Enhancing innovation in business firms and public organizations is central for the economy and society. Innovation management contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of innovation activities. Innovation management concerns the management and organization of the generation, development and commercialization or implementation of new products, new services, new business models, and/or new knowledge by the firm. The Erasmus Center for Innovation (ECI) is a dedicated group of leading academic researchers performing theoretical and applied research in the broad field of innovation management. We focus both on business and social innovation and on innovation of relevance for the public and health care sector.

  • Disciplinary areas: The center involves scholars approaching innovation from an organizational, OB, network, strategic and technological/operational perspective.
  • Innovation phases: The research focus of the center includes the front end of innovation (idea management), innovation project control, innovation leadership and networks, design-driven innovation, system innovation, sustainable innovation and open innovation.
  • Sectors: The activities of the center are not limited to the business sector, but also approach research on public, health care and social innovation.

Overview of the main research topics

Idea management

We study how companies deal with suggestion systems and the management of internal ideas, as well as how solutions are crowdsourced in the market. How do networks between employees affect the successful generation of ideas? What do employees learn from earlier ideas? And how much motivation for innovation comes from outside influences? How ideas are selected and evaluated?

Relevant faculty members include: Prof. Jan van den Ende, Dr Dirk Deichmann, Prof. Dr Daan Stam, Dr Stefano Tasselli, Dr Juan Pablo Madiedo
Relevant PhD students include: Davide Bavato, MSc, Ivo Esseveld, MSc

Strategy of innovation

We study the management of innovation processes. To what extent should innovation be controlled? What types of controls are needed? Are there controls on outcomes, processes or on the relationships between managers and the people involved? How does this work when firms collaborate on innovation projects? We also study how organizations can better manage their innovation process to foster these disruptive innovations. The area is also interested in the development of artificial intelligence.

Relevant faculty members include: Prof. Jan van den Ende,  Dr Helge Klapper, Dr Murat Tarakci, Birgul Asrlan, Koen Dittrich, Diana den Held, Helge Klapper, Dr Timo van Balen
PhD students include: Davide Bavato, MSc, Jun Xiao, MSc

Organization of innovation

We study how organizations manage internally their innovation processes. Our focus is mainly on leadership and social networks. The internal political arena of companies is where innovation often takes place. We study ways for project leaders to best communicate their ideas and vision for their innovation, so their ideas can win attention and funding. We also explore how social network ties and actors’ positions in a network constrain and facilitate outcomes of importance to individuals, groups, and organizations, including idea generation, implementation, and diffusion

Relevant faculty members include: Prof. Dr Daan Stam, Dr Stefano Tasselli, Dr Dirk Deichmann
Relevant PhD students include: Davide Bavato, Qi Zhang


Successful innovation needs common standards to provide interoperability between products and services. We investigate how firms can collaborate to create such standards. Using integrative research projects, we investigate how these processes apply if firms want to create sustainable innovations and how these processes apply in creative industries such as media and design.

Relevant faculty members include: Dr Henk de Vries
Relevant PhD students include: Paul Wiegmann, MSc, Fouad El Osrouti