Objective Versus Subjective Indicators of Managerial Performance
Posted: 23 Sep 2008
Date Written: August 30, 2008
Managerial bonus payments are frequently determined by both objective and subjective indicators of managerial performance. By its very nature, subjective information is not verifiable for contracting purposes. The inclusion of such information in managerial bonus schemes therefore requires a principal to retain discretion in authorizing actual bonus payments. At the same time, the principal must be able to commit to an overall bonus pool which will be paid out either inside or outside the agency. Our analysis examines the structure of optimal bonus pool arrangements. The non-verifiability of the subjective indicators changes many of the predictions obtained in traditional agency settings with verifiable performance indicators. In particular, our results address the contractual value of additional information variables, the desirability of compressed incentive schemes and the nature of relative performance evaluation in settings with multiple agents.
Keywords: discretion, bonus pools, subjective performance measurement
JEL Classification: J33, G34, M40, M49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation