Business Strategy, Executive Compensation, and Firm Performance
36 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 11, 2009
This study investigates the influence of business strategy on the relationship between executive compensation and firm performance. Using cluster analyzes to classify a firm's business strategy, we predict and find that performance-linked compensation and managerial share ownership are more effective for product differentiators than for cost leaders. The results are consistent with the view that managers of product differentiation firms are more willing to take risks and to make a trade-off between pay security and share ownership to benefit from anticipated future performance. We also find that, contrary to our prediction, current payment of a long-term incentive plan is less relevant for product differentiators than for cost leaders. One plausible explanation for this finding is that long-term incentive payouts reflect past performance that is less persistent for firms seeking innovation and differentiation. This study contributes to the existing literature on executive compensation by recognizing that the effects of executive compensation on performance vary systematically across business strategies.
Keywords: Business strategy, executive compensation, cluster analysis, performance
JEL Classification: D21, G32, J33, M41
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