NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2022, Book 2

Economics and Tourism

WHAT DETERMINES EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT OF CLAWBACKS IN EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: EVIDENCE FROM INDIA

Dr. Arun Kumar Tripathy, Dr. Nidhi S Bisht

ABSTRACT

Globally, there is increasing usage of clawback provisions (clawbacks) in executive compensation to align better the interests of executives and the company’s stakeholders. Clawback conveys that mere resignations do not exonerate executives from their fiduciary responsibilities and violations during their tenure. Research indicates various benefits of adopting clawbacks that include improvement in financial quality reporting, lower abnormal accruals, reduced opportunistic managerial behaviour and more confidence of external stakeholders like shareholders and auditors in the internal control mechanism for firms. Merely adopting clawbacks may not necessarily provide these benefits in the absence of their effective enforcement. Enforcing clawbacks is riddled with challenges, considering the complex and ambiguous responsibilities of the top executives and the broader legal framework for compensation clawbacks. The issue relating to enforcement is more concerning in the case of companies adopting clawbacks for compliance only. Boards in these organizations sometimes may lack the commitment to implementation, which may lead to no enforcement or weak enforcement - such that the clawed-back compensation does not commensurate with the severity of the issue(s). Whilst research on clawback has been growing recently, little or no attention has been given to factors affecting effective clawback enforcement. Moreover, most of these studies have been conducted in the west with different corporate governance frameworks. Given this, drawing data from one qualitative in-depth case study of a private bank in India, we discern various factors that may affect the effective enforcement of clawbacks in an emerging economy context. Theoretically informed by stakeholder theory, our findings highlight the role of various internal and external stakeholders in effectively enforcing clawbacks. Based on our findings, we offer implications for policy and practice.

KEYWORDS

Clawback provisions, executive compensation, clawback enforcement, India

REFERENCE

NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2022, Book 2,Volume 5, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-30-0, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2022/B2/V5/09, Pages 107 - 114 pp