Six Degrees of … Warren Buffett?

Four Handshakes. America’s Corporate Boards are Separated by Just Four Handshakes, U-M Study Shows

Much like the Hollywood association game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, corporate America is an interlocking network of company board directorships separated by just a few handshakes, say researchers at the University of Michigan Business School. In a study of the connectedness of nearly 7,700 board directors at Fortune 1,000 companies, the U-M researchers found that each director, on average, can reach every other director through 4.6 intermediaries and that each board can contact every other board in 3.7 steps. “What our findings reveal is that at the apex of the corporate economy  is a group of highly influential people who often either know each other or have acquaintances in common,” said Gerald F. Davis, professor of organizational behavior and human resource management at the U-M Business School. “The Bush Cabinet, whose members have served on the boards of leading corporations, including Alcoa, Halliburton and   Reader’s Digest, is a good example of how these powerful connections can work in high places.” [Web Communities] [Ross Mayfield’s Weblog]