PhD defence of Kellie Liket on Friday 11 April 2014

Promotie Kellie Liket op vrijdag 11 april 2014

On Friday 11 April 2014 Kellie Liket will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'Why ‘Doing Good’ is Not Good Enough. Essays on Social Impact Measurement’. Supervisor is Professor Harry Commandeur (Erasmus School of Economics) and co-supervisor is Dr. Karen Maas. Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Professor Lucas Meijs (Rotterdam School of Management), Professor Pursey Heugens (Rotterdam School of Management) and Professor Ruerd Ruben (Faculty of Social Sciences - Radboud University Nijmegen).

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam (Campus Woudestein) and will start at 13.30 hrs.

Abstract 'Why ‘Doing Good’ is Not Good Enough. Essays on Social Impact Measurement'

We are facing a paradox of ‘doing good’. There is a clear role for philanthropic and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts to play in addressing the social problems that our world faces today.

However, evidence seems to suggest that this ‘doing good’ is not effectively solving these social problems. ‘Doing good’ is thus often not good enough. The objectives of this doctoral thesis are to contribute to denuding this paradox of ‘doing good’, and to provide concrete suggestions on how this ‘doing good’ can be done better. A multilevel perspective is taken to identify three main causes for the paradox: 1) goal incongruence between the private sector, government, and the philanthropic sector, 2) a lack of results (impact) measurement at the organizational level, and 3) information asymmetry in the market of ‘doing good’ between donors, investors and operating organizations such as nonprofits and social enterprises. On the basis of the insights provided within this thesis a strategic impact framework is developed. This REFLEct framework is comprised of five elements: Relevance, Ethics, Fit, Legitimacy and Effectiveness. With this framework, organizations striving to 'do good' can develop a strategy and manage their activities in a way to more effectively solve social problems, and hence achieve more positive social impact.

About Kellie Liket

Kellie Liket received her BA from University College Utrecht. She completed a MSc in Business Psychology and a MSc in Development Economics at the London School of Economics in the UK. She completed her PhD at Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Kellie’s research focuses on the role of impact measurement in strategic decision making in for-profit, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Her work has been published in various academic journals, including the Journal of Business Ethics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and the American Journal of Evaluation.

Her aim is to advance the ability of managers and policy makers in corporations, governments, financial institutions and philanthropic organizations to use the results from impact evaluations to perform (cost-effectiveness) analyses that allow them to make their decisions strategically. Currently she is interested in the role of impact evaluation in new forms of financing social change, including Impact Investing and Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

More information

Liket's PhD research project is conducted within the Erasmus Doctoral Programme organized 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).

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:

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