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Why Do Managers Undertake Acquisitions? An Analysis of Internal and External Rewards for Acquisitiveness

Christopher Avery, Judith Chevalier () and Scott Schaefer

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 1998, vol. 14, issue 1, 24-43

Abstract: We study the effect of a firm's acquisitions on the subsequent career of its chief executive officer (CEO) by examining a sample of executives who undertook large acquisitions between 1986 and 1988. We find that acquirers do not have significantly different compensation growth from executives who did not undertake acquisitions. Further, we find the effect of acquisitions on compensation does not depend on whether the acquisition increased shareholder wealth, nor on whether the acquisition was diversifying. We do find a benefit to acquisitions, however, because CEOs who completed acquisitions are significantly more likely to gain outside directorships than those who did not complete acquisitions. Our results do not support the argument that CEOs have an incentive to pursue acquisitions in order to increase their own compensation, but lend support to the argument that CEOs have an incentive to pursue acquisitions to increase their prestige and standing in the business community. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:14:y:1998:i:1:p:24-43