CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study Most studies found in the literature of corporate finance are conventionally dealing with the financial decisions that are long-term oriented. The most of such studies examined structure of the capital, investment decisions, and dividend valuation decisions related to the company. According to Sanger in Bagchi and Kharmrui (2012, p. 1), working capital has always been ignored in financial decision-making because it involves investment and financing in short-term period and also acts as a restrain in financial performance, since it does not contribute to Return on Equity (ROE). Most managers of business organisations are inclined to focus more on long-term investment since those investments take a chunk of the cash resources of their organisations. In as much as long-term goals provide focus and purpose for every business, these goals must be broken down into short-term operational, workable and achievable objectives for the organization to attain its mission. Short term financial decisions relating to current assets and current liabilities should also be equally important and should be analyzed carefully. The success of every long-term investment heavily depends on how effectively that investment is managed in the short-term. Most of the operations of a firm in the short run deal with the management of current assets and current liabilities of the firm. Van Horn (2000) indicates that working capital management involves the administration of current assets and the financing (especially current liabilities) needed to support current assets. Atril (2006. p. 386) also asserts that working capital represents a net investment in short-term assets. These assets are continually flowing into and out of the business, and are essential for day-to-day operations. Working capital is thus seen as the lifeblood of the business, the fuel that funds the daily operations and ability to pursue near-term growth opportunities for the business. Working capital is also defined as money tied up in the business and used to finance its day to day needs, such as buying raw materials.

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