Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jean Kabongo, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Tianxia Yang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Mullarkey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Tarpey, D.B.A.


Director Selection, Inductive Network Analysis, Networks of Directors, Issue Mapping, Practice-Based Methodology


In an inductive network analysis research design, this dissertation seeks to understand the influence of the interlocking directorate networks on the selection of directors. Its intent is to understand both what the individual and organizational factors are and how those factors influence selection. A practice-inspired method was developed heavily influenced by my two decades within the United States Intelligence Community to create a common network structure to define an individual director’s relationship to a board in a given year. Then using manual approaches, I developed the networks of directors that form interlocking directorates from that network structure. I analyzed these networks through three different approaches using multiple self-created techniques to evaluate whether selection of directors was influenced by organizational or individual factors. The findings indicate that individual factors dominate over organizational ones by a factor of two to one. Structural network realities identifying these factors became generalizable indicators that could always be applied to networks on interlocking directorates using identical methodologies. The findings and the method demonstrate the utility of a manual network development and data analysis approach to network analysis without the need for statistical methods or the use of social network analysis to find meaning in networks. The factors can be grouped into five concepts that include bridge building, distance relevancy, network intent, network traits, and sub-network control. These concepts could lay the foundation for future theoretical foundations of network analysis within interlocking directorate research. Also found during the inductive approach was the structural network reality of nominator interlocks where boards are interlocked by a director who sits on the nominating committee of both boards. Those interlocks extend to several other companies creating a network of nominator interlocks that have strong potential to coopt the director selection process.