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postgraduate thesis: The effects of CEO equity-based compensation on firm promptness in remedying material weaknesses in internal control

TitleThe effects of CEO equity-based compensation on firm promptness in remedying material weaknesses in internal control
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Liu, X. [刘雪娇]. (2013). The effects of CEO equity-based compensation on firm promptness in remedying material weaknesses in internal control. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5089945
AbstractThis thesis investigates how chief executive officer (CEO) equity incentives affect the remediation of material weaknesses (MWs) in internal control. First, we predict that the sensitivity of CEO stock and stock option portfolios to stock price (CEO price sensitivity or delta) has a positive impact on firm promptness in remedying MWs, because CEOs whose personal wealth is tied to stock price suffer losses from negative market reactions to the public disclosure of MWs. Second, we predict that the sensitivity of CEO stock option portfolio to stock-return volatility (CEO volatility sensitivity or vega) has a negative impact on firm promptness in remedying MWs, as firms with internal control weaknesses are associated with higher information and operating risks that manifest in stock return volatility. Our empirical results, based on a sample of firms disclosing MWs in internal control under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) during November 15, 2003 and August 27, 2006, are consistent with the above predictions. We further provide evidence that an effective board of directors could mitigate the undesirable, negative impact of CEO volatility sensitivity on MWs remediation. We measure firms’ promptness in remedying MWs based on their subsequent internal control audit opinions (e.g., Ashbaugh-Skaife et al. 2008; Goh 2009); and CEO price (volatility) sensitivity as the dollar change in CEO stock and option portfolios (option portfolio) from a 1 percent change in stock price (Core and Guay 2002). This thesis is innovative with respect to the prediction and evidence of the opposing effects from CEO price and volatility sensitivities on internal control quality. This new evidence contributes to the literature that examines managerial incentives embedded in stock-based and option-based compensation plans in various economic contexts (e.g., Knopf et al. 2002; Coles et al. 2006; Low 2009; Armstrong et al. 2013). Our findings suggest that when stock constitutes a major part of CEO compensation, the mandatory disclosure requirement of SOX provides a channel for the stock market to discipline CEO. However, when options dominate CEO compensation, volatility sensitivity and the associated risk-taking incentive can cause CEOs to delay rectifying internal control deficiencies. These results have interesting policy implications for regulators and firms concerning mandatory disclosure and compensation design. Moreover, this thesis contributes to the broad literature on corporate governance by documenting an interaction between corporate governance and CEO incentives, namely that strong corporate governance mitigates the undesirable risking-taking incentive caused by CEO option holdings. Overall, this thesis deepens our understanding on mechanisms through which regulators, firm executives, and boards of directors strengthen internal control over financial reporting in the post-SOX era.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEmployee stock options
Corporate governance
Compensation management
Chief executive officers - Salaries, etc
Incentives in industry
Dept/ProgramBusiness
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/200360

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Xuejiao-
dc.contributor.author刘雪娇-
dc.date.accessioned2014-08-15T23:12:40Z-
dc.date.available2014-08-15T23:12:40Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationLiu, X. [刘雪娇]. (2013). The effects of CEO equity-based compensation on firm promptness in remedying material weaknesses in internal control. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5089945-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/200360-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates how chief executive officer (CEO) equity incentives affect the remediation of material weaknesses (MWs) in internal control. First, we predict that the sensitivity of CEO stock and stock option portfolios to stock price (CEO price sensitivity or delta) has a positive impact on firm promptness in remedying MWs, because CEOs whose personal wealth is tied to stock price suffer losses from negative market reactions to the public disclosure of MWs. Second, we predict that the sensitivity of CEO stock option portfolio to stock-return volatility (CEO volatility sensitivity or vega) has a negative impact on firm promptness in remedying MWs, as firms with internal control weaknesses are associated with higher information and operating risks that manifest in stock return volatility. Our empirical results, based on a sample of firms disclosing MWs in internal control under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) during November 15, 2003 and August 27, 2006, are consistent with the above predictions. We further provide evidence that an effective board of directors could mitigate the undesirable, negative impact of CEO volatility sensitivity on MWs remediation. We measure firms’ promptness in remedying MWs based on their subsequent internal control audit opinions (e.g., Ashbaugh-Skaife et al. 2008; Goh 2009); and CEO price (volatility) sensitivity as the dollar change in CEO stock and option portfolios (option portfolio) from a 1 percent change in stock price (Core and Guay 2002). This thesis is innovative with respect to the prediction and evidence of the opposing effects from CEO price and volatility sensitivities on internal control quality. This new evidence contributes to the literature that examines managerial incentives embedded in stock-based and option-based compensation plans in various economic contexts (e.g., Knopf et al. 2002; Coles et al. 2006; Low 2009; Armstrong et al. 2013). Our findings suggest that when stock constitutes a major part of CEO compensation, the mandatory disclosure requirement of SOX provides a channel for the stock market to discipline CEO. However, when options dominate CEO compensation, volatility sensitivity and the associated risk-taking incentive can cause CEOs to delay rectifying internal control deficiencies. These results have interesting policy implications for regulators and firms concerning mandatory disclosure and compensation design. Moreover, this thesis contributes to the broad literature on corporate governance by documenting an interaction between corporate governance and CEO incentives, namely that strong corporate governance mitigates the undesirable risking-taking incentive caused by CEO option holdings. Overall, this thesis deepens our understanding on mechanisms through which regulators, firm executives, and boards of directors strengthen internal control over financial reporting in the post-SOX era.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEmployee stock options-
dc.subject.lcshCorporate governance-
dc.subject.lcshCompensation management-
dc.subject.lcshChief executive officers - Salaries, etc-
dc.subject.lcshIncentives in industry-
dc.titleThe effects of CEO equity-based compensation on firm promptness in remedying material weaknesses in internal control-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5089945-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBusiness-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5089945-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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