The two sides of CEO pay injustice: a commentary Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The purpose of this paper is to extend discussions in the CEO compensation research domain. Specifically, this paper provides a critical analysis of the power law conceptualization and pay injustice contribution by Aguinis, Martin, Gomez-Mejia, OBoyle and Joo. Design/methodology/approach This commentary addresses statistical and theoretical issues of the power law distribution with respect to prior compensation research and offers additional perspectives on the issue of CEO pay deservingness. Findings The power law is worth investigating further, but more attention should be paid to outliers and fit to the distribution. Stronger theory is needed for using the power law to explain CEO compensation phenomena, especially regarding standard firm performance measures and anomalies in the compensation process. Finally, injustice and deservingness in discussions of CEO pay exist in the eye of the beholder. Originality/value This paper offers additional considerations for scholars to explore when applying the power law distribution to compensation research.

published proceedings

  • Management Research The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Cannella, A., & Sy, V.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Cannella, Albert||Sy, Valerie

publication date

  • April 2018