The purpose of the present article is to explore and investigate on the nature of the web of relations of the main Italian banks, on the basis of the evolution of the career paths of their relative members of the Board of Directors. The practical implications of the study is associated with the fact that there is a stronger attention by the national and international financial authorities, such as the European Central Bank (ECB) and the National Competent Authorities (NCAs), about the governance in the banks and the theoretical background and practical abilities of the senior management to assume a specific role in a financial institution. That condition determines a situation in which a member of the board of a European bank tends to have previous job experiences from other financial institutions, which can be used as informal liaisons to gathering information and disseminate knowledge, thus shaping the whole banking infrastructure. For that reason, due to the significant consequences of that bond of relations in shaping the entire financial system, the subject of the research consists in trying to measure the Economic Intelligence aptitudes of the most significant Italian banks, which derives from personal relationships constructed and developed by the senior management of the financial intermediaries in their previous job experiences. The novelty of the present article consists in conducting an Economic Intelligence analysis within the Italian banking system. Methodology. By calculating the main centrality indexes (among those offered by the Social Network Analysis discipline) related to each Italian bank within the global banking network constructed on the basis of personal relationships among the relative members of the Board of Directors, it is possible to measure a financial institution’s inclination to have a sort of “influence” in the system, and in the process, to adopt a potential sound and proper Economic Intelligence strategy. The basic result of the paper highlights that, notwithstanding the dimension of a financial institution in the network, a bank could be characterized by significant centrality indexes in a web of social relations, thus having the potential capability to have a certain influence and impact within the entire banking network. In other words, the size of the bank, expressed for example as number of branches, total assets or number of employees, is not the only element to express the capacity of a bank to play a pivotal role in the financial system.
How to Cite
economic intelligence, banking, social network analysis, financial system, strategy, governance
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