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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Xiaohong Zhang, Gaowen Tang and Zhaohong Lin

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Social implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Subba Reddy Yarram and Sujana Adapa

The purpose of this study is to analyse the level and structure of executive compensation of family and non-family businesses and if minority shareholders are expropriated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the level and structure of executive compensation of family and non-family businesses and if minority shareholders are expropriated by family businesses in the Australian context using excessive pay. Studies on compensation practices of family businesses are limited to the European and North American contexts. This study, for the first time, considers the Australian context, which is unique with its transparent compensation disclosures, and a principle-based corporate governance framework to examine the level of compensation as well as the association between pay and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of family and matched non-family firms for the period 2004–2014 are examined in a panel data setting. Robust models are estimated to examine the association between compensation and a set of economic, governance and ownership factors.

Findings

This study finds evidence that family businesses in general pay lower levels of compensation than non-family businesses. An investigation of the role of economic factors on compensation of family and non-family businesses shows evidence that supports the optimal contracting theory. Further examination of governance factors on compensation levels and pay–performance sensitivities shows there is a limited role for managerial power approach in explaining the executive compensation practices of family businesses in Australia. These findings infer that family businesses, given their interest in non-financial goals, do not pay excessive compensation to their executives to expropriate minority shareholders.

Research limitations/implications

These findings have implications for theory relating to executive compensation and human resource management in all types of businesses, including family firms. These findings offer support for the theory of optimal contracting. Empirical analysis shows no evidence of entrenchment effect or managerial power in family businesses in Australia. In terms of theory-building, there is role for socioemotional wealth model in addition to optimal contracting theory and managerial power approach.

Practical implications

The findings of this study also have implications for practice. Compensation practices may be designed in such a way that executives and firms pursue broader social goals such as the sustainable development goals or more generally non-financial objectives. Businesses may not necessarily use only financial outcomes when assessing appropriate level of pay of executives. Often, the financial outcomes may involve wealth transfers between different stakeholders and may not necessarily lead to improving the societal well-being. In terms of human resource management, the findings of this study emphasise the need for explicit consideration of socioemotional wealth of all family-related and non-related employees when designing recruitment, training, reward and recognition policies.

Originality/value

This study highlights the role non-financial factors play in executive pay setting processes in family businesses in a highly transparent and principle-based governance framework. Family businesses in Australia are not motivated by monetary considerations, and that their interest in non-financial objectives leads to less emphasis on the link between compensation and performance.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 50 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Abubakkar Siddique, Muhammad Abdul Majid Makki, Ammar Ali Gull, Ali Dardour and Junming Yin

In this paper, the authors investigate whether an independent and gender-diverse compensation committee strengthens the relationship between top managers' pay and firm…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors investigate whether an independent and gender-diverse compensation committee strengthens the relationship between top managers' pay and firm performance in Chinese companies. The authors also investigate whether the independent compensation committee composed of all male directors is effective in designing the optimal contract for executives.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data from A-share listed companies on the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges from 2005 to 2015. As a baseline methodology, the authors use pooled ordinary least square (OLS) regression to draw inferences. In addition, cluster OLS regression, two-stage least square regression, the two-stage Heckman test and the propensity score matching method are also used to control for endogeneity issues.

Findings

The authors find evidence that an independent or gender-diverse compensation committee strengthens the link between top managers' pay and firm performance; that the presence of a woman on the compensation committee enhances the positive influence of committee independence on this relationship; that a compensation committee's independence or gender diversity is more effective in designing top managers' compensation in legal-person-controlled firms than they are in state-controlled firms; that gender diversity on the compensation committee is negatively associated with top managers' total pay; and that an independent compensation committee pays top managers more.

Practical implications

The study results highlight the role of an independent compensation committee in designing optimal contracts for top managers. The authors provide empirical evidence that a woman on the compensation committee strengthens its objectivity in determining top managers' compensation. The study finding supports regulatory bodies' recommendations regarding independent and women directors.

