In accordance with the Principal Agent Theory, Property Right Theory, Incentive Theory, and Human Capital Theory, firms face agency problems due to “separation of ownership and management”, which call for effective corporate governance. Ownership structure is a core element of the corporate governance. The differences in ownership structures thus may result in differential incentives in governance through the selection of senior management and in the design of senior management compensation system. This thesis investigates four firms with four different types of ownership structures: a public listed firm with the controlling interest by the state, a public listed firm with a non-state-owned controlling interest, a public listed firm a family-owned controlling interest, and a Sino-foreign joint venture firm. By using a case study approach, I focus on two dimensions of ownership structure characteristics – ownership diversification and differences in property rights so as to document whether there are systematic differences in governance participation and executive compensation design. Specifically, I focused on whether such differences are reflected in management selection (which is linked to adverse selection and moral hazard problems) and in compensation design (the choices of performance measurements, performance pay, and in stock option or restricted stock). The results are consistent with my expectation – the nature of ownership structure does affect senior management compensation design. Policy implications are discussed accordingly.
- Ownership Structure And Executive Compensation Design – An Empirical Study