PhD defence of Elio Keko on 7 September 2017

On Thursday 7 September Elio Keko will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Essays on Innovation Generation in Incumbent Firms'. Supervisor is Professor Stefan Stremersch (Erasmus School of Economics) and co-supervisors is Dr Nuno Camacho. Other members of the committee are: Professor Benedict Dellaert (Erasmus School of Economics), Professor Patrick Van Kenhove (University of Ghent), Professor Stefan Wuyts (Koç University), Dr Ivan Guitart (Grenoble School of Management) and Dr Yvonne van Everdingen (Rotterdam School of Management).

About Elio Keko

Elio was born in Tirana (Albania) on December 4th 1988. He obtained his bachelor degree in International Business and Business Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam. He then completed his Master’s degree in Economics and Business, majoring in Marketing, also at the Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and continued with his Ph.D. at the marketing department of Erasmus School of Economics. During his Ph.D. Elio taught Marketing Strategy at the Master’s level for four years, published several case studies with IESE Business School Publishing and a book chapter in the ‘Handbook of Research on New Product Development (edited by Peter Golder and Debanjan Mitra),  Edward Elgar, 2017’. In March 2017, Elio joined MTI2 (The Marketing, Technology and Innovation Institute), a consulting firm specializing in innovation and marketing, as an Associate.

Thesis Abstract

This dissertation aims to enhance our understanding of how incumbent firms organize innovation in response to the challenges and opportunities they face. The first paper focuses on understanding all components of the complex innovation ecosystem. In this chapter we synthesize the literature on innovation and provide a critical review of the field. The second paper centres on how firms can succeed in grassroots innovation, thereby harnessing the knowledge and skills of their entire employee base. In this chapter we take an in-depth look at grassroots innovation and its success determinants. The third paper looks at how the inevitable resistance to change affects innovation performance, and how resistance can be turned into a strength. We further explain the relationship between resistance to change and innovation performance by studying the mediating effect of the reaction of concerned employees.

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 15.30 hrs.

More information

For more information about this ceremony, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of the Erasmus School of Economics phone +31 10 408 1762 or by e-mail:

Elio’s PhD research project is conducted within the Erasmus Doctoral Programme organised by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), the joint research institute of Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

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