Identifying board of director network influence for firm characteristics

Aparna Gupta, Abena Owusu, Lei Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We utilize multiplex network analysis to evaluate the relationship between firms’ characteristics and board of director networks. Studying a sample of 384 board members of 20 largest US energy and utility firms, 10 from each sector, the firms are differentiated by a clustering analysis on their firm-level characteristics. The firms’ board member connections are represented in a multiplex network consisting of two layers, one for the board members’ direct connections and another for their indirect connections. Four additional sub-layers are identified for each major layer of the multiplex network to represent corporate, non-profit organization, education and government/military connections between the board members. Weights assigned to each layer of the multiplex network allow combining their effect in the resulting single layered directors’ network. The weights of the multiplex directors’ network are learned by optimally relating firms’ director network characteristics with firm clusters’ characteristics. We observe that director network displays significant connectivity at all multiplex network layers and firms belonging to the same cluster display similar director network characteristics, specifically enhanced by appropriate weighting of director network layers. The optimal value of network sub-layer weights indicate that, while corporate board member connections play the most significant role, the non-profit and military & government connections are also important, where non-profit connections lead to inferior firm outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126212
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume581
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Board of director
  • Firm characteristics
  • Multiplex network
  • Network analysis

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