We introduce a novel concept of network interactions in which board connections provide access to external spheres of political influence, state ownership, and family control. We posit this form of indirect access via board association enables connected firms to benefit from information privy to external networks while avoiding their resource-based costs of membership. Board network data are assembled for 1290 East Asian firms and linked to hand-collected data on political connections and corporate ownership around the 2008–09 crisis. Companies with board connections to state-owned firms and family business groups had greater crisis-period accounting performance and stock returns. In countries with weak institutional development, board connections to politically connected firms were also beneficial.
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- Board networks
- Corporate ownership
- Firm performance
- Political connections