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Do executives get appropriate compensation?: Evidence from intellectual capital perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. (Finance and Accounting)
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper presents an empirical analysis of top executive compensation from intellectual capital perspective using data from US listed companies and aims to examine whether executives get appropriate compensation. I propose a pay-contribution compensation scheme and extend previous research on agency theory, by exploring how executive compensation contract design may be based on the firm’s intellectual capital (IC). Such features would serve the core purpose of compensation design, which is to create long-term firm value. But inappropriate compensation scheme cannot motivate individual ICs to contribute fully and deteriorate firm value eventually. I view CEO, CFO, COO, CMO, CSO, CTO, CHOs as individual intellectual capital of firms, and through examining key indicators from financial contribution, organizational contribution, relational contribution and growth contribution, I find that their total compensations, total incentive compensations and total cash compensations are not significant on their functions for all executives, implying that free rider problem may exist. I conduct two steps regression models: the first step is to reveal free-rider problem based on the significant relationship between executive compensation and his/her role contribution, and the second step is to examine whether executive compensations rewarded by his/her role contribution have significant influence on firm valuation. The outcome of model 1 shows that CEO and CSO have no free-rider problem, while CTO and CHO may have potential free-rider problem, CFO and CMO may have the risk of free-rider problem, and COO may have moderate free-rider problem. The outcome of model 2 shows that CEO and CFO compensation rewarded by role contribution have significant influence on firm valuation; COO, CMO and CHO compensation rewarded by role contribution have moderate influence on firm valuation; while CTO compensation rewarded by role contribution have little influence on firm valuation and CTO compensation rewarded by role contribution have no influence on firm valuation. My result is consistent with agency theory since free rider may cause executive inertia, reduce individual IC productivity, and impair firm value. The findings suggest that pay-contribution compensation contracts and remuneration schemes focus on different executive positions and strategic roles of individual intellectual capital to avoid free rider problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 102 p.
Keyword [en]
Executive compensation, intellectual capital, pay-contribution, free-rider problem
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89099OAI: diva2:718584
Educational program
Master's Programme in Accounting
2013-06-03, s303, USBE, Umea, 14:26 (English)
Available from: 2014-05-26 Created: 2014-05-21 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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