Loughborough University
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From ‘shadowy cabal’ to new profession: networks of cooperation and competition in UK Higher Education fundraising

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-06-10, 10:18 authored by Adam WarrenAdam Warren, Michael HoylerMichael Hoyler, Morag Bell
Recent UK government policy initiatives have encouraged universities to seek funding from philanthropic sources. Yet, there has been little investigation into the work of the emergent Higher Education professionals expected to deliver this additional income. In this paper, we consider the role of professional networks in facilitating knowledge exchange amongst university fundraisers. Through interviews with senior UK philanthropy professionals in the 1960s universities, we identify significant variations amongst professional networks and peer groups. We argue that professional networks are multi-layered and often exclusionary. Yet, among participants, these associations provide both open spaces of learning and a means of achieving competitive advantage. Moreover, the networks permit university philanthropy professionals to develop new distinctive identities, transcending the institutional and locational setting of their employing organisations. This paper advances theoretical debates on the complexities of knowledge exchange across spatial scales and the role of these networks in the establishment of a new profession.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy


WARREN, A.P., HOYLER, M. and BELL, M., 2016. From ‘shadowy cabal’ to new profession: networks of cooperation and competition in UK Higher Education fundraising. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34 (5), pp. 837-854.


© SAGE Publications Ltd


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0263774X15614681.




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