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Corporate governance and chief executive officer compensation

Steven T. Petra (Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, USA.)
Nina T. Dorata (Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Department of Accounting and Taxation, St John's University, Queens, NY, USA.)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 11 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether there is an association between the level of performance‐based incentives offered to CEOs and the composition of firms' boards of directors and the compensation committee.

Design/methodology/approach

Univariate tests are used to test the relation between the level of performance‐based incentives and corporate governance structures. A logistic regression analysis is used to predict the probability of CEOs receiving low performance‐based incentives when various characteristics of firms' boards of directors and compensation committees exist.

Findings

The authors find the presence of CEO duality reduces the likelihood of lower levels of performance‐based incentives offered to CEOs. Additionally, the authors find CEOs are more likely to receive lower levels of performance‐based incentives when the majority of the compensation committee members serve on less than three other boards, and when the size of the board is less than or equal to nine members.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by the fact that the sample may not be representative of the general population of companies in the US.

Practical implications

Shareholders who desire to keep CEO compensation levels low may consider supporting the separation of the positions of CEO and Chairperson of the Board, as well as supporting limiting the number of other boards directors may serve, and reducing or keeping the size of the board to a maximum of nine members.

Originality/value

The authors have documented an association between board structure and CEO compensation. It appears that company boards are able to monitor and control the compensation level offered to CEOs.

Keywords

Citation

Petra, S.T. and Dorata, N.T. (2008), "Corporate governance and chief executive officer compensation", Corporate Governance, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 141-152. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720700810863779

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited