• Posted March 19, 2018

How does CEO compensation influence the execution of IT-based environmental strategies?

Study: Impact of executive compensation on the execution of IT-based environmental strategies under competition


Companies are increasingly expected to implement IT-based environmental strategies, either to reduce the negative environmental impacts that result from the use of IT (“green IT strategies”) or to increase the positive impacts that the use of IT can have on sustainability (“IT-enabled green strategies”). However, since the execution of both green IT strategies and IT-enabled green strategies is time-consuming, requires considerable financial investment, and adds complexity to organizational practices, CEOs face several uncertainties when deciding whether to execute IT-based environmental strategies. The study asks how the various forms of CEO compensation (fixed pay, bonus pay, stock-option pay) impact the execution of IT-based environmental strategies.

How it was studied:

The study draws from agency theory and the contingent natural resource-based theory. Its findings are grounded in archival data and survey data collected from 263 manufacturing firms.

Take away:

The study provides insights into how to design CEOs’ compensation packages to promote the execution of IT-based environmental strategies:

  • CEOs’ fixed pay and bonus pay negatively impact the execution of both green IT strategies and IT-enabled green strategies, which suggests that CEOs will be demotivated to execute IT-enabled environmental strategies if their compensation is based on fixed pay and bonus pay.
  • In contrast, long-term oriented stock-option pay positively impacts the execution of both green IT strategies and IT-enabled green strategies, so it serves as a driver of environmental sustainability.
  • A highly competitive business environment strengthens the impact of stock-option pay on environmental sustainability, but it weakens fixed pay and bonus pay’s negative impact on the execution of IT-enabled green strategies.
  • Highly competitive environments are ideal settings for using stock-option pay to promote the execution of IT-based environmental strategies.

Ricky Y. K. Chan

Ricky Y. K. Chan is an associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr. Chan’s research interests lie in ethical and environmental issues relating to business operations and consumption. His research appeared in various journals such as the Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of World Business, European Journal of Information Systems, International Business Review, Management International Review and Information Society.

Katherine H. Y. Ma

Katherine H. Y. Ma is a principal lecturer at Youth College of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council. Dr. Ma’s research interests lie in issues concerning software piracy and green IT adoption. Her research appeared in Information Society, Management International Review and various major conference proceedings.

Publication Details

  • Authors:Ricky Y. K. Chan
  •  Katherine H. Y. Ma
  • Categories: Information Systems
  • Link: https://www.tandf...

European Journal of Information Systems
  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 221-247
  • Issue: 5
  • Pages: 489-508

  • 220406