Another field where confusion and bullshit abound. The usual lines are:'We need the best of the best to: Create superior shareholder value, compete in international markets, remain industry leaders, turn round the mess left by the last superhero'... (choose according to taste). Other arguments concern the competition for top talent, the close gearing between shareholder value and reward. Most of these claims are very dubious and do not stand close scrutiny.
- The role of the board remuneration committee. David Lincoln, Don Young, Tim Wilson and Philip Whiteley. PARC, 2006. Useful survey report on how top executive pay is determined, how the 'system' works and the relationships between performance and reward. To be avoided by Compensation and Benefits pro's, who should be embarrassed.
- A. Likierman. Measuring the success of the remuneration committee. Benefits and Compensation International, 2006. Good guide to contemporary thinking.
- In Search of Excess. Graef S Crystal. Norton 1991. Proves that the excesses of top peoples' compensation have been going for some time.
- Report of the Greenbury Committee on executive remuneration. 1995. An attempt to bring some governance pressures to bear on top pay - government passed the buck to 'shareholders' (fund managers.) Excess has accelerated since.
- See also: Financialisation and Strategy, Narrative and Numbers. Julie Froud et al. Routledge, 2006. Not a remuneration book, but illustrates the almost total disconnect between corporate performance and executive pay in chilling detail.