In this paper we examine the controversy which has surrounded options awarded to executives as a component of their overall remuneration. We argue that many of the claims advanced in favour of the use of options schemes by employer corporations are fl awed. In particular, we suggest that the alleged incentive alignment effects of granting options to executives either do not manifest themselves as strongly in practice as might be expected in theory, or are undermined by other factors, which we set out in this article. Further, we are critical of the view that the current status quo financial reporting treatment of options granted to employees in lieu of cash or other forms of remuneration is appropriate or able to be justified as a matter of principle. We discuss our preferred alternative treatments and advance a case as to why we believe that they would represent a more appropriate means of accounting for options than current prevailing practice.
Journal Of Law And Financial Management Collection