The Promise and Perils of Using Big Data in the Study of Corporate Networks: Problems, Diagnostics and Fixes

42 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016 Last revised: 2 Feb 2017

Eelke M. Heemskerk

University of Amsterdam / CORPNET

Kevin Young

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Frank Takes

University of Amsterdam

Bruce Cronin

University of Greenwich

Javier Garcia-Bernardo

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Vladimir Popov

University of Greenwich

W. Kindred Winecoff

Indiana University Bloomington

Lasse Folke Henriksen

Copenhagen Business School

Audrey Laurin-Lamothe

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Faculty of Social Sciences

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

Network data on connections among corporate actors and entities – for instance through co-ownership ties or elite social networks – is increasingly available to researchers interested in probing many important questions related to the study of modern capitalism. We discuss the promise and perils of using Big Corporate Network Data (BCND) given the analytical challenges associated with the nature of the subject matter, variable data quality, and other problems associated with currently available data at this scale. We propose a standard process for how researchers can deal with BCND problems. While acknowledging that different research questions require different approaches to data quality, we offer a schematic platform that researchers can follow to make informed and intelligent decisions about BCND issues and address these issues through a specific work-flow procedure. Within each step in this procedure, we provide a set of best practices for how to identify, resolve, and minimize BCND problems that arise.

Keywords: Corporate Networks, Big Data, Network Analysis, Data Quality, Diagnostics, Big Corporate Network Data

Suggested Citation

Heemskerk, Eelke M. and Young, Kevin and Takes, Frank and Cronin, Bruce and Garcia-Bernardo, Javier and Popov, Vladimir and Winecoff, W. Kindred and Henriksen, Lasse Folke and Laurin-Lamothe, Audrey, The Promise and Perils of Using Big Data in the Study of Corporate Networks: Problems, Diagnostics and Fixes (January 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2846761

Eelke M. Heemskerk (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam / CORPNET ( email )

PO BOX 15578
Amsterdam, 1001NB
Netherlands
+31 (0)20 525 2628 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eelkeheemskerk.nl

Kevin Young

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Department of Political Science
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Frank Takes

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Bruce Cronin

University of Greenwich ( email )

30 Park Row
Greenwich
London, SE10 9LS
United Kingdom

Javier Garcia-Bernardo

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) ( email )

Amsterdam Roeterseilandcampus
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018 WV
Netherlands

Vladimir Popov

University of Greenwich ( email )

30 Park Row
Greenwich
London, SE10 9LS
United Kingdom

William Kindred Winecoff

Indiana University Bloomington ( email )

100 South Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Lasse Folke Henriksen

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Audrey Laurin-Lamothe

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

Montreal
Canada

Paper statistics

Downloads
146
Rank
167,390
Abstract Views
607