Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining

pp 742-747


Interlocking Directorate Networks

  • van Kees VeenAffiliated withFaculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen
  • , Eelke M. HeemskerkAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, University of Amsterdam


Board interlocks; Corporate elite; Old boys network; Power elite


Interlocking Directorate

A link between two organizations that emerges when at least one person is a member of both organizations' board of directors simultaneously

Interlocking Directorate Network

The cumulative set of interlocking directorates that together form a network of linkages between a set of boards of directors


Social Network Analysis



Since the emergence of the modern corporation in the nineteenth century, managerial power has been in the hands of a relatively small group of people, often referred to as the business elite. Within this group, a substantial number of individuals sit on the board of directors of multiple companies. By combining multiple board positions, these individuals create “interlocking directorates” between companies. As a result, they can – potentially – coordinate management decisions, share information and practices, and enforce norms in different company conte ...

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