How much does the CEO matter? The role of managerial discretion in the setting of CEO compensation

Sydney Finkelstein, Brian K. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

450 Scopus citations

Abstract

The idea that managerial discretion - defined as latitude of action - may be an important determinant of CEO compensation has been recognized for some time. However, in spite of considerable work that has implicitly invoked related ideas on the sources of potential managerial contribution, a formal test of the discretion hypothesis has yet to be conducted. In addition, few studies have tested the performance consequences of CEO pay. In a sample of Fortune 1,000 firms, we found support for both a main effect of managerial discretion on CEO pay and a contingency effect, whereby firm performance is higher when discretion and pay are aligned than when they are not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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