The Ethics of Hedging by Executives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Executives of many publicly held firms agree to compensation packages that create immense exposure to their employer's stock. Corporate boards, aspiring to motivate executives to make value-maximizing decisions, often tie an executive's earnings to stock price performance through stock or option awards. However, this engenders a significant ethical dilemma for many executives who are uncomfortable with sizable, firm-specific risk and desire to reduce it through hedging activities. Recent research has shown that executive hedging has become more prevalent. In essence, managers are unwinding the acute economic incentive to act in the best interest of the owners. This appears to violate the spirit of the compensation contract and from a normative standpoint, is not how executives should act. In this article, we describe how some executives are acting in regard to this issue (descriptive ethics), how they should act (normative ethics) and how they can be helped to get from what they are doing, to what they should be doing (prescriptive ethics).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Fingerprint

moral philosophy
firm
Hedging
employer
incentive
manager
performance
economics
Values

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Law
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

The Ethics of Hedging by Executives. / Dunham, Lee M.; Washer, Kenneth M.

In: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 111, No. 2, 12.2012, p. 157-164.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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