RIKON’s team is unique in that we link our university-based researchers and our business developers with the business sector and organisations to solve practical issues that companies are facing.
Dr. Patrick Lynch is the Director of RIKON at Waterford Institute of Technology and obtained his PhD in innovation. Pat has extensive research expertise having published a range of articles in national and international conferences and journals and his book Managerial Challenges in Irish Organisations: A Case Study Collection has just been published by Blackhall. His research specialism is service innovation within inter-organisational and network relationships, in particular, close relationships. Current research interests include strategic innovation, knowledge transfer, inter-organisational conflict and regional tourism destination networks. Pat also teaches Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Management at WIT’s School of Business.
Pat’s extensive business experience includes the creation and growth of early stage companies and this experience has allowed him to understand the realities involved in running and sustaining a successful business. In 2007, Pat established RIKON with co-founders, Dr. Mary T. Holden and Dr. Felicity Kelliher, and since its inception, RIKON has worked on over 180 service innovation projects with small and medium sized companies across Ireland, creating and developing strategic innovative solutions to their business problems.
Connect with Dr. Patrick Lynch - Director, Founder and Senior Researcher
Dr. Mary T. Holden was awarded a BScA (distinction) from the University of Michigan in 1991. She graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with an MBS by Research in 1999 and received a Diploma in Statistics (distinction) from TCD in 2001. She completed her PhD in 2006 at Waterford Institute of Technology (recommended, no change). Mary’s industrial experience spans over 20 years, working with firms in Ireland and the USA. Her specialism involves inter-organisational relationships, networks and interpersonal communication. Specific interests include the role of communication in the governance of business network relationships and customer relationship management. She has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and conferences, and is a founding member and senior researcher in The RIKON Group. She has a consultancy role in the School of Business based on her expertise in the design and analysis of quantitative methodologies involving surveys, most particularly in the design and analysis of causal models developed for assessment/diagnostic purposes. Currently, Mary is assisting in the testing and analysis of a causal model in the IT sector for assessing the success of user interaction with organisational websites. She is also currently assisting in a segmentation study in the health and recreation sphere.
Connect with Dr. Mary T. Holden - Founder, Board Member and Senior Researcher
Dr. Denis Harrington is Head of Graduate Business at Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford Ireland. He has extensive research and consultancy experience having worked on research programmes with the European Commission in Eastern Europe and within the Russian Federation. He is a Council member of the MBA Association of Ireland and the Irish Academy of Management. His work has been published in the International Journal of Tourism Research (Surrey Quarterly Review), European Journal of Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Services Industries Journal and the Thunderbird International Business Review amongst others. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Services Industries Journal, the Irish Business Journal and the Irish Journal of Management. Denis is co-author of Managing Quality in Tourism and also co-editor (with Dr James Cunningham, NUIG) of Irish Management 2.0 – New Priorities for Changing Economy in association with the MBA Association of Ireland.
Dr. Felicity Kelliher is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the School of Business, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and also has extensive International experience in Project Management and Retail Consultancy roles, having spent over a decade working in the International IS sector before embarking on an academic career. Since joining WIT in 2000, Felicity has lectured in Management, Leadership and Organisational Development at undergraduate, post graduate and executive level. She is currently Programme Leader of the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) at WIT, and is a tutor in small business management on the South East Enterprise Platform Programme. Felicity is a founding member of the RIKON research group at the School of Business, and her current research encompasses management capability development and learning network engagement in the small firