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A social network analysis of interlocking directorates in the accommodation sector

Rodolfo Baggio (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)
Andrea Guizzardi (Department of Statistical Science and CAST, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Marcello Mariani (Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK and University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 1 December 2022




By adopting network analytic techniques, this paper aims to examine interlocking directorates among firms operating in the hospitality services sector in seven major Italian tourism destinations.


The authors collected information for all the hotel corporations whose headquarters are located in the seven top Italian destinations: Florence, Milan, Naples, Rimini, Rome, Turin and Venice. Data come from the Analisi Informatizzata delle Aziende Italiane database by Bureau Van Dijk and were used to build a network where the nodes are board members (people) and corporations (hotels) and the links represent the membership of individuals in the boards. From this, with a one-mode projection, the authors obtain two networks: people and corporations. The overall networks’ structures are analysed by assessing their connectivity characteristics.


The findings indicate a relatively low number of interlocks that signals a high degree of fragmentation, showing that the interconnections (both within and between destinations) are scarce. This suggests that in absence of formalized cooperation arrangements, corporations might collaborate informally.

Research limitations/implications

This work extends previous research on complexity in business settings, focusing specifically on service companies whose output depends on multiple interactions and helps clarifying coopetition practices of hospitality service firms. Policymaking perspectives are discussed as well as managerial viewpoints.


Not many studies of the interlocking directorates in the hospitality domain exist. This paper uses network analysis for a better understanding of the cooperative practices and the formal social structures of the Italian hospitality industry and derives a series of implications important for both researchers and practitioners while also looking at potential future studies.



The authors wish to thank Piero Beritelli for the discussion and his suggestions to improve this paper.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Statement: All co-authors contributed equally to the manuscript.


Baggio, R., Guizzardi, A. and Mariani, M. (2022), "A social network analysis of interlocking directorates in the accommodation sector", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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