A corporation's culture is the most important factor influencing the attitudes and behavior of executives in most companies, according to 48% of corporate, academic and consulting leaders surveyed by AEG, a strategic management advisory firm. Some 25% of respondents believe a company's share price is the most important factor, and 23% believe it is executive incentive compensation.
In addition, 63% of respondents said executive compensation is best evaluated for "appropriateness" and "fairness" against a peer competitor group, while 14% said pay should be measured by a fixed ratio between executive pay and that of the typical employee. Another 14% said compensation should be based on direct proportionality between executive pay and shareholder value.
Among other findings, 84% of respondents believe companies focus "some but not enough" on ethical behavior when identifying and developing future leaders, and 80% believe boards of directors should be more involved in succession planning.
"This poll shows that while the causes of corporate malfeasance can be identified, the best practices tools for prevention have yet to be fully implemented by many of today's boards and senior management," Larry Adelman, AEG principal, said in a statement.
AEG received responses from 56 leaders at a forum of the Center for Corporate Change, which is part of the Vail Leadership Institute, Avon, Co., an independent leadership research organization.