Political facets of business networks: politics and interlocking directorates in Russia
Cronin, Bruce and Popov, Vladimir (2010) Political facets of business networks: politics and interlocking directorates in Russia. In: SUNBELT XXX Riva del Garda Fiere Congressi Riva del Garda (TN), Italy June 29 – July 4, 2010. INSNA (International Network for Social Network Analysis), Tampa, USA.Full text not available from this repository.
The relationship between business and politics is multi-dimensional. This paper focuses only an under-examined aspect of this multi-dimensional relationship – the embeddedness of interlocking directorates within political networks.
There is established theory that firms in transitional economies have more extensive networks with politicians than in developed economies to compensate for the market and institutional uncertainties (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). Our study develops this argument by showing that political bodies can be also interested in being involved in certain business networks to reduce what might be called political uncertainties. The validity of this argument is checked with regard to the relationship between interlocking directorates and political networks, an interaction that has not been particularly examined within the framework of resource dependency theory.
Our inquiry aims to bring an insight into this under-researched topic by examining political aspects of interlocking directorate in contemporary Russia, the country in which business and politics is especially highly interconnected. This research is based on data collected from a variety of sources, including Orbis, a comprehensive database of business information. The findings show that there are a considerable number of ties between the Russian government and director boards of largest Russian corporations, and this allows the government to exercise control over activities of these companies with certain benefits for both sides
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