Open Access

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

Frontiers of Business Research in ChinaSelected Publications from Chinese Universities20093:19

Published: 8 August 2009


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.


Independent directorsjob selectioneconomic incentivereputation incentive