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Advances in the Study of Corporate Networks


Workshop 17-18 May 2018, Copenhagen Business School



Over the past century a rich research tradition has emerged specializing in the study of corporate networks. Corporate networks encompass interlocking directorates, ownership ties between firms and individuals, exchange and partnership networks among firms, and much more. Historically, the structural analysis of these networks have informed research ranging from critical scholarship on corporate elites and transnational capitalist class formation to literatures on firm behavior and performance in corporate strategy and management, economics, organization studies, and economic sociology.


Since then, national and international databases based on administrative registers and digital traces have become available, revealing high-quality information about the multiple linkages among firms, individuals, assets, and much more, across time and space. A significant development is that detailed temporal data on the dynamics of these linkages have become available. Equally important, efficient computational techniques for modeling the complex dynamics of these multiple linkages have come to the fore. This enables researchers to inquire hitherto unexplored associations between corporate network structures and well-known phenomenon such as market power, inequality and mobility. Our ambition in this workshop is to advance the study of corporate networks by inviting researchers from different disciplines to leverage these novel data and techniques in order to uncover understudied aspects of how corporate networks work.


The purpose of the workshop is to advance research on corporate networks by bringing together researchers from different disciplines and empirical fields to present their most recent results. An additional aim is to develop a special journal issue from a collection of the papers presented at the workshop. Please send abstracts to Lasse Folke Henriksen ([log in to unmask]) no later than February 15 2018. For paper presenting participants, the costs of travel and accommodation will be covered.


Questions that are of particular interest to the workshop are:


       How do corporate networks of various kinds emerge and change and what models best describe these dynamics?

       How do corporate networks respond to market shocks?

       How are processes of inequality embedded in, and related to, the structure of corporate networks? e.g. do board members and directors of particularly central firms receive a pay premium?

       How can we model the interaction of multiple actors and ties within corporate networks?

       To what extent are we witnessing fracturing or concentration of corporate networks globally, and what might explain local, national and regional variations?

       In what ways might corporate networks influence political and regulatory processes?

       How can we study the interaction of corporate networks at multiple scales (e.g. national, regional, global)?

       How do corporate network dynamics affect the behavior of firms and individuals?

       How are processes of corporate strategy and governance affected by corporate network dynamics?

       How do corporate governance norms e.g. notions of Corporate Social Responsibility diffuse within corporate networks?

       How might models of corporate network dynamics help in thinking about the restructuring of firms into ever more complex spatio-temporal organizational forms?

       In what ways might the study of corporate networks reveal the circumvention of e.g. regulatory rules and taxation by firms and individuals?

Organizers: Lasse Folke Henriksen, Eelke Heemskerk and Thomas Poulsen

The workshop is jointly sponsored by the Danish Council for Independent Research, the CBS Inequality Platform, and the Department of International Economics and Management

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