A couple of days ago, I posted a comment on the seemingly unending upward trajectory of CEO remuneration, and referred to a blog entry on the Reuters site. It seems the topic has struck a chord again in the last few days, especially since Mark Powell's comments. The Editor of the NZ Herald has taken up the issue with a well-written editorial. It's worth a read.
I am thinking about the possibility of opening Musings up to guest contributions. At this stage, it is just an idea, but it is one that I am keen to explore. For the last two years, every post to Musings has been mine. I am happy to continue to be the sole contributor, however when a couple of people recently asked me whether I had ever considered inviting others to provide contributions, it set me thinking.
What does Musings offer? It's an outlet to share ideas—about corporate governance, strategy and our place in the world. From small beginnings, the readership has grown, to the point where over 4000 unique visitors drop in each month. Something about the blog must interest people.
Anyway, to the question. Would you like to read contributions from other folk from time to time, to provide some variety? Would this be appreciated? The general theme of Musings would stay the same.
Please reply here if you have an opinion, or contact me directly if you'd like to become a guest contributor.
I received some wonderful news today. My paper, entitled On the use of critical realism to advance governance research beyond correlations, has been accepted onto the main programme of the prestigious British Academy of Management Conference, to be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland in September 2014. You can read the abstract on the Research page if you'd like to know a bit more. (A copy of the full paper will be posted after it is presented at the conference.)
It's humbling to know that others see my work as worthy to be included at this conference. I'm grateful for the opportunity. The feedback that the three reviewers provided (through the usual double-blind review process) was really helpful—both in terms of tweaking the paper, and as guidance for the doctoral thesis as it comes together through the remainder of 2014. Now, to save my pennies for the flights!
A blog entry on the Reuters page today makes interesting reading. "Supersize" CEO salaries have caught the attention of legislators, in California at least, with proposals to apply a punitive tax regime. It seems some people have had enough, or is this a case of a legislature seeing a revenue gathering opportunity?
CEO salaries have been steadily climbing ahead of inflation and most other economic measures for years, particularly so in the US in the last decade. Market forces seem to have been at work, whereby reputations are on the line, and boards have offered increasingly large deals, to attract new CEOs and to retain good ones. No doubt some high-performing CEOs have seen this and demanded big numbers as well. For example, Mark Adamson, CEO of Fletcher Building, seems to be demanding more. Not all CEOs have the same outlook however. In the same article, Mark Powell, CEO of The Warehouse, a very successful retailer in New Zealand, seems to be somewhat embarrassed by his salary package.
The topic of supersize salaries is an easy target for journalists, mates having a drink, the unions, and others. However, when all is said and done, does it actually matter? If a company is socially responsible and the CEO is creating considerable shareholder value, then probably not. However, if the company is flagrantly abusing its staff, suppliers or customers, then it probably does matter. My preference is to let the invisible hand of market forces determine the outcome. If a gross imbalance or inequity occurs, a correction will follow, sooner or later. Hopefully it won't be so late that the society collapses though.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.