The Boarding pass: Pathways to corporate networks in early twentieth-century Australia

Claire E. F. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Networks are an enduring feature of Australian economic life. Connections between firms and individuals have long provided access to new knowledge and resources, while also maintaining the wealth and interests of a small group. This article examines the network of board members of large Australian corporations in the 1910s. Social network analysis is used to identify the structure of the network, and prosopography is used to understand the characteristics of the group and the possible pathways through which interlocking directorates developed. The evidence reveals a heavily interlocked business sector in Australia in the 1910s. Multiple directorships were the result of professional skills, prior business experience, kinship, marriage, class, gender and empire. By combining a range of sources, this approach integrates different types of Australian history. It reimagines the Australian economy by revealing that power was relational, and that the economic sphere was a stratified and interdependent space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-462
Number of pages22
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


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