Innovation and entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe

Innovation and entrepreneurship in Russia, ex-Soviet republics and Eastern Europe come under the spotlight for an interdisciplinary academic conference taking place at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in May. The Research Frontiers Conference from the Management and Organization Review will serve to explore new research directions for the social sciences underlying management and organisations, globalisation, and economic growth.

It’s the third such annual conference; the first two focused on China and India, whereas the conference at RSM on 17-19 May shifts focus eastwards, to transforming economies and the coevolution of SMEs and family firms in Eastern Europe.

Most scholars in this field consider environmental change as a variable with an external cause, and often use a single theme for describing how and why organizations tend to become more similar to each other regionally, nationally and globally through adaptation or selection. But questions about how organizations systematically influence their own environments and how global and national environments (meaning other firms and new competitors) influence them are less frequently examined.

The MOR Research Frontiers Conference will focus on how firms’ strategies, management practices, and their eco-systems affect, and are affected by, the factors shaping innovation, entrepreneurship and national competitiveness. The question put to the conference speakers and audience will be: ‘How do firms’ strategies and management practices co-evolve with and drive national competitiveness?’

“Studying coevolution is particularly important for SMEs and family firms as they often need to compete again established firms with better resources. The understanding of co-evolutionary processes in this context in Eastern European economies is surprisingly limited,” said Henk Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management and Business Policy and director of Knowledge Transfer at RSM, as well as Scientific Director of INSCOPE: Research for Innovation, a research consortium involving Erasmus University, Maastricht University, University of Twente and TNO. “This is a considerable blind spot in our understanding because emerging economies in this region provide a particularly fertile environment for innovation and economic growth; they are very dynamic, have high levels of entrepreneurship, and business ingenuity.”

Conference programme

The three-day programme includes six moderated panel sessions, poster presentations, evening dinners and networking opportunities.


To reserve a place, register as soon as possible by emailing with

  • Full name
  • University/institution
  • Address
  • Email
  • Telephone number

You will receive a personalised invoice and payment instructions. Tickets are € 295, or € 195 for doctoral students. For more information, contact Dr Oli Mihalache at


Programme Committee:

Prof. Henk W. Volberda, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Dr Oli R. Mihalache, VU University Amsterdam

Prof. Igor B. Gurkov, National Research University Higher School of Economics in Russia

Prof. Arie Y. Lewin, Duke University, North Carolina USA and Editor in Chief of MOR

Prof. Carl Fey, Aalto University, Finland and Chinese University of Hong Kong

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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