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Executive incentive pay strategies in entrepreneurial UK initial public offering companies: an empirical study

Allcock, Deborah and Pass, Christopher (2006) Executive incentive pay strategies in entrepreneurial UK initial public offering companies: an empirical study. Corporate Governance, 6 (2). pp. 148-161. ISSN 1472-0701

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to use a sample of UK entrepreneurial initial public offering (IPO)
companies to investigate whether they change their compensation strategies as they undertake the
crucial transformation of the business from private to public status.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses the agency perspective to underpin an examination
of the changes within the compensation packages of companies at the stage of the initial public offering,
particularly with regard to the use of executive director incentive schemes, and compares this to ‘‘best
practice’’ guidelines issued within the UK.
Findings – The paper discovers that even though incentive schemes are adopted, the majority are
unconditional and requiring only an improvement in share price and the executive to remain employed in
order for gains to be made. The general finding is that before IPO most companies did not have an
incentive pay scheme in place, and those that did, operated unconditional option schemes. However,
after IPO most companies introduced an incentive pay scheme, but the majority were unconditional
rather than conditional (i.e. schemes requiring executives to meet pre-determined performance criteria
– as recommended by ‘‘best practice’’ guidelines).
Originality/value – The paper exposes that, contrary to ‘‘best practice’’ guidelines and regulations,
many of these schemes reward executives unconditionally with the only factor being them remaining in
employment over the vesting period. Despite ‘‘best practice’’ and regulations, firms still appear to be
defensive and protect the executives from rigorous scrutiny by shareholders.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: UoA 35 (Accounting and Finance) © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Schools: Huddersfield Business School
Huddersfield Business School > Financial Ethics and Governance Research Group
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:27


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