Based on the theory of “optimal contracting approach” and “the managerial power approach”, this paper aims to investigate whether senior executives of listed companies in China make use of their power to gain their own private benefits. The paper also compares compensation contracts between state- and private-owned enterprises to test whether there is a significant difference between senior executives from different ownership types of enterprises in terms of compensation contracts.
The paper raises four hypotheses based on the theories of “company agency”, “optimal contracting approach” and “managerial power approach”. After that, 5,680 A-share-listed companies of stock market in Shanghai and in Shenzhen Stock Market from 2008 to 2012 were taken as research samples to conduct a series of research analysis, including t-test, reliability analysis and regression analysis, with the help of SPSS 18.0.
The senior executives of listed companies in China could make use of their power to increase their own salary to gain power pay and, at the same time, company performance, company size and other factors that are important to influence the executive compensation. This paper further argues that senior executives of private-owned listed companies are more likely to use their power to obtain power pay and increase their own compensation. Additionally, the agency costs of Chinese listed companies are negatively related to the performance pay of senior executives, whereas there is no obvious negative correlation with the power pay of senior executives.
This paper takes multiple, in-depth approaches to study the relationship among managerial power, agency cost and executive compensation and to find out the differences in compensation contracts of senior executives between private-owned listed companies and state-owned companies. It also provides necessary suggestions to ensure the interests of stockholders, such as: optimizing the management structure of listed companies; improving the transparence of information disclosure of listed companies; establishing effective mechanism of incentive and constraint; and improving and standardizing the market of professional managers.
The compensation contract of senior executives in China is critical to enhance enterprises’ performance, and it will become an important factor that will facilitate the interests of stockholders and management. However, this paper argues that some phenomena of over-payment of senior executives in listed companies cannot be explained by the theory of “optimal contracting approach”, but it is necessary and important to compare the differences of compensation contract of senior executives between private-owned listed companies and state-owned companies. A series of findings are proposed in this paper.
This paper made use of a principal analysis to extract the main factors that could represent the managerial power from different angles. In addition, this paper also compared the differences between compensation contracts of senior executives between private-owned listed companies and state-owned companies. Additionally, in this paper, the compensation of senior executives was divided into “power compensation” and “performance compensation”, which were used to test the relationship with the management cost of companies.
The authors would like to thank the support from National Foundation of Natural Science of China (Project No:71562011), National Soft Science Research Program (Project No: 2014GXS4K051), National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science (Project No: 12AZD112), Beijing Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science (Project No: 14JGB051), Beijing Modern Industrial Area Development Research Foundation (Project Number: JD2014008), BIPT Breeding Project of Outstanding Academic Leaders (Project No:BIPT-BPOAL-2015).
Zhang, X., Tang, G. and Lin, Z. (2016), "Managerial power, agency cost and executive compensation – an empirical study from China", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 119-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-11-2015-0262Download as .RIS
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