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Title: The emergence and work processes of executive remuneration consultants
Author: de Gannes, Nadine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 4186
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis studies the emergence of executive remuneration consulting as a distinct occupation from the 1990s, and the co-emergence of remuneration consultants and remuneration committees from the early 2000s. These actors, their work processes, norms and interlinkages are studied within the context of key social, economic and political factors, which shape the fields of remuneration consulting work and remuneration governance. In light of recent conflicting governance recommendations, it is important to evaluate the system of governance in relation to the historical reference points which have shaped executive pay practices. In so doing, this thesis analyses the dynamic processes in which numerous actors (remuneration committees, executive directors, Reward/HR directors, remuneration consultants and institutional investors), documents (corporate governance codes, governance guidelines and regulations) and tools (market trends analysis and pay benchmarking) are collectively engaged. Executive remuneration has overwhelmingly been researched from the agency perspective, delineated into two theoretical points of departure: optimal contracting (Jensen and Meckling, 1976) and managerial capture (Bebchuk and Fried, 2003; 2004). Despite managerial capture theorists seeking to address perceived shortcomings in optimal contracting, both result in an undersocialised (Granovetter, 1985; cf. Main, 2006) view of executive pay practices. Drawing on a genealogical approach (Foucault, 1971), Chapter 3 studies the emergence of executive remuneration consulting, while Chapter 4 examines the co-emergence of remuneration consultants and remuneration committees. Drawing on a field-based study at a leading remuneration consultancy, Chapter 5 presents the day-to-day work processes of executive remuneration consultants, and the ways in which consultants have produced their relevance in executive pay design and governance. Chapter 6 problematizes the market for executive talent and presents a conceptualisation of pay benchmarking practice. Chapter 7 argues that a dominant logic of risk has gone undocumented; that it is risk and risk management that ‘percolates and pervades’ (Power, 2004) executive remuneration governance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: HF5601 Accounting