What universities can learn from corporate alumni programs

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This presentation was delivered at the first day of the Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference which took place in the Hague on November 5, 2009.

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What universities can learn from corporate alumni programs

  1. 1. CORPORATE ALUMNI PROGRAMMES WHAT UNIVERSITIES CAN LEARN FROM THE BUSINESS EXPERIENCE Joe Laufer Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference November 5 th , 2009
  2. 2. <ul><li>How was the research conducted? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some of the key findings? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this research relevant to us? </li></ul><ul><li>Proposing a new framework for alumni relations </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul><ul><li>PRESENTATION OVERVIEW </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15
  3. 3. <ul><li>Review of firms and their alumni relations practices </li></ul><ul><li>DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 <ul><li>Identify an appropriate theoretical framework </li></ul><ul><li>Analyse a selection of university alumni programmes </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Hype vs. Reality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>33 out of 222 firms had formal alumni programmes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH FINDINGS </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 <ul><li>Observed programmes focused on specific objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>recruiting, business development, flexwork, knowledge management, brand value, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>CORPORATE ALUMNI PROGRAMMES - EXAMPLES </li></ul><ul><li>SHELL – KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (KM) </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15
  6. 6. <ul><li>CORPORATE ALUMNI PROGRAMMES - EXAMPLES </li></ul><ul><li>HSBC – RECRUITMENT </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15
  7. 7. <ul><li>CORPORATE ALUMNI PROGRAMMES - EXAMPLES </li></ul><ul><li>BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP (BCG) – BRAND VALUE </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15
  8. 8. <ul><li>Hype vs Reality </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>33 out of 222 firms had formal alumni programmes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Observed programmes focused on specific objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>recruiting, business development, flexwork, knowledge management, brand value, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH FINDINGS </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 <ul><li>The tip of the iceberg phenomenon </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15% of the firms had official alumni programmes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>67% had some type of unofficial alumni activity </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>THE ALUMNI PROGRAMME 1.0 TRIANGLE </li></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH RELEVANCE </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 Resources Information Capacity Legitimacy University Alumni Audience
  10. 10. <ul><li>RESEARCH RELEVANCE </li></ul><ul><li>THE ALUMNI PROGRAMME 2.0 TRIANGLE </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 Resources Information Capacity Legitimacy University Alumni Audience Owners
  11. 11. <ul><li>A situated learning theory based on observations from apprentice type programmes </li></ul><ul><li>INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE (WENGER, 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>NEW FRAMEWORK FOR ALUMNI RELATIONS </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 <ul><li>Adopted as a common business practice by large firms for sharing knowledge across units </li></ul><ul><li>View organizations as constellations of communities </li></ul><ul><li>Groups are ubiquitous and have always existed </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE </li></ul><ul><li>ASSESSING ALUMNI GROUPS AS COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of communities of practice: </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 <ul><ul><li>Practice : the development over time of a shared repertoire by members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community : joint activities of members where information is shared and relationships are established </li></ul></ul>(Wenger, 2002) <ul><ul><li>Domain : relevant expertise shared by a group and not posessed by others </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE </li></ul><ul><li>DESIGN ELEMENTS FOR ALUMNI GROUPS </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 Events Connectivity Leadership Membership Projects Artifacts (Wenger, 2002)
  14. 14. <ul><li>Alumni programme components should be appropriate to specific characterstics and needs of groups and members </li></ul><ul><li>SOME FINAL OBSERVATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>IN CONCLUSION </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference /15 <ul><li>Alumni programmes should strive to help their alumni networks evolve into communities </li></ul><ul><li>“ Grassroot” type alumni initiatives and activities should be encouraged and supported by alumni programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Some level of interconnectivity between an alumni group and other networks (students, faculty, professionals) can contribute significantly to its development </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>email: joe.laufer@gmail.com </li></ul><ul><li>THANK YOU! </li></ul>Corporate Alumni Programmes – Nuffic Holland Alumni Conference

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