• Agency theory;
  • stewardship theory;
  • corporate governance;
  • compensation

Agency theorists have put forth a number of internal control mechanisms that can reduce agency problems. These different mechanisms are substitutive and thus it is thought that both the board of directors and large external shareholders can influence CEO compensation. Stewardship theory challenges the presumption of self-interest of agency theory, holding that managers view themselves as stewards of their organisation. The first objective of this paper is to study the influence of the control of the board of directors and large external shareholders on CEO compensation. The second objective is to utilise both stewardship and agency theory to analyse the relationship between control mechanisms and compensation, and to see which theory is more applicable. This paper uses the LISREL model to study the influence that the control of the board of directors and external large shareholders has upon CEO compensation, with data drawn from samples of listed manufacturing companies between the years 1997 and 1999 in Taiwan. The following conclusions are reached: (1) the paper supports the viewpoint of stewardship theory whereby the CEO acts as a steward of his/her company when he/she also holds the position of chairman of the company. (2) The findings show that CEO compensation will be high when the board's control is relatively ineffective. (3) The shareholdings of the board of directors can reinforce the degree of control from the board.