Original Research

Determinants of chief executive officers remuneration for Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed financial service organisations

Wayne Ramgath, Mark H. Bussin
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 20 | a1774 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v20i0.1774 | © 2022 Wayne Ramgath, Mark H. Bussin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 September 2021 | Published: 10 February 2022

About the author(s)

Wayne Ramgath, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Mark H. Bussin, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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Orientation: Research is inconclusive regarding which factors that determine Chief Executive Officers (CEO) remuneration. There is evidence of a positive link between the risky actions taken by CEOs, incentivised by their remuneration structure, which contributed to the financial crisis of 2008.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether organisation size and organisation performance were determinants of CEO remuneration and to what degree.

Motivation for the study: No consensus on a model, a set of variables, or a consistent view defines the principles of remuneration setting at the CEO level across organisations or industries. This study intended to provide further clarity on the matter.

Research approach/design and method: The research employed a mono-method methodology, and the study was longitudinal in nature. Secondary data were collected over a 5-year period (2015–2019) using a homogenous purposive sampling method. Statistical analysis was performed to analyse the data.

Main findings: Organisation size was not found to be a significant determinant of CEO remuneration in financial services organisations listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). In contrast, organisation performance was found to be a significant determinant of CEO remuneration.

Practical/managerial implications: This study serves as a baseline for best practice, enabling remuneration committees to leverage when setting CEO remuneration, to ensure that the outcomes driven by remuneration are in line with the best interests of all stakeholders within the organisation.

Contribution/value-add: The findings add to the body of knowledge on this topic and create an evidence base showing whether these exorbitant remuneration packages are performance driven or if they are merely driven by managerial power.


CEO remuneration; financial services; organisation size; organisation performance; South Africa


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