Social implications

The study findings contribute to the recent debate about gender equality around the globe. Given the discrimination against women, many regulatory bodies mandate a quota for women on corporate boards. The study findings support the regulatory bodies' recommendations by highlighting the economic benefit of having women in top management positions.

Originality/value

This study contributes to literature by investigating the largely overlooked questions of whether having a gender-diverse or independent compensation committee strengthens the relationship between top managers' pay and firm performance; whether an independent compensation committee is more efficient in setting executives' pay when it is gender-diverse; and whether the effect of independent directors and female directors on top managers' compensation varies based on the firm's ownership structure. Overall, the main contribution of the study is that the authors provide robust empirical evidence in support of the managerial power axiom.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Umar Farooq, Junrui Zhang, Nanyan Dong and Muhammad Abdul Majid Makki

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the crucial question of whether gender diversity in boardroom is associated with CEO pay and CEO pay-performance link.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the crucial question of whether gender diversity in boardroom is associated with CEO pay and CEO pay-performance link.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the data of companies listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange for a sample consisting of KSE-100 index companies for the period of five years. The authors used the ordinary least square regression technique to test the developed hypotheses. The authors also used the two-step Heckman selection model, two-stage least square regression and propensity score matching method to control the problem of endogeneity.

Findings

The authors find reliable evidence of a negative association between gender diversity and CEO pay and of board gender diversity’s strengthening the relationship between CEO pay and firm performance. The authors also find that women director are more effective in setting the optimal contract in non-family-owned firms and firms with dispersed ownership structure as compared to family-owned firms and firms with concentrated ownership structure. Moreover, results also reflect that the influence of board diversity on both CEO pay and CEO pay-performance link is stronger when gender diversity goes beyond tokenism.

Practical implications

The findings have implications in terms of providing the basis for policy makers to accord the same level of importance to gender diversity in the boardroom as well as contributing to the current debate on the desirability of mandating or recommending gender diversity on boardrooms.

Originality/value

This study is among the few studies which investigate the moderating role of boardroom gender diversity on the CEO pay-performance link. In addition, this study contributes to the institutional theory by providing the empirical evidence that the effect boardroom gender diversity on CEO pay and CEO pay-performance link varies by type of ownership.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 40 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Michael Nwogugu

This paper analyzes economic, legal, behavioral and public policy issues pertaining to the accounting for employee stock options. The paper explains why employee stock…

Abstract

This paper analyzes economic, legal, behavioral and public policy issues pertaining to the accounting for employee stock options. The paper explains why employee stock options (ESOs) are superior to other forms of incentive compensation, why ESOs in their present form are inefficient and why particular accounting, legal and tax treatments will provide the optimal results for the economy, the government, management/employees and shareholders. The issues discussed in this article are relevant in ESO accounting, regulation of ESOs, incentive compensation, human resources analysis, tax policy, corporate governance, fraud, valuation of companies, derivatives regulation, behavioral analysis of law/rules, portfolio management and management strategy.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 19 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2018

Ji Li and Yuhchang Hwang

The purpose of this paper is to provide new evidence on the choice of performance measures used in dual-class firms to incentivize CEOs.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide new evidence on the choice of performance measures used in dual-class firms to incentivize CEOs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses coarsened exact matching and propensity score matching to match the dual-class firm sample with a control group of single-class firms. This study uses matching estimators to provide an analysis of how a dual-class structure affects the design of performance measures in performance-based stock awards. In addition, regression models are used to investigate the effect of a dual-class structure on performance measure choices.

Findings

This paper finds that market-based metrics are less likely to be used by dual-class firms relative to single-class firms. In addition, peer-based measures are much less common for dual-class than single-class firms. This study also finds that the length of the CEO’s performance evaluation period does not differ between dual-class and single-class firms.

Research limitations/implications

This paper attempts to investigate the choice of performance measures to find out the extent to which the board of directors focuses CEO efforts on firms’ long-term versus short-term objectives.

