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Compensation Culture: Is executive pay excessive? Does it matter?

Compensation Culture: Is executive pay excessive? Does it matter?

Professor Stephen Bevan
18 November 2013

This paper explores the current debate about what some would see as ‘excessive’ executive pay in the UK. It looks at the evidence behind claims of damage caused to both civil society and in organisations, due to wide and widening pay dispersion.In particular, the paper explores whether executive compensation and company performance are actually disconnected; whether so-called ‘fat cat’ pay caused the credit crunch; whether remuneration committees are susceptible to manipulation by CEOs when setting their pay; whether CEO pay has grown out of control because the HR profession has been ‘asleep at the wheel’; and, finally, whether widening pay dispersion damages employee engagement, satisfaction and performance or perceived fairness, trust and innovation.

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