Myth or reality? Assessing the moderating role of CEO compensation on the momentum of innovation in R&D

Chengli Tien, Chien Nan Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study researches the influences of CEO compensation on firm behavior to examine the interactive relationship between the behavioral momentum of innovation in R&D and CEO compensation. The models presented in this study are based on evolutionary, institutional, and agency theories to test hypotheses using data from 107 companies in the high-technology sectors in the United States. The results indicate that the pre-succession innovative behavior of these high-technology firms on R&D can positively affect these firms' post-succession innovative behavior towards R&D. That is, positive momentum in R&D innovation prevails in a firm across a change of the CEO. However, for the role of CEO compensation, short- and long-term compensation does not positively moderate this behavioral momentum in R&D. Hence, the moderating impact of short- and long-term CEO compensation to enhance the momentum of innovation in R&D can be romanticized. These findings provide boards of directors with evidence as to how a CEO succession matters to a firm's behavioral momentum in R&D, and whether CEO compensation can be strategized to change a firm's innovation and momentous behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2763-2784
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul


  • CEO compensation
  • agency theory
  • evolutionary theory
  • innovation
  • institutional theory
  • momentum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management


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