– interlocking boards is an online tool where you can map and visualize board interlocks.  You can look up specific people or simply play around and click to see various interlocks.  Or just use the “auto”-mode and watch.   I don’t know how up-to-date the site is, but it is definitely fun/interesting to play around with.


Of course, there is a long history of research on board interlocks.


Written by teppo

August 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

10 Responses

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  1. One has to wonder what use the competition authorities make of this site, if any:

    “Section 8 of the Clayton Act prohibits any “person” from simultaneously serving as an officer or director of two competing corporations of a certain size. The Act does not apply where the competitive overlap between the companies is de minimis. As explained by one court, the purpose of Section 8 “was to nip in the bud incipient violations of the antitrust laws by removing the opportunity or temptation to such violations through interlocking directorates.”

    Click to access 090911roschspeechunivhongkong.pdf


    Michael F. Martin

    August 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm

  2. It is a matter of how competition is defined and whether the law is actually enforced. which it rarely is. there were recent questions about google and apple ties. They rule is dedinitely neat, but not up to date. my presentation at asa–if i get there–will deal with interlocks between nonprofits, businesses and fed advisory committees in 2006 if anyone interested. though have been grounded in albany, ny since 10 am. hopefully it will work out tonight and tomorrow for me. been looking forward to meetings.


    scott dolan

    August 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

  3. The site is sorta addicting. You can also add various institutions into the mix – Brookings, AEI, Center for American Progress, Rand, etc.



    August 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm

  4. all in my daya set too


    scott dolan

    August 20, 2011 at 1:25 am

  5. Of course, there is a long history of research on board interlocks.

    This is something I’ve been wondering about (as a non-sociologist). In doing some research on the muckrakers, I’ve come across a fair amount of journalism/reform-minded writing from the early 20th century that focuses on outlining, sometimes in great detail and with diagrams,* the interlocking members of various trusts. Does the academic literature on interlocking boards go back that far (pre-1915)?

    *This also came up in government investigations. For a couple of cool charts, see exhibits 243 and 244 linked at the bottom of this page of documents from the Pujo investigation of 1912-1913.



    August 21, 2011 at 12:40 am

  6. […] – interlocking boards – […]


  7. Goes back to G. William Domhoff and C. Wright Mills… and (hey) Karl Marx… Nothing new, though the fact is that the map is huge: finite, but huge. The real question is: “What about you?”

    This is from the “Community Service” subhead of my curriculum vitae:

    University of Michigan (Flint), May 6, 2011, “Super Science Friday” presentation “CSI: Flint – Who Guards the Guardians” for area middle school science students misconduct and fraud in scientific research including junk science in the courtroom.
    Washtenaw Cyber Citizens Coalition (Ann Arbor). February 2011-present. Serving on Law Enforcement Working Group to bring awareness of and solutions for exposure to victimization caused by misuse and abuse of computers.
    University of Michigan (Flint), May 14, 2009, “Super Science Friday” presentation “CSI: Flint” for area middle school science students introducing blood grouping and fingerprinting.
    Washtenaw County/City of Ann Arbor Community Corrections Citizens Advisory Board (2005 to 2008). Appointed by county board of commissioners to serve with judges, prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, defense counsel, and rehabilitation services, as representative of communications media in oversight of community corrections.
    Michigan State Numismatic Society (2003-2005). Elected by general membership to serve on board of directors for 501(c)7 tax-paying not-for-profit organization. Planned semi-annual conventions, reviewed financial reports and budgets, community involvements and educational outreach, membership support and maintenance.
    Traverse City “Bay Bucks” Committee (2002-2003). Managed subcommittee of artists and designers for the creation of a local currency serving businesses, entrepreneurs and skilled crafts providers.
    American Numismatic Association (2000-2004). Chosen by successive presidents to serve on “Future of the Hobby” committees.
    White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services, July 9-13, 1991, Washington, DC.

    So, do you really care that the White House Conference on Libraries is connected to the the Michigan State Numismatic Society? Then, why do you care about these other connections among the so-called “ruling class.” I say, “so-called” because they really only have the power over you that you give them. These are just very busy people, working very hard at their level, doing what they do best.


    Michael E. Marotta

    August 22, 2011 at 2:21 am

  8. The Pujo Hearings, and their exposure of the “community of interest” among Morgan and others that controlled finance, were the primary impetus for the Federal Reserve Act. About a year ago I remember hearing a con law prof. and economist complain about the unprecedented concentration of political power in the Fed, and its loss of neutrality now that it has more than its own notes on the balance sheet.

    But are we not still better off now than when J.P. Morgan alone called all the shots? Well maybe J.P. Morgan himself is the exception that makes the rule.


    Michael F. Martin

    August 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  9. @Michael Marotta: I agree that it’s easy to get carried away with “networks” comprised of nothing more than joint affiliations, which may be meaningless in practice. (Apparently, the University of Michigan has almost a half-million living alumni, including me — but this shared affiliation does not mean that I am on intimate terms with all of them.) On the other hand, board members meet face to face in small groups of 7-12 on a regular basis (8 or more times per year, in general), and they are jointly liable under the law. They may not all be close friends, but they are almost certainly on a first name basis, and would return each others’ phone calls. The fact that the vast majority of them are friends-of-friends (i.e., have “friends” in common, or at least friends-of-friends), is not evidence of conspiracy, but is certainly intriguing.
    I had a paper on this topic a few years back that documented the “small world” aspect of the corporate elite and reviewed findings suggesting that it might actually matter now and then:



    August 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm

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