1 year ago



Where is the global corporate elite? A large-scale network study of local and nonlocal interlocking directorates arXiv:1604.04722v2 [cs.SI] 25 Jul 2016 Eelke M. Heemskerk, Frank W. Takes, Javier Garcia-Bernardo and M. Jouke Huijzer {e.m.heemskerk,takes,garcia} CORPNET, University of Amsterdam July 14, 2016 Abstract Business elites reconfigure their locus of organization over time, from the city level, to the national level, and beyond. We ask what the current level of elite organization is and propose a novel theoretical and empirical approach to answer this question. Building on the universal distinction between local and nonlocal ties we use network analysis and community detection to dissect the global network of interlocking directorates among over five million firms. We find that elite orientation is indeed changing from the national to the transnational plane, but we register a considerable heterogeneity across different regions in the world. In some regions the business communities are organized along national borders, whereas in other areas the locus of organization is at the city level or international level. London dominates the global corporate elite network. Our findings underscore that the study of corporate elites requires an approach that is sensitive to levels of organization that go beyond the confines of nation states. Keywords: corporate elite; transnational elite; corporate governance; business networks; interlocking directorates; community detection; network analysis; network science 1

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