How to incentivize strategic flexibility?

Bettina De Ruyck

What was my dream when I was little?

I really enjoyed reading Thea Beckman’s historical novels and I imagined myself being either a pirate or a knight. I became a scout leader. That’s close enough, isn’t it? Moreover, I was always passionate about playing theatre.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That was a question I never knew the answer of. I used to imagine myself in different scenarios. My curiosity helped me to adapt easily. It is this curiosity that made me a researcher.

What am I doing when I am not working on my PhD?

You’ll find me playing board games such as Settlers of Catan, listening to a podcast or meeting with one of my best friends. Also, I like to put on my hiking shoes and go for a long walk without a clear destination in mind.

What is my PhD about?

I will study the impact of CEO remuneration on a company’s strategic flexibility. Strategic flexibility is a key ability for firms operating in a dynamic, changing business landscape. The extent to which a firm is able to respond to or initiate change varies – amongst other factors linked to the CEO who is leading the company. The interplay between a CEO’s personality and the remuneration package design will influence individual behaviour and decision making and ultimately the outcomes on firm level, such as strategic flexibility and company performance.

I will study different elements of the CEO’s remuneration package such as pay level, the key performance indicators and long-term incentives. My goal is to identify remuneration practices that drive or constrain strategic flexibility, while taking into account the personal characteristics of the executive .

Why is this important for practice?

Identifying potentially new enablers of and barriers to strategic flexibility is of the highest interest for organisations that are looking for ways to respond to and anticipate changes. With my research, I will be able to provide concrete guidelines for these practitioners looking for ways to cope with a highly dynamic context. The studies will be relevant for practitioners in the field, such as board of directors, remuneration committees, and also their advisors, such as HR directors, Compensation & Benefits professionals or consultants who are looking for instruments that will help build long-term shareholder value.

How do I like to be remembered after my PhD?

As an enthusiastic colleague who contributed meaningfully with her research to the academic environment and practice.

How do I see my future?

I plan to immerse myself in the fields of corporate governance and strategic flexibility. Moreover, adaptability on an individual level is crucial. We started our first steps towards an era in which continuous learning is key. Lecturing or coaching is definitely something I consider doing within an academic or a business context.

Want to know more about Bettina?

Check out her cv page.

& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times