Practical implications

The findings reveal the relationships between the dual-class stock structure and the contractual features of CEO performance-based stock awards, provide empirical evidence for the company’s compensation committee and provide implications for the evolving practices of performance measures regarding CEO stock compensation. The findings are also useful to regulators, compensation consultants and firms pursuing efficient design of executive compensation.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to study the determinants of compensation contracts. Second, prior literature seldom controls for CEO stock ownership, but this study matches dual-class firms to a control group of single-class firms that are similar in terms of CEO stock ownership and other important firm characteristics. Finally, these findings suggest that dual-class firms shield their executives from short-term market pressures and design stock compensation contracts that deemphasize volatile stock prices.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Yongheng Yao and Steven H. Appelbaum

The purpose of this paper is to extend our understanding of CEO compensation by looking into the CEO pay‐setting process. Particularly, a process model is proposed to

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend our understanding of CEO compensation by looking into the CEO pay‐setting process. Particularly, a process model is proposed to specify the interaction between situational indicators, process variables, contextual factors and CEO pay.

Design/methodology/approach

A modest review the major theories that are driving the field of CEO compensation study reveals several interesting findings. These models or perspectives provide valuable but incomplete understanding of the multifaceted phenomenon. Especially, the realm of CEO pay‐setting process is still unexplored. A process model of CEO compensation is developed to fill in this gap.

Findings

CEO compensation is a negotiation between a CEO and a principal. Negotiated CEO pay is better predicted by CEO aspirations and principal reservations, rather than economic indicators. CEO power and the institutional environment have a moderating effect.

Practical implications

The study suggests that a better theory is critically in demand in order to improve effectiveness of corporate governance. This paper underscores that a real challenge for a principal in influencing CEO pay is to anticipate CEO aspirations and to monitor the gaps between CEO aspirations and principal reservations, rather than to control economic indicators. Unfortunately, until now there has been very limited information about principal reservation and CEO aspiration.

Originality/value

This inquiry seeks to make a difference by moving CEO compensation research into a fruitful direction. To our knowledge, this inquiry is the first attempt that provides systematic explanation as to how and why situational indicators do not directly influence the negotiated CEO pay. The newly proposed model is much realistic, much integrative and much dynamic, compared with existing conceptualizations. Eight propositions are presented to guide empirical research as well as future theory development.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Habib Jouber and Hamadi Fakhfakh

The optimal contracting view assumes that compensation arrangements should not reward performance upward that is beyond the management's control. Critics to this view…

Abstract

Purpose

The optimal contracting view assumes that compensation arrangements should not reward performance upward that is beyond the management's control. Critics to this view assert, however that unearned compensation boom may be suggestive of pay for luck. Hence, the authors ask if CEOs' incentive pay is sensitive to lucky as to purely corporate performance. If such, one could question: Are CEOs rewarded for luck? Do institutional features matter for CEOs pay‐for‐luck? How does systematic incentive effect sensitive to luck's nature? Accepting the premises of both contacting and skimming agency's approaches, this paper aims to answer these questions.

Design/methodology/approach

General and separate ordinary least squares (OLS) and instrumental variables (IV) estimations have been run to estimate the general sensitivity of CEOs' pay, respectively, to performance and luck. These estimations are based on a sample of 300 publicly traded firms covering four countries from the Anglo‐American and Euro‐Continental corporate governance models for the period 2004 to 2008.

Findings

In support of the paper's theorizing, it was found that CEOs pay to be positively related to outside contingencies as well as to shareholders' interests. Positive pay sensitivity to exogenous shocks, which we label systematic incentive effect, shows that management take advantage of lucky external events. Further analyses show, moreover, two stylized facts. First, this effect is asymmetric as executives are rewarded more for good luck than penalized for bad luck. Second, it is less generous under stronger corporate governance, higher investor rights protection, and stricter law enforcement rules. The latter institutional factors seem to be overwhelmingly influential variables in explaining the differences in such effect across countries.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the CEO compensation research by: showing that a simple contracting view can mislead shareholders about the effective CEOs' skills and efforts; and filling the lack of consensus within the empirical literature as to whether pay for luck depends on institutional features such as the law enforcement level, the degree of investors' right protection, and the corporate governance system's quality.

