Stop paying executives for performance

Cable, D and Vermeulen, F (2016) Stop paying executives for performance. Harvard Business Review. ISSN 0017-8012

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For chief executives and other senior leaders, it is not unusual for 60-80% of their pay to be tied to performance – whether performance is measured by quarterly earnings, stock prices, or something else. And yet from a review of the research on incentives and motivation, it is wholly unclear why such a large proportion of these executives’ compensation packages would need to be variable. First, the nature of their work is unsuited to performance-based pay. As the incoming Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, recently said in an interview: “I have no idea why I was offered a contract with a bonus in it because I promise you I will not work any harder or any less hard in any year, in any day because someone is going to pay me more or less.” But moreover, as we will show, performance-based pay can actually have dangerous outcomes for companies that implement it.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 Harvard Business School Publishing
Subjects: T > Top management
P > Pay
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2016 17:29
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 17:29

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