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EVA and the Controllability-congruence Trade-off: An Empirical Investigation


  • François Larmande
  • Jean-Pierre Ponssard


Incentives theory suggests that compensation schemes should be analyzed along two dimensions: controllability and congruence. Most schemes cannot satisfy both criteria at once. EVA bonus schemes, a major managerial innovation of the 90’s, favor the congruence criterion. This paper questions ist properties along the controllability dimension. The question is addressed through an in-depth case study: after three years in operation the actual bonuses paid by the system, as well as qualitative feedback from the managers involved, are analyzed. It is argued that EVA bonus schemes may have a major controllability problem.

Suggested Citation

  • François Larmande & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2004. "EVA and the Controllability-congruence Trade-off: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1257, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1257

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jerold L. Zimmerman, 1997. "Eva And Divisional Performance Measurement: Capturing Synergies And Other Issues," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 10(2), pages 98-109.
    2. John M. Abowd & David S. Kaplan, 1999. "Executive Compensation: Six Questions That Need Answering," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 145-168, Fall.
    3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    4. Stephen Riceman & Steven Cahan & Mohan Lal, 2002. "Do managers perform better under EVA bonus schemes?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 537-572.
    5. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    6. Wallace, James S., 1997. "Adopting residual income-based compensation plans: Do you get what you pay for?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 275-300, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Berland & Jean-Pierre Ponssard & Olivier Saulpic, 2017. "Une typologie des systèmes de contrôle inspirée du cadre théorique de Simons," Working Papers hal-01667078, HAL.
    2. Nicolas Berland & Jean-Pierre Ponssard & Olivier Saulpic, 2006. "Recurrent Attempts to Renovate Management ControlRevisited through a Simons' Perspective," Working Papers hal-00243033, HAL.
    3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3053 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Olivier Saulpic & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2008. "Les systèmes de pilotage : une relecture critique inspirée des travaux de Simons," Post-Print halshs-00525975, HAL.
    5. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2004. "EU Merger Control in Differentiated Product Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1312, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3143 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    EVA management compensation; controllability-congruence trade-off; compensation standards;

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