Originality/value

The paper's findings offer insights to shareholders, pay consultants, and regulators about the effects that unobservable macroeconomic shocks can have towards the design and the efficiency of a CEO pay contract. The findings help, however, academics understanding the international pay gap's causes.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 54 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Martin J. Conyon

This is a short commentary on Herman Aguinis, Geoffrey Martin, Luis Gomez-Mejia, Ernest Boyle and Harry Joo (2017): “Two sides of CEO pay injustice: A power law…

Abstract

Purpose

This is a short commentary on Herman Aguinis, Geoffrey Martin, Luis Gomez-Mejia, Ernest Boyle and Harry Joo (2017): “Two sides of CEO pay injustice: A power law conceptualization of CEO over and underpayment.”

Design/methodology/approach

Using insights from prior studies on executive compensation, the author’s commentary presents a critical evaluation of “Two sides of CEO pay injustice: […].” In addition, the author offers potential avenues for further research.

Findings

The paper “Two sides of CEO pay injustice” is well executed and makes several significant contributions to the management and executive compensation literature. Particularly, noteworthy are the use of advanced quantitative methods, the use of power law distributions to explain chief executive officer (CEO) pay outcomes, the focus on pay-for-performance and the role of justice in CEO outcomes. The author’s commentary in the present paper discusses the measurement of CEO pay and performance, poses alternative estimation methods to explore the pay-for-performance link and offers thoughts on justice theory in the context of CEO pay.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ findings may be briefly stated as CEO pay is better described by a power law distribution than a normal distribution, CEO pay is not linked to firm performance and the patterns of CEO pay does not conform to patterns of distributive justice. Overall, the authors provide an important way to evaluate CEO pay outcomes. Thy set the stage for new avenues of research.

Practical implications

CEO pay is a highly controversial subject in the domain of corporate governance. This paper offers boards of directors and policymakers a method to better understand the success or failure of boardroom pay policies.

Social implications

CEO pay is an important social measure.

Originality/value

The authors’ paper is original by offering a method for determining over and underpayment of CEOs. The author in the present paper makes suggestions on how one might extend the research.

Objetivo – Este es un comentario sobre el trabajo de Herman Aguinis, Geoffrey Martin, Luis Gomez-Mejia, Ernest Boyle y Harry Joo (2017): “Two sides of CEO pay injustice: A power law conceptualization of CEO over and underpayment”.

Diseño/metodología/aproximación – Utilizando las ideas de la literatura previa sobre retribución de ejecutivos, mi comentario presenta una evaluación crítica del artículo “Two sides of CEO pay injustice: […]”. Además, esbozo algunas ideas para la investigación futura.

Resultados – El artículo “Dos lados de la injusticia de la retribución de los CEO” está bien desarrollado y realiza varias contribuciones significativas a las literaturas de gestión y retribución de ejecutivos. En particular, son de señalar: a) el uso de métodos cuantitativos avanzados, b) el uso de la distribución de ley de poder para explicar los resultados de la retribución de los CEO, c) el foco en el pago por resultados, d) el papel de la justicia en el rendimiento del CEO. Mi comentario a) discute las medidas de retribución y rendimiento del CEO, b) propone métodos de estimación alternativos para la relación entre retribución y rendimiento y c) ofrece ideas en torno a la teoría de la justicia en el contexto de la retribución del CEO.

Implicaciones – Los resultados de los autores pueden resumirse así: a) La retribución de los CEO se describe mejor como una distribución de ley de poder que como una distribución normal, b) la retribución del CEO y el rendimiento empresarial no están conectados, c) los patrones de retribución del CEO no concuerdan con los patrones de justicia distributiva. En general, los autores proporcionan un importante método para evaluar los resultados de la retribución de los CEO y fomentar la investigación futura.

