- The social field of the European corporate elite: a network analysis of interlocking directorates among Europe's largest corporate boards
- Global Networks
- Volume | Issue number
- 11 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In this article I investigate the emerging patterns of the European corporate elite network as an example of a European social field, as described by Fligstein. The findings confirm that interlocking directorates form a European corporate network. However, the intercorporate network rests on a very small group of European corporate elite members: it remains the playground of a select few pan-European ‘big linkers’. Although financial institutions and bankers appear in the upper echelons of the network, they do not occupy crucial positions. Rather, (former) CEOs of Europe's largest big non-financial businesses knit together the network of interlocking directorates. The network rests on a coalescence of finance and industry, rather than on the dominance of the one over the other. Although the project of European unification has been quite successful in organizing the formal institutional structures, it has not yet led to reproduction of a European business community reminiscent of the national communities.
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