features, types of control and types of direction accounting systems might impact this relationship.

Second, although industry concentration ratios are considered by many to be the most relevant variable by which to mensurate competitory strength ( e.g. , Ramaswamy, 2001 ; Grosse & A ; Yanes, 1998 ) , the competitory strength itself might be influenced by other variables such as engineering, barriers to entry, authorities ordinances and handiness of replacements etc. Thus the research workers reliant on the step of competitory strength based on industry concentration ratios might non wholly capture the competitory environment hence may be flawed.

Furthermore, a recent survey by Parthiban et al. , ( 2007 ) revealed that even the type of debt whether relational or transactional debt in a house ‘s capital construction may act upon the relationship between competitory scheme and public presentation. Here, the research workers found that R & A ; D intensive houses that rely to a great extent on relational or bank debt perform better than those that rely more on transactional or bond debt. This research has proven that farther hereafter research demand to be carried out to find whether the consequences might change across different type of debt.

Last, the sample informations from US fabrication houses was excessively simplistic hence there is the demand to increase the sample size across industries and possible other parts and continents to guarantee effectual generalization. Future research demands to analyze whether the consequences of this survey can be extended to other industries and/or other states. ( O’Brien, 2003 ; Harris & A ; Raviv, 1991 ) argue that the most interesting application of concern scheme to the subject of fiscal purchase is to explicate intra-industry fluctuation in the usage of debt versus equity funding.

Philosophic positions

Cardinal to every question are inquiries that need replies. The proviso of replies to these inquiries to a big extends depends on the research workers view on issues such as what constitute acceptable cognition, the nature of world that informs the relationship between the research worker and the object of cognition and the procedure to be followed to make cognition. The replies to these inquiries express a temperament that gives an indicant of the research worker ‘s position on these issues. Johnson & A ; Clark ( 2006 ) states that as research workers, we need to be cognizant of the philosophical committedness we make through our pick of research scheme since it has important impact on what we do and to understand what we investigate. They further argue that, the of import issue is non so much whether our research should be philosophically informed, but it is how good we are able to reflect upon our philosophical picks and support them in relation to the options we could hold adopted.

A scan through the development of academic research temperaments ( paradigms ) reveals paradigms are differentiated by the replies disciples provide to inquiries centred on ontological and epistemic places ( Guba, 1990 ) . Similarly, Saunders et Al, ( 1997 ) argue that the two major ways of believing about research doctrines are ontology and epistemology.

Many ontological places have been adduced to in literature, but the three outstanding amongst them are the positivist/functionalist, interpretive/constructivist and critical paradigms ( Guba, 1990 ; Blaikie, 2000 ; Grix, 2002 ) . The positive ontology holds that world exists independently of societal histrions and scientific discipline is based on observations and its measurings ( Denzin & A ; Lincoln, 1994 ) . The interpretivists believe that world is socially constructed and one can non entree the external universe irrespective of its being or otherwise ( Blaikie, 2000 ) whilst the critical pragmatism ontological place accepts the being of societal world and human building but holds that groups and administrations generate existent events ( Sayer, 1992 ) . It must be realised that, the rationalist objectiveness premise and the subjectiveness premise from interpretative paradigm present restrictions and deformations.

Blaike ( 2000 ) assets that, epistemology trades with the possible ways of deriving cognition and considers what constitutes acceptable cognition in a field of survey. Many epistemic places have been adduced to in literature. Prominent amongst them are positivism, pragmatism and interpretivism.

The doctrine of the positivism is kindred to the place of the natural or physical scientist who are obsessed with facts. The rationalist merely sees acceptable cognition ( world ) as represented by objects that are considered to be existent with separate being to that of the research worker. They believe that, informations collected must be less unfastened to bias and hence more nonsubjective. Positivist epistemologists prefer discernible societal world that could take to law-like generalization similar to those produced by the physical and natural scientist ( Remenyi et al, 1989, p. 32 ) . They largely use bing theory to develop hypothesis that can be tested to corroborate, rebut or develop new theories utilizing statistical analysis. Positivist epistemologists by and large undertake research in a value-free environment such that they are independent of and neither affects nor is affected by the topic of the research ( Remenyi et al, 1989, p.33 ) . They use extremely structured methodological analysis in order to ease reproduction ( Gill & A ; Johnson, 2002 ) .

