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The Interfirm Collaboration Through Boards of Directors: The Evidence from Network Analysis

Student: Alexandra Konibolotskaya

Supervisor: Elena Shakina

Faculty: St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Educational Programme: Management and Analytics for Business (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The importance of the research is revealed through such phenomena as an interlocking directorate when directors serve on several boards at the same time and have power over several companies, which leads to different corporate, social, economic, financial impacts. The paper is unique due to overview of a set of 10 corporate governance theories, Russian context, analysis of both financial and corporate variables of firms, covering the current trends, such as the presence of females, independent directors, the average age of directors, the board size and others. The main purpose of this paper is to examine a general board interlocking effect on the financial performance of 211 TOP Russian companies based on the market capitalization ranking. We gathered data from companies’ official websites, annual reports, Refinitiv Database. The network measures are independent variables, and company financial performance metrics are dependent variables. We used SPSS for descriptive statistics, regression analysis, and Gephi for network analysis. We examine three hypotheses whether the general board interlocking effect on company performance is positive, negative, or neutral. The first hypothesis is mostly supported by our regression and network analysis results that also match the best practices. The main findings suggest that the more central are board directors in the whole network and the more links those companies have the better economic situation and financial indicators the companies have. The network analysis shows that Novak Alexander serves on 6 boards, Viugin Oleg, Sechin Igor, Shurov Boris, Evseenkova Elena, and Afanasieva Sofia serve on 5 boards, etc. Indicated companies have strong links with each other and are governmental companies, mainly in energetic and metal sectors of the Russian economy. Keywords: Boards of directors, financial performance, Russia, quantitative research, network analysis

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