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National networks of corporate power : an Irish perspective

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  • Leo Mac Canna
  • Niamh Brennan
  • Eleanor O'Higgins

Abstract

This paper maps the network of interlocking directorships formed by the boards of the top 50 financial and 200 non-financial companies in Ireland. The Irish network is compared with those in ten countries, based on the same sample size and selection criteria as used in this paper, using the methods and theory of Social Network Analysis (SNA). Fundamental to the paper is the idea that the network of interlocking directorates is in some way structured, and not the result of random processes. Irish boards were found to have a relatively loose connected network structure which is sparser and less dense than those of other countries. This is reflected in the relatively low percentage of multiple directors and the relatively fewer number of directorships per multiple director. In general, indigenous Irish public companies tended to be central in the network, while a disproportionately large number of foreign and private companies were isolated on the periphery. However, a number of foreign-owned companies were central to the network - in particular, those which started as indigenous Irish companies which were subsequently taken over. When account is taken of the nature of the Irish economy and business in comparison with that of the ten other countries, it is seen that the opportunities for company interlinking at board level in Ireland are relatively fewer. However, within these constraints, there is a thriving network of corporate power in Ireland.

Suggested Citation

  • Leo Mac Canna & Niamh Brennan & Eleanor O'Higgins, 1999. "National networks of corporate power : an Irish perspective," Open Access publications 10197/2921, Research Repository, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:rru:oapubs:10197/2921
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2921
    File Function: Open Access version, 1999
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Coulson-Thomas, Colin, 1990. "Developing directors," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 488-499, December.
    2. Hallock, Kevin F., 1997. "Reciprocally Interlocking Boards of Directors and Executive Compensation," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 331-344, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pawlak Marek, 2010. "An interlocking-directorates monitoring system," Journal for Perspectives of Economic Political and Social Integration, Sciendo, vol. 16(1-2), pages 121-154, January.
    2. Juan Antonio Rubio Mondéjar & Josean Garrués Irurzun, 2012. "Estructura corporativa e interlocking directorates en las mayores empresas españolas, 1917-1970," FEG Working Paper Series 01/12, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
    3. Farina, Vincenzo, 2008. "Banks’ centrality in corporate interlock networks: evidences in Italy," MPRA Paper 11698, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Niamh Brennan, 2010. "A review of corporate governance research : an Irish perspective," Open Access publications 10197/2962, Research Repository, University College Dublin.
    5. Niamh Brennan & Michael McDermott, 2004. "Alternative Perspectives on Independence of Directors," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 325-336, July.
    6. Carlo Drago & Livia Amidani Aliberti & Davide Carbonai, 2014. "Measuring Gender Differences in Information Sharing Using Network Analysis: the Case of the Austrian Interlocking Directorship Network in 2009," Working Papers 2014.61, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Marek Pawlak, 2008. "Interlocking Directorships in Polish Joint Stock Companies," Management, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 3(3), pages 205-220.

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