Journal article

The Ethical Dimension of Equity Incentives: A Behavioral Agency Examination of Executive Compensation and Pension Funding

GP Martin, RM Wiseman, LR Gomez-Mejia

Journal of Business Ethics | Springer Verlag | Published : 2020

Abstract

We draw on the behavioral agency model to explore the ethical consequences of CEO equity incentives. We argue that CEOs are more concerned with funding pension plans when they have more to gain from their stock options yet will increasingly underfund employee pension funds as their current option wealth increases. Our findings reveal that both effects hold when the CEO has greater power (also occupying board chair) over firm decision making. Our study suggests that there is an ethical dimension to equity incentives, given they are intended to align CEO interests with shareholders, yet potentially incentivize CEO behaviors with adverse consequences for employees. Insights from our findings pr..

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University of Melbourne Researchers