Business Networking : Innovation and Ideas in Theory and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Business Networking
Innovation and Ideas in Theory and Practice

ISBN 9780367460280
Published November 1, 2021 by Routledge
156 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The term ‘networking’ can mean very different things in different contexts: formal organisational structures, personal or career development, or a technique for increasing sales. This is an approachable book which brings together the basics of all these meanings, underpinned by an overview of multiple theoretical models that support the various approaches to networking.

Drawing on mainstream models in the fields of marketing, employability, innovation and organisational studies, Business Networking provides an integrated overview of the process and structure of networking across a range of contexts. Synthesising theory with practice, features include examples and viewpoints from a range of networking practitioners in each chapter, presented in their own words, as well as chapter summaries and reflective questions. Networking is considered a key skill for students, entrepreneurs and practitioners and, given the explosion of opportunities brought by the digital age for individuals and organisations to operate within a broad and global network, an introduction to maximising the benefits is timely.

This book should be recommended reading for a broad range of postgraduate courses, from relationship marketing and entrepreneurship skills to employability and degree apprenticeship programmes. It should also be useful for reflective practitioners looking to expand and utilise their networks effectively.

Table of Contents


1. Networking: Innovation and Ideas

2. The Ethics of Networking

3. Networking across Organisational Boundaries

4. Networking for Business Growth

5. Networking for Social Change

6. Networking and Personal Growth

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Catherine O’Sullivan has a long career history in workforce development. This includes supporting medical students at the University of Leeds to use networking skills as part of their career planning. Formerly, she ran a large NHS innovation network and has published in the areas of professional and continuing education, leadership and innovation. She is a co-author of Creative Arts Marketing, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2017).

Terry O’Sullivan is Senior Lecturer in Management at The Open University Business School. He was lead educator on the FutureLearn Massive Open Online Course Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking studied by tens of thousands of learners across the world, and is also a co-author of Creative Arts Marketing, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2017).


"This is the first text to bring together concepts, issues and cases about networking from a range of different contexts. There are practical insights here for students and managers who want to understand and apply the networking tools in a variety of different settings."

Haider Ali, Lecturer at the Open University