Chapter

Executive Compensation

Sydney Finkelstein, Donald C. Hambrick and Albert A. Cannella

in Strategic Leadership

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195162073
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199867332 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162073.003.0011

Series: Strategic Management Series

 Executive Compensation

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The consequences of executive pay are complex and particularly rich in a theoretical and practical sense. This chapter examines one of the most fundamental questions in this regard: Does executive pay affect firm performance? The evidence is decidedly mixed, but raises key questions about pay as a motivator, and the different ways in which executive pay can influence strategic and organizational choices as well as firm performance. This chapter also considers the burgeoning literature on behavioral agency theory, which leads naturally to a comparison of the effects of different types of compensation, especially stock options. A significant part of this chapter is dedicated to an analysis of the determinants and consequences of pay differentials among top management teams, another area of great theoretical interest. Studying pay differentials (or pay dispersion), as well as the pattern of compensation in place among the CEO and other top managers, yields fascinating insights that have important consequences for teamwork, perceived fairness of pay, strategic decision making, and firm performance.

Keywords: executive compensation; pay distributions; TMT compensation; pay differentials; pay patterns; behavioral agency theory

Chapter.  17042 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy

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