Mark Greeven

Mark Greeven
There is a growing consensus that the ecosystem structure used so successfully in China represents the future for many organizations around the world that are seeking to reduce complexity and spark collaboration.
Mark Greeven

Mark Greeven draws on a decade of experience in research, teaching and consulting in China to explore how to organize innovation in a turbulent world. He was named on the prestigious Thinkers50 Radar list of 30 Next Generation Business Thinkers in 2017.

Greeven has collaborated with innovative Chinese companies (such as Ping An, Alibaba, Pinduoduo, Haier) and entrepreneurial multinationals (including Bayer, Evonik, Johnson & Johnson, Daimler, Nestlé, Richemont, Swiss Re) to explore novel ways of organizing, accelerating corporate innovation, enabling digital business transformation and designing business ecosystems to thrive on uncertainty. He is a fluent Chinese speaker.

He is the author of three books in this field.

His 2018 work Business Ecosystems in China: Alibaba and Competing Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and LeEco, which has a cover endorsement by renowned venture capital investor Tim Draper, explores the application of a business ecosystem approach in the Chinese context, and offers insights and practical lessons on leading, creating and disrupting markets for corporate executives and professionals in global business.

This was followed in 2019 by Pioneers, Hidden Champions, Change Makers and Underdogs: Lessons from China’s Innovators, which provides an insider’s view of China’s under-the-radar, globally competitive innovators. The book has a cover testimonial from Henry Chesbrough, Adjunct Professor at University of California, Berkeley.

Most recently, his 2021 book The Future of Global Retail decodes China’s retail revolution to help global retail and innovation executives understand its implications for the rest of the world. The publication, co-authored with Winter Nie, Yunfei Fang and James Wang, has a cover endorsement from Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chair, the LEGO Brand Group.

At IMD, he is Director of the new Digital Ecosystem program that is being launched in partnership with Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. As Dean of IMD China, he is also responsible for the school’s activities and outreach in the country. Greeven is a founding member of the Business Ecosystem Alliance, a research associate at China’s National Institute for Innovation Management, the Center for China and Globalization and the Center for Global R&D and Innovation.

Findings from his research have been featured in international academic journals, such as Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, European Management Journal and Asia-Pacific Journal of Management, as well as in global media such as Forbes, the Financial Times, Wired, CNN, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Dialogue, LSE Business Review, The Business Times, Le Temps, Nikkei Asian Review, The Telegraph, South China Morning Post and China Daily.


Before joining IMD in 2019, he held faculty positions at Zhejiang University in China and the Rotterdam School of Management in The Netherlands.

Selected publications

The Future of Global Retail (Routledge, 2021)

Why some retailers are thriving amid disruption (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2020)

How autonomy creates resilience in the face of crisis (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2020)

In a crisis, ecosystem businesses have a competitive advantage (Harvard Business Review, 2020)

Pioneers, Hidden Champions, Change Makers and Underdogs: Lessons from China’s Innovators (MIT Press, 2019)

Understanding China’s next wave of innovation (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2019)

Business Ecosystems in China: Alibaba and Competing Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and LeEco (Routledge, 2018)


Case Centre Outstanding Case Teacher Award nominee (2018)

Named on Thinkers50 Radar list of management thinkers to watch in the coming year (2017)

Benelux Chamber of Commerce in China Personality of the Year (2017)


MSc (Business Administration - International Strategic Management)

Erasmus University Rotterdam

PhD (Innovation Management)

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

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Mark Greeven's Publications
Transforming Geely: From Fridges to Motorcycles to EVs... To?
Case study
CATL: Global battery supremacy
Case study
Youhualin: Digitizing the supply chain in China
Case study