Implicaciones prácticas – La retribución del CEO es un tema muy controvertido en el ámbito del gobierno corporativo. Este artículo proporciona a los consejos de administración y a los decisores públicos un método para entender mejor el éxito o fracaso de las prácticas retributivas en los consejos de administración.

Originalidad/valor – El trabajo de los autores es original al ofrecer un método para determinar la sobre o la infra retribución de los CEO. Yo apunto algunas sugerencias sobre cómo puede extenderse esta investigación.

Objetivo – Este é um breve comentário a Herman Aguinis, Geoffrey Martin, Luis Gomez-Mejia, Ernest Boyle and Harry Joo (2017): “Two sides of CEO pay injustice: A power law conceptualization of CEO over and underpayment”.

Metodologia – Usando conhecimentos de estudos anteriores em compensação executiva, o meu comentário apresenta uma avaliação crítica de “Two sides of CEO pay injustice:….”. Adicionalmente, ofereço potenciais avenidas para investigação futura.

Resultados – O artigo “Two sides of CEO pay injustice” está bem feito e apresenta diversas contribuições importantes à literature sobre compensação executiva e de gestores. Em particular, são de salientar: a) o uso de métodos quantitativos avançados b) o uso de distribuições da lei de potência para explicar os resultados do pagamento a CEOs c) O enfoque no pagamento pela performance d) o papel da justiça nos resultados para o CEO. O meu comentário a) discute a medida de pagamento ao CEO e do desempenho b) Propõe métodos alternativos de estimação para explorar a ligação pagamento ao desempenho e c) Apresenta argumentos da teoria da justiça no contexto da compensação do CEO.

Implicações – Os resultados dos autores podem resumir-se como: a) Compensação do CEO é mais bem descrita por uma distribuição da lei de potência que por uma distribuição normal b) Compensação do CEO não está ligada à performance da empresa c) Os padrões da compensação do CEO não se conformam com justiça distributiva. Em geral, os autores fornecem uma forma importante de avaliar a compensação do CEO. Apresentam por isso novas vias para investigação futura.

Implicações práticas – Compensação do CEO é um tópico controverso do domínio da governança corporativa. Este artigo oferece aos Conselhos de Administração e decisores politicos um método para melhor perceber o sucesso ou insucesso das políticas de pagamento aos membros das Administrações.

Originalidade/valor – O artigo é original e oferece um método para determinar sobre ou sub compensação do CEO. Faço sugestões de como se pode estender a investigação.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Simona Catuogno, Sara Saggese and Fabrizia Sarto

This paper aims to develop a conceptual model that systematically interprets how key governance factors drive the alignment and the rent-extraction effects of executive…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a conceptual model that systematically interprets how key governance factors drive the alignment and the rent-extraction effects of executive stock options (SOs) as proxied by plan characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on the review of 202 articles published in international academic journals. They collect data from library databases and by hand-searching and citation-tracking relevant papers on the topic. Moreover, the authors review and classify the studies as related with determinants or proxies of alignment and rent-extraction effects of SOs.

Findings

The conceptual model systematically interprets the results of the literature review and identifies the relationships between archetypes, driving factors and proxies of the rent/alignment effect of executive SOs. It highlights that, given ownership archetypes, effective (ineffective) governance practices drive the alignment (rent) aim of SOs as proxied by the optimal (non-optimal) plan design.

Practical implications

This paper supports compensation committees in selecting the SO characteristics that better attract investors and retain executives. Moreover, it guides future policy making interventions aiming at mitigating the rent-extraction effect of SOs.

Originality/value

The paper highlights that the governance determinants of SO aims can be effectively classified as archetypes or drivers of rent-extracting and aligning outcomes of these remuneration tools. Moreover, it offers a useful framework to guide future research efforts by providing a comprehensive interpretation of the relationships between ownership archetypes, driving factors and proxies of SO effects.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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