Although recent censure of corporate boards of directors as ―passive‖ and ―supine‖ may be excessive, those who criticize board performance have plenty of substantive ammunition. Too many corporate boards fail in their two crucial responsibilities of overseeing long-term company strategy and of selecting, evaluating, and determining appropriate compensation of top management. At times, despite disappointing corporate performance, compensation of chief executive officers reaches indefensibly high levels, nevertheless, suggestions that the government should legislate board reform are premature. There are ample opportunities for boards themselves to improve corporate performance.
Most corporate boards’ compensation committees focus primarily on peer-group comparisons. They are content if the pay of top executives approximates that of the executives of competing firms with comparable short-term earnings or even that of executives of competing firms of comparable size. However, mimicking the compensation policy of competitors for the sake of parity means neglecting the value of compensation as a means of stressing long-term performance. By tacitly detaching executive compensation policy from long-term performance, committees harm their companies and the economy as a whole. The committees must develop incentive compensation policies to emphasize long-term performance. For example a board’s compensation committee can, by carefully proportioning straight salary and such short-term and long-term incentives as stock options, encourage top management to pursue a responsible strategy.
14. According to the passage, the majority of compensation committees put the greatest emphasis on which of the following when determining compensation for their executives? (事实题) A. Long-term corporate performance B. The threat of government regulation
C. Salaries paid to executives of comparable corporations D. The probable effect the determination will have on competitors E. The probable effect the economic climate will have on the company
15. The passage suggests which of the following about government legislation requiring that corporate boards undergo reform? (事实题)
A. Such legislation is likely to discourage candidates from joining corporate boards. B. Such legislation is likely to lead to reduced competition among companies.
C. The performance of individual companies would be affected by such legislation to a greater extent than would the economy as a whole.
D. Such legislation would duplicate initiatives already being made by corporate boards to improve their own performance.
E. Corporate boards themselves could act to make such legislation unnecessary.
16. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage? (写法性主题题) A. A problem is acknowledged, the causes are explored, and a solution is offered.
B. A question is raised, opposing points of view are evaluated, and several alternative answers are discussed. C. A means of dealing with a problem is proposed, and the manner in which a solution was reached is explained.
D. A plan of action is advanced, and the probable outcomes of that plan are discussed.
E. Two competing theories are described and then reconciled.