Employee stock options are the most widely used incentive compensation tool, and prior research has shown their advantages. However, research among different peer groups, different time frames, different research methodologies, and the constantly changing public opinion prevents unanimous agreements on the various benefits of employee stock options. In this paper we apply a number of research hypotheses tested in recent us studies to a european sample of eurostoxx 50 companies. Due to the globalisation, the similar accounting regulations and the it and telecommunications revolu tions, europe and the united states have grown closer together than ever before and are expected to display similar business practices. This assessment should be especially relevant for the large european companies, which mostly have a dual listing in the united states and are therefore essentially forced to manage according to american practices. How ever, the results differ significantly from the existing us research, providing insufficient grounds to accept previous findings for european companies.