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New FIW Working Paper published

We are happy to present Working Paper No. 16, a text on Transformative foundations: Elements of a sociological theory of organized philanthropic giving by Pascal Goeke & Evelyn Moser. You can download the working paper as PDF.

The 16th FIW Working Paper has been published in July: "Transformative foundations: Elements of a
sociological theory of organized philanthropic giving"
 by Pascal Goeke & Evelyn Moser, Universität Bonn and Forum Internationale Wissenschaft.

The FIW Working Paper are reviewed papers based on current research projects at FIW. You can download them here.



Within the last two decades, philanthropic foundations have grown in number and wealth. Moreover, an increasing number of them have adopted transformative agendas. These shifts have been investigated in case studies, supported by consulting literature, praised, and criticized. Organization theory alone has remained surprisingly quiet. Therefore, the paper outlines a sociological organization theory of foundations that is particularly attentive to the contradictions and challenges of transformative philanthropy. By reviewing the literature, illustrating current developments, and combining Mauss’ theory of the gift with key concepts from organization theory (mainly resource dependence and legitimacy), foundations will be posited as relatively resource independent organizations that must, for the purpose of goal attainment, organize legitimacy in at least three dimensions: in relation to the initial gift, with regard to their position within democratic societies, and with respect to the societal impact that shall be triggered by means of the gift.





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