The Use of Contract Adjustments to Lengthen the CEO Horizon in the Presence of Internal and External Monitoring

Dikolli, Shane S.; Kulp, Susan L.; Sedatole, Karen L.
September 2013
Journal of Management Accounting Research;2013, Vol. 25, p199
Academic Journal
We investigate whether boards of directors adjust compensation contracts to lengthen a CEO's decision horizon, and if the use of such contract adjustments depends on the levels of external (i.e., shareholder-based) and internal (i.e., board-based) CEO monitoring. Based on insights from the career-concerns literature, we identify short-horizon CEOs as those nearing retirement, at a firm with a current earnings decline or loss, and/or with an impending job change. We find that firms with a CEO identified as having a short-horizon place greater contract weight on forward-looking information. This horizon-lengthening contract adjustment is less pronounced when there is greater external monitoring (i.e., as proxied by a high level of shareholder rights), consistent with the intuition that increased shareholder rights mitigate CEO entrenchment, leading to less myopic decision making, independent of a contract adjustment. However, we also find that the horizon-lengthening contract adjustment is more pronounced when there is greater internal monitoring (i.e., as proxied by characteristics of the board), consistent with the intuition that increased employment risk from more intense internal monitoring itself creates a demand for increased incentive weights as a means of compensating the CEO for the increased risk.


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