Why do some companies award stock as opposed to cash?
Specifically, I'm speaking about unrestricted stock awards that can be sold immediately or held indefinitely. This is basically a cash award --- in the sense that it could be turned into a cash award by selling it immediately.
I understand the advantage of having employees invested in the company: it is motivation to work harder because your stock award will benefit from your hard work. But any sound financial advice that I have heard is to sell the stock immediately because you are already "invested" in the company by virtue of working there and to hold a significant amount of company stock in addition to your employment would be relatively high risk. Therefore a prudent employee would not hold on to the stock and would likely turn it into a cash award.
So, are there other reasons why a company would issue stock as opposed to cash?