Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Benson Wier


Increasing compensation disclosures mandated by the Securities Exchange Commission provide transparency that allows more shareholders to question the results produced by highly compensated executives. The popular business press often decries the apparent imbalance between executive pay and firm performance. Published academic research has responded with hundreds of studies attempting to explain executive pay in terms of firm performance. The preponderance of these studies focus on Chief Executive Officers. This study empirically examines executive compensation for team effects on future firm performance.Applying a firm specific fixed-effects model to a sample of 13,021 firm-year observations from ExecuComp, the current study regresses top management team compensation and control variables on firm performance averaged one, three, and five years following the year of compensation. One accounting based measure of performance (return on assets) and one market based measure of firm performance (shareholder return) is examined over the one three and five year horizons.Consistent with increasing concerns raised by investors regarding excess executive pay, this study finds evidence that higher top management team pay is associated with companies experiencing lower rates of return in the future. However, higher management team pay is associated with higher profits and market value measured in dollars. Theses effects are significantly different between the short-term and long term components of compensation. Although compensation of the team is highly correlated with the CEO, the compensation of the executive team has incremental effects on future firm performance of the company.This study contributes to the executive compensation literature by providing evidence that the compensation of the top management team affects future company performance. The observed impact of management team compensation on company performance is: incremental to CEO effects noted in prior studies, differential between short- and long-term components of compensation, sensitive to the proxy used for company performance, and attenuates over time. These findings suggest that further research on executive management team compensation is merited in order to address an interesting gap in the extant literature.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Accounting Commons