The Internal Organisation of the Australian Corporate Elite: A 'small world' analysis

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Alexander, Malcolm
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2001
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University of Sydney

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This paper examines the network of personal contacts, created by interlocking directorates, among all board members of the Top 500 publicly listed Australian companies. In the past it has been difficulty to analyse such sparse networks, however recent advances in our understanding of the 'small world' phenomenon and the application of random graph theory to large networks provide new tools to measure the connectivity of large networks of this type. The paper analyses the 'small world' of Australian company directors in 1976 and 1996. We find that the size of the network increases significantly from 1976 to 1996 and that its connectivity increases also. We examine the most central persons in the network. We find that network centrality differs markedly when measured by average distance rather than degree (i.e. direct contacts) and we examine the network profiles of persons who rank highly on the different scores.

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TASA 2001 Conference. (CD-ROM)

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© The Author(s) 2001. The attached file is reproduced here with permission of the copyright owner(s) for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted. For information about this conference please refer to TASA website or contact the author(s).

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