A comparison of the attitudes of public pension sponsors and corporate CEOs regarding issues of corporate governance

Albert Drew Widman, Pace University

Abstract

This dissertation contrasts the attitudes and beliefs of corporate CEOs and public pension plan sponsors regarding proposals commonly made to better corporate governance practices. It examines questionnaire responses to a survey sent to public pension funds with 1994 assets of $1 billion or more and corporations randomly selected from the Standard \& Poors 500 and Midcap 400 indexes.^ The research examines the asset growth of public pension plans and the effect that growth has had on their advocacy of corporate governance reform. It notes the more common governance proposals and uses the literature to predict CEO and Plan Sponsor attitudes regarding their possible adoption.^ While there have been studies that report the number of companies that exhibit specific governance practices, and relate those practices to corporate financial performance, there are no studies that compile, analyze, and contrast the expressed attitudes of corporate CEOs and public pension plan sponsors on issues of corporate governance.^ Eleven hypotheses are tested using nonparametric statistical techniques. Survey respondents consisted of 68 Plan Sponsors (response rate of 57.6%) and 61 CEOs (response rate of 20.3%). The inclusion of open-ended questions provides an opportunity for readers to gain additional insights into the data.^ Results indicate higher levels of receptivity from CEOs to corporate governance proposals than was anticipated. Opportunities for collaborative action by public pension plan sponsors is shown to be currently limited by the diversity of opinion within the group about what constitutes appropriate levels of governance activism. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

Albert Drew Widman, "A comparison of the attitudes of public pension sponsors and corporate CEOs regarding issues of corporate governance" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9813900.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9813900

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