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Networks of corporate power revisited

Networks of corporate power revisited

Cronin, Bruce ORCID: 0000-0002-3776-8924 (2011) Networks of corporate power revisited. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 10. pp. 43-51. ISSN 1877-0428 (doi:

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This paper examines developments through the quarter century since the publication of Stokman, Ziegler and Scott's (1985) iconic ten-nation study of the structure of interlocking directorships. The surprising decline of research in the area following the publication of Networks of Corporate Power is in part testimony to the rigour of the comparative methods used, raising the standard of evidence required for subsequent director interlock studies. But it also reflected a critical weakness in director interlock research to that point, the limited ability to answer what Mark Mizruchi has called the “So what?” question. While replicated studies found clear structures in director interlocks, varying from country to country, and there was some speculative fit with the distinctive political economies of these countries, there was little evidence of any effect of these structures on firm performance or activity. The more recent resurgence in director interlock research is in some ways rooted in a second generation of the original drivers; the ready availability of now large masses of data on firm governance and firm level performance and further advances in social network analytical techniques. Where Stokman and his colleagues manually compiled lists of directors scoured from company reports, these data are now routinely collected and compiled in accessible databases by government agencies and business information services in many countries. And there has been a gradual accumulation of advances in addressing the “so what” question.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Available online: 9 February 2011. [2] This paper forms part of a selection of papers from the 4th & 5th UK Social Networks Conferences held at The University of Greenwich in London, UK, July 2008 and 2009 and published as Vol.10 of the journal Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2011. [3] The volume is edited by Bruce Cronin and Dimitris Christopoulos. [4] Elseiver Open Access Article. Further details at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: interlocking directors, corporate power, longitudinal network analysis, performance, elite cohesion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
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Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 15:02

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