More than Adopters: Competing Influences in the Interlocking Directorate

Organization Science, 2010

Posted: 5 Aug 2009

See all articles by Brian L. Connelly

Brian L. Connelly

Auburn University

Jonathan L. Johnson

University of Arkansas - Sam M. Walton College of Business

Laszlo Tihanyi

Texas A&M University - Department of Management

Alan E. Ellstrand

California State University, Long Beach

Date Written: July 2009

Abstract

This study explores the competing influences of different types of board interlocks on diffusion of a strategic initiative among a population of firms. We examine a broad social network of interlocking directors in U.S. firms over a period of 17 years and consider the likelihood these firms will adopt a strategy of expansion into China. Results show that ties to adopters that unsuccessfully implement this strategy have a nearly equal and opposing influence on the likelihood of adoption as ties to those that successfully implement the strategy. Ties to those that do not implement the strategy also have a suppressive influence on the likelihood of adoption. Further, we examine a firm’s position in the core-periphery structure of the interlocking directorate, finding that ties to adopters closer to the network core positively affect the likelihood of adoption. We discuss the implications of our study for social network analysis, governance, and internationalization research.

Keywords: networks, adopters, China, interlocks, boards

Suggested Citation

Connelly, Brian L. and Johnson, Jonathan L. and Tihanyi, Laszlo and Ellstrand, Alan E., More than Adopters: Competing Influences in the Interlocking Directorate (July 2009). Organization Science, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1440488

Brian L. Connelly (Contact Author)

Auburn University ( email )

Auburn, AL 36849
United States
344-844-6515 (Phone)

Jonathan L. Johnson

University of Arkansas - Sam M. Walton College of Business ( email )

Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
501-575-6227 (Phone)
501-575-7687 (Fax)

Laszlo Tihanyi

Texas A&M University - Department of Management ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Alan E. Ellstrand

California State University, Long Beach ( email )

1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90064
United States
310-985-4557 (Phone)
310-985-4358 (Fax)

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