Executive Compensation and Employee Remuneration: The Flexible Principles of Justice in Pay

Journal of Business Ethics:1-17 (2018)
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This paper investigates a series of normative principles that are used to justify different aspects of executive compensation within business firms, as well as the remuneration of lower-ranking employees. We look at how businesses perform pay benchmarking; employees’ engagement, fidelity and loyalty ; and the acceptability of what we call both-ends-dipping, that is, receiving both ex ante and ex post benefits for the same work. We make two observations. First, either different or incoherent principles are used to justify the pay of executives compared to employees, or the same principles are applied differently. Second, these differences or inconsistencies tend to be to the benefit of executives and/or to the detriment of employees. We conclude by asking whether there is any reason for thinking differently about executive pay than we do about employee pay. Our analysis leads us to question the principles justifying current executive compensation and to wonder if these principles are potentially being instrumentalized to serve other ends.



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Dominic Martin
Université du Québec à Montréal

References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Choices, Values, and Frames.Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky (eds.) - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Free Market Fairness.John Tomasi (ed.) - 2012 - Princeton University Press.

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