University of Twente Student Theses


Viewing corporate alumni programmes as communities of practice

Laufer, Joseph (2009) Viewing corporate alumni programmes as communities of practice.

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Abstract:Purpose This master thesis explores the area of corporate alumni programmes, and in particular how firms currently utilze and engage their alumni and how the communities of practice framework can be used to gain further insight into the group dynamic aspects of these programmes. Design/Methodology/Approach A two step approach was followed in this research where first a review of 222 corporate alumni programmes was undertaken in order to identify the range of prevailing attitudes, objectives and practices of firms in this area. The information gathered from this review was used to identify case study subjects of alumni programmes within four firms and four universities which were assessed individually and on a cross-case basis using the communities of practice framework. Findings The findings indicated that while fully developed corporate alumni programmes did not seem to be common among firms outside the traditional accounting, law, and consulting sectors, that individual practices related to alumni relations appeared to be wide spread among the review group. A comparison between the alumni programmes of universities and firms highlighted the differences in both their focus with regard to associated services and benefits, as well as the cohesiveness of their respective alumni as a group or community. Research Limitations/Implications The study included a review of corporate alumni programmes as well as an in-depth assessment of eight case studies from universities and firms. As exploratory research it can not be used for generalization purposes but instead serves as a base for identifying areas requiring additional investigation (i.e. evaluating the effectiveness of corporate alumni programme practices). Originality/Value This master thesis addresses a lack of research in the area of corporate alumni programmes by identifying the range of prevailing practices in this area, and proposing a basis for a classification system of these programmes using the communities of practice framework. Keywords Corporate alumni programmes, Communities of practice
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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