A large number of family firms employ nonfamily managers. This article analyzes the optimal compensation contracts of nonfamily managers employed by family firms using principal-agent analysis. The model shows that the contracts should have low incentive levels in terms of short-term performance measures. This finding is moderated by nonfamily managers' responsiveness to incentives, their level of risk aversion, and measurement errors of effort related to short-term performance. The model allows a comparison between the contracts of family and nonfamily managers. This comparison shows that the contracts of family managers should include relatively greater incentives in terms of short-term performance measures. A number of propositions regarding the compensation of nonfamily managers employed by family firms are formulated. The implications of the model for family business research and practice are discussed.

executive pay, incentives, nonfamily managers, performance pay, principal-agent model
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894486510394359, hdl.handle.net/1765/25627
Family Business Review
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Block, J.H. (2011). How to pay nonfamily managers in large family firms: A principal-agent model. Family Business Review, 24(1), 9–27. doi:10.1177/0894486510394359