Journal of Sustainable Social Change


This case addresses CEO pay, a topic that annually stimulates the question of whether or not executive compensation is based on performance or something else and why it is so high in absolute terms. The societal impact of the new class of executives among the largest companies in the United States set apart from the rest of the world in a cocoon of wealth and privilege inflames resentment among workers, widens an already unfathomable distance between those at the top and the rest of us, and endangers the social amity among citizens of the polity . Positive social change might result from the justification and recalibration of salaries to align more sensibly with actual differences in experience, knowledge, and talent among all workers. However, first, we must become aware of the impact of differences that now alienate much of the working class population from workplaces that enable such a wide salary gap between top executives and average workers. This case is designed to help learners think through the various elements constituting the excessive CEO pay issue.