Advancing Research on Innovation Management


Innovation Management studies how organizations bring innovations to life successfully. A successful innovation involves all actions needed to generate creative ideas and to turn these into attractive new products, services, and business models. The Innovation Management group at RSM is a team composed of several ambitious international faculty whose research focuses on idea management, leadership in innovation, control of innovation projects, standardization, collaborative innovation, and innovation strategies. We also execute large research projects in collaboration with leading organizations on sustainable innovation, horticulture innovation, and creative industries. Our research is often empirical, both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied. As a PhD candidate in our section, you can choose to join one or more of the projects described below or elaborate your own project. Supervisors may even vary per research project.


Innovation, Creativity, Idea management, Co-creation, Project management, Complex systems, Leadership, Strategy, Sustainability, Diversity


Collaborative innovation: Innovation has become imperative for organizations and societies at large. Increasing pace of technological and market change forces organizations to collaborate in order to share risks and resources. In addition, the grand challenges of our time require solutions that are well beyond the limits of a single organization. But interorganziational collaboration has its own disadvantages such as cooperation and coordination problems. What are the conditions for interorganizational collaboration to succeed?

Do not hesitate to contact Birgül Arslan for information:

Idea management:  The successful management of ideas has become a strategic organizational capability and a source of competitive advantage. Many companies have set up idea management programs and incentives to facilitate the generation, development, and implementation of new product, service, process, and business model ideas. However, out of a pool of submitted ideas, typically only a few will be adopted and brought successfully to the market. How can firms effectively collect ideas from employees or other stakeholders over time, how can they identify and select the best ideas, and how can they channel these ideas into successful innovations?

Do not hesitate to contact Dirk Deichmann for further information:

Innovation & diversity: More and more organizations are diversifying their employee base to stimulate innovation. Diverse groups have members with different, unique knowledge, and by combining and integrating these different perspectives, diverse groups have the potential to come up with more creative and innovative ideas. However, diverse teams may be less effective at implementing these ideas due to biases against their ideas, coordination problems, and not having the right networks. How can diverse teams become more effective innovation teams?

Do not hesitate to contact Jasmien Khattab for information: 

Leadership in innovation: The internal political arena of companies is where innovation often takes place. In such a noisy arena, the project leaders who shout loudest get first access to funding. We study ways for project leaders to best communicate their ideas and vision for their innovation, so their ideas can win attention and funding.

Do not hesitate to contact Daan Stam or Juan Pablo Madiedo for further information: or

Disruptive innovation: Innovations that create new markets for themselves or change the preferences of customers in existing markets are called ‘disruptive’. They have allowed firms of all sizes and at all stages of maturity to enter into new markets and quickly conquer them. We study how organizations can better manage their innovation process to foster these disruptive innovations. We also explore ‘frugal’ innovations which focus on consumer needs in emerging economies.

Do not hesitate to contact Murat Tarakci for more information:

Micro-foundations of innovation networks: Recent research has shown that innovation does not “happen” in isolation; it occurs within a relational context in which single individuals and firms collaborate and compete with other actors in broader networks of social interactions. Despite this earlier research, important questions still have to be explored: To what extent do individual people with their idiosyncrasies (demographic features, psychology, and cognition) contribute to construct and shape innovation through the intra-organizational social networks in which they are embedded? What is the role of subunit, firm or industry-level characteristics in affecting the formation and the functioning of innovation networks?

Do not hesitate to contact Stefano Tasselli for information:

Standardisation: Mankind faces challenges such as poverty, reduction of biodiversity, climate change and lack of housing, and these are interrelated. Responsible innovation can provide solutions and standards are needed to provide criteria, examples of solutions, and test methods. This project focuses on developing sets of standards in a multi-stakeholder setting in a systematic way, to complement the efforts of governments, industry and NGOs. We co-operate with standardisation organisations at the national and international level.

