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Make or Buy New Technology Â€Ó a CEO Compensation Contract€ٳ Role in a Firm€ٳ Route to Innovation


  • Xue, Yanfeng


Firms obtain new technology either through internal R&D or through acquisitions. These two approaches are usually labeled as "make" and "buy" strategies. In this paper, I examine the relation between a firm's choice of "make" or "buy" and the performance measures used in the firm's CEO compensation contract. I focus on the two major differences between "make" and "buy" strategies: the risk levels and accounting treatments. I then examine the differential implications of accounting-based and stock-based performance measures on managers' incentive in choosing between the two strategies. Using data from US high tech industries, I find that, firms relying on "buy" approach to obtain technology tend to depend more on the accounting-based performance measures, while those firms who innovate through R&D activities skew toward stock-based pay especially stock options

Suggested Citation

  • Xue, Yanfeng, 2004. "Make or Buy New Technology Â€Ó a CEO Compensation Contract€ٳ Role in a Firm€ٳ Route to Innovation," Working papers 4436-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:4049

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1989. "Agency costs and innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 305-327, December.
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    R&D; Acquisition; Compensation; Technology;


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