Financial management has emerged as a distinct field of study only in the early part of this century, as a result of consolidation movement and formation of large enterprises. Its evolution may be divided into three phases. The Traditional phase,
The Transitional phase and
The Modern phase
The Traditional Phase:This phase has lasted for about four decades. Its finest expression was shown in the scholarly work of Arthur S. Dewing, in his book tilted the Financial Policy of Corporation in 1920s. In this phase the focus of financial management was on four selected aspects. It treats the entire subject of finance from the outsider's point of view (investment banks, lenders, other) rather than the financial decision maker in the firm. It places much importance of corporation finance and too little on the financing problems of non-corporate enterprises. The sequence of treatment was on certain episodic events like formation, issuance of capital, major expansion, merger, reorganization and liquidation during the life cycle of an enterprise. It laid heavy emphasis on long-term financing, institutions, instruments, procedures used in capital markets and legal aspects of financial events. That is, it lacks emphasis on the problems of working capital management. It was criticized throughout the period of its dominance, but the criticism is based on matters of treatment and emphasis. Traditional phase was only outsiders looking approach, over emphasis on episodic events and lack of importance to day-to-day problems. The Transition Phase: It began in the early 1940's and continued through the early 1950's. The nature of financial management in this phase is almost similar to that of the earlier phase, but more emphasis is given to the day-to-day (working capital) problems faced by the finance managers. Capital budgeting techniques were developed in this phase. Much more details of this phase is given in the book titled Essays on Business...
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