Original Research

CEO pay-performance sensitivity in the South African context

Mark Bussin
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 18, No 2 | a838 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v18i2.838 | © 2015 Mark Bussin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 January 2014 | Published: 28 May 2015

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Mark Bussin, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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The topic of executive pay-performance sensitivity has resulted in mixed research findings. Literature related to executive remuneration constructs, company performance measures and the underlying theories is critically reviewed in this article. The literature is compared to research findings within the South African context pre, during and post the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The researcher found similar results in the South African context compared to research in other countries and industries. The research challenges the notion that there is one dominant theory driving CEO compensation. The principal-agent theory, supported by the optimal contract theory, are foremost during periods of strong economic performance, while the influence of managerial power and other behavioural theories appear to prevail during periods of weak economic performance. This article proposes some critical considerations in order to manage this tension.


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