The ties that bind: social networks and boardroom appointments

Simpson, Helen (2013) The ties that bind: social networks and boardroom appointments. In: Research Seminar, 18/11/2013, Imperial College Business School, London.

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We examine whether social ties influence the careers of company executives. We analyse appointments to UK company boards, and exploit detailed data on executives’ educational backgrounds, boardroom experience and affiliations to elite clubs. We find that social connections, through membership of private members clubs and golf clubs seem to play a role in appointments. For example, being a member of the same golf club as a current director is associated with an increased probability of appointment. Professional connections made through the boardroom also appear to matter. Educational connections through attending the same Oxford or Cambridge college, play less of a role than social connections, although these may influence social club memberships. Our findings imply that less reliance on elite social networks in recruitment will be necessary to increase boardroom diversity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: social networks; executives
Subject(s): Taxation
Centre: Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 14:12
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:08

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