This philosophical place of pragmatism is similar to the rationalist in that it assumes scientific attack to the development of cognition and believes that there is world rather independent of the head. Bhaskar ( 1989 ) , a critical realist argues that as research workers we will merely be able to understand what is traveling on in the societal universe if we understand the societal constructions that have given rise to the phenomena. He stress that, what we see is merely portion of the bigger image Bashkir ( 1989 ) . The epistemic place of the interpretivism is that, it is possible for research workers to understand differences between worlds and understand the universe better by carry oning research among people instead than objects in their functions as societal histrions and to follow an emphasized stance.

The implicit in philosophical position of this article is Positivist, which normally makes usage of quantitative methods. It tries to calculate out the societal state of affairs by categorising single constituents of a phenomenon and clarifying this phenomenon in footings of concept and relationship between concepts ( Cavaye, 1996 ) . In footings of this article the writer tries to set up and statistically mensurate the effects of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and the public presentation of houses. Here there is a cause and consequence state of affairs where there is an independent variable ( in this instance fiscal purchase ) and dependent variable ( public presentation of houses ) .

This is an epistemic place that advocates that world can be captured utilizing methods that are more kindred to the natural scientific disciplines. From this position there is an nonsubjective world “ out at that place ” that can be known and measured and the function of the research worker is that of an independent perceiver who can detect or “ gaining control ” that world as it occurs without act uponing the capturing procedure. In contrast, in a qualitative attack, the research worker tries to be acquainted with a phenomenon from the position of the histrions straight involved with the phenomenon under consideration ( Cavaye, 1996 ) .


This is an facet of doctrine that surveies judgement about value including aesthetics and moralss. Axiology argues that the function of our values may find the credibleness of the result of an question. Heron ( 1996 ) argues that our values are the steering grounds of all human actions and that, the presentation of our axiological accomplishments determine the choice of our research procedure. Heron ( 1996 ) further argues that the pick of our philosophical attack is a contemplation of our values and informations aggregation techniques.

The place of a research worker on the issue of whether scientific cognition is ‘values-free ‘ or ‘value full ‘ influences epistemic place taken and the methodological analysis employed for any scientific question. Two places on the value judgement argument are held by those who strongly believe in the dogmas of positivism and the interpretative paradigm. The implicit in issue behind these two places is whether world issues independently of human histrions. If this premise is granted, so it can be argued that the objects of scientific discipline are value-free. However, the human connexion to the pattern of scientific discipline can non be overlooked, hence involves value judgement.

Ethical motives

It is ever advisable as research workers to follow with good ethical pattern and exhibit good research ‘citizenship ‘ and personal duty. Research ethics relates to inquiries about the preparation of the research subject, the research design, deriving entree, informations aggregation procedure, information analysis, informations storage and eventually the write up and distribution. Ethical motives guarantee that researches are both methodologically sound and morally defendable to all those who are involved.

Research moralss has been defined as “ the moral rules steering research, from its origin through to completion and publication of consequences and beyond – for illustration, the aggregation of informations and physical samples after the research has been published ” ( ESRC Research Ethics Framework 2005, p. 7 ) . Similarly, research moralss is the rightness of the research worker ‘s behavior in relation to the rights of those who may go the topic or are affected by your work. Cooper and Schindler ( 2008, p.34 ) see research moralss as norms or criterion of behavior that guide moral picks about our behavior and our relationship with others. A societal norm indicates the type of behavior that needs to be adopted in a peculiar state of affairs ( Robson 2002 and Zikmund 2000 ) . It is recommended that ethical issues are carefully considered throughout the class of the research and be guided by a codification of moralss set by the regulative organic structure. Such codifications must be written in abstract footings and designed to forestall misconduct ( Bell and Bryman 2007 )

As per the nature of journal article authorship, ethical issues considered are non overtly stated. It is hence my outlook that all ethical protocols were followed as suggested in the ESRC Research Ethics Framework ( 2005, p.7 ) .


The chief aim of this assignment was to critically reexamine an article written by Jermias ( 2008 ) titled “ The comparative influence of competitory strength and concern scheme on the relationship between fiscal purchase and public presentation by summarizing its research design, methods of informations aggregation and analysis, findings and an rating of the philosophical rules that underpin these characteristics. The article possesses the qualities of a well researched work. The writer conducted a thorough reappraisal of the literature ; the analysis was carefully done to convey out the cardinal issues of the survey. The decision drawn was the credence of the void hypothesis that, competitory strength has a negative consequence on the leverage-performance relationship and that, there is the demand to see chairing factors such as strategic pick and the environment in which a house operates when look intoing the effects of purchase on public presentation. In my sentiment, the article achieved its nonsubjective by corroborating the void hypothesis and rejecting the alternate 1. The article besides made a major academic part on the issue of purchase and capital construction, an issue that has for a long clip been grappled with by direction of administrations in finding an optimum capital construction.


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