Do not hesitate to contact Henk de Vries for information:


Quantitative/qualitative/experimental empirical research methods can be employed (depending on the studied research questions).

Required profile

Candidates applying for a PhD position within this research theme should have a background in business or management studies, sociology, economics, psychology, engineering, or other related fields. We are looking for candidates with very strong analytical and verbal abilities. Candidates with interest in quantitative, qualitative, or experimental research are welcome. The research group shares methodological rigor with a strong attention to theory development in combination with relevance for business and society. Candidates preferably have proven expertise and interest in statistical, experimental and/or computational skills, and should be eager to learn new methodological tools. Candidates that can strengthen the diversity of our community are especially encouraged and welcome to apply.

Required by ERIM

All application documents required by ERIM can be found here:

Below are the test scores required by ERIM:

- GMAT/GRE scores above the 85th percentile, not older than 5 years

- IELTS/TOEFL test scores, not older than 2 years:

  IELTS: minimum overall band score 7.5; no band score lower than 6.5

  Internet-based TOEFL: minimum total score 100, no sub-score lower than 23

  Paper-based TOEFL: minimum score 600

Expected output

The project output is publication of papers in top tier management journals in innovation, general management, organization, strategy or operations management. These top tier journals are listed on the ERIM’s webpage ( as “STAR” journals.


The Innovation Management group at RSM consists of young and ambitious international faculty who publish in the very top management journals, in collaboration with several renowned international scholars and industry partners. The group has published in leading management journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Operations Management, Research Policy, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and Journal of Product Innovation Management as well as in leading psychological journals of relevance for business such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Annual Review of Psychology and Psychological Science.

The Innovation Management group has strong connections with innovation management academics in pioneering universities. As a testimony to that, our PhDs conducted research visits at for instance NYU Stern, University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota, and Yonsei University in the past.

In its teaching the group links state-of-the-art management theories with business practice. We also develop training modules for executives concerning business model innovation and new business development. Some organizations that we closely collaborate with for teaching and research include DSM, Dutch Design Foundation, LEGO, Microsoft, Philips, Renault, Unilever, European Commission, and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Societal relevance

Innovation is of utmost importance for the performance of firms and economies. Corporate and political leaders consider innovation to be core to the competitive advantage. To achieve these results, the proper management of innovation is therefore essential: creativity should be enhanced, new products and services should be brought to the market quickly and effectively, and increasingly the use of new business models serves as a platform to achieve desired results. In our group, each project’s objective is to produce valuable guidelines for executives to increase the innovativeness of their organizations, improve performance and gain competitive advantage.

Scientific relevance

All projects aim at advancing our understanding of important aspects of innovation management and to contribute to academic literature. Targeted contributions of each project listed above can be retrieved from the specified contact person.

Employment conditions

ERIM offers fully-funded and salaried PhD positions, which means that accepted PhD candidates become employees (promovendi) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO).

Contact Information

For questions regarding the PhD application and selection procedure, please check the Admissions or send us an e-mail via

Erasmus Research Institute of Management

ERIM is the research institute of management at Erasmus University Rotterdam, founded by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), both of which excel in their research and teaching programmes. The level and international character of their research and teaching programmes has put both schools at the forefront of academic excellence. They offer a diversified portfolio of accredited teaching and research programmes, ranging from pre-experience MSc to postgraduate Masters and executive development, and from fundamental research to applied research and business support, which are renowned throughout the world. RSM is one of the few schools worldwide that holds a triple accreditation from the AMBAs, EQUIS and the AASCB, and is positioned among the top European business schools. The scientific staff of both schools plays a major role in the schools’ interaction with the international business community.

ERIM distinguishes itself by the high-level and international character of its research and has repeatedly been ranked among top 3 research institutes in Europe. ERIM’s key aims are top-quality academic research with impact both on academia and managerial practice, and the advancement of international academic careers and high-level support for both research and doctoral education. For more information about ERIM please visit [link:].