Professor Brookfield Explores "The Network Structure of Big Business in Taiwan"

Asia Pacific Journal of Management

This paper takes a network approach to understanding ownership patterns and director interlocks in Taiwan. In particular, this paper analyzes ties among Taiwan’s top 200 publicly listed companies in 1990 and 2000. The speed of change in Taiwan’s economic organization during the period has been striking. Not only have the identities of many of Taiwan’s largest firms changed, there seems to have been a substantial pruning and thinning of director ties over time and also a substantial transformation of the ownership network. What continuity remains appears to be largely a consequence of business group membership, and the strength of those ties appears to be considerable. Overall, this research finds that Taiwan’s financial sector has been quite central to the island’s big business network, that business groups are an extremely important category for understanding patterns of ownership ties, and that most director interlocks in Taiwan appear to cross industry boundaries rather than occur within them.