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Reputation incentive or economic incentive? An empirical study on job-hopping behavior of independent directors

Abstract

This paper analyzes the real motivations behind independent directors’ (IDs) job-hopping behavior based on 75 cases from 2001 to 2005. Relevant extant literature is reviewed and an analytical framework based on reputation incentive mechanism (such as company reputation, a company’s position in the hierarchy of Chinese firms’ administrative reporting relationships, and job risks) and economic incentive mechanism (including IDs’ remunerations and HR costs) have been put forward. Results show that reputation-related factors, such as a listed company’s reputation and job risks, are the main influencing factors of IDs’ job-hopping behavior. This finding indicates that sole emphasis on IDs’ remunerations may not able to motivate IDs effectively and the reputation mechanism is more effective in motivating IDs. Contributions of this paper include enrichment of the extant literature on corporate governance from a brand-new perspective and provision of empirical evidence for further improvement in the incentive mechanisms for IDs.

摘要

以2001 年至2005 年75 个独立董事的“跳槽”事件为研究对象, 分析独立董事任职选择的真实动机。 首先, 回顾了已有的研究成果, 并提出了一个基于经济激励和声誉激励的分析框架。 经济激励包括薪酬收入和现实成本付出; 声誉激励包括企业知名度、 企业隶属层级和任职风险。 接着, 对独立董事“跳槽”的真实动机进行实证检验。 研究结果显示, 独立董事“跳槽”更多地考虑了上市公司知名度和任职风险等声誉因素。 最后, 得出结论, 片面的强调独立董事的薪酬并不能达到对独立董事的激励效果, 声誉机制更能实现对独立董事的激励约束作用。 独立董事制度要更好的发挥治理效果, 首先要解决独立董事任职并改善公司治理的源动力问题, 这就要求形成配套的独立董事绩效评估机制以及声誉激励约束机制, 这样才会有培育独立董事市场、 改善公司治理绩效的可能。 研究不仅从一个全新的角度丰富了公司治理的文献, 而且对完善独立董事的激励机制提供了一定的经验证据。

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Correspondence to Yuyin Jian.

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Translated and revised from Zhongguo Kuaiji Pinglun 中国会计评论 (China Accounting Review), 2008, 6(2): 177–192

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Zhou, F., Tan, J. & Jian, Y. Reputation incentive or economic incentive? An empirical study on job-hopping behavior of independent directors. Front. Bus. Res. China 3, 393–412 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11782-009-0019-x

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Keywords

  • Independent directors
  • job selection
  • economic incentive
  • reputation incentive

关键词

  • 独立董事
  • 任职选择
  • 经济收益
  • 声誉激励