Torsdagsseminar: Relational capital: Do board networks exist and are they valuable?

Solveig Bjørkholt og Marina Rybalka, SSB
12 December 2019
11:45 - 12:45
Auditoriet, SSB, Akersveien 26


Relational capital: Do board networks exist and are they valuable?

We use network analysis tools on Norwegian register data and demonstrate that there indeed exists a network between enterprises, through boards forming interconnected nodes. Opposed to most of the previous studies our data contain information on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We find that the SMEs are highly network-forming and that this sub-group of enterprises forms a network with a very lumpy structure, i.e., having the tendency to form clusters.

We also examine how the board network evolves from our starting point in 2004 to 2017 and find that the network expands as the enterprise population increases. Both the number of boards and board members has increased where the former has increased faster, implying more boards per board member over time. At the individual level, we find that gender affects the density of networks, women having higher network density. However, this could possibly be an effect of women’s network being smaller than men’s network.

We present further an analysis of how R&D spending is related to an enterprise’s connectedness to the network. On the proviso that we do not know much about the mechanisms or the nature of causal relationships, we find that a high network connectedness has a positive impact on R&D spending. This correspondence is particularly strong among SMEs.

Our findings suggest that network participation may add value to enterprises through transmission of information to increased R&D effort, and that board networks may represent such a channel.














































Practical information

Servering av kaffe/te og boller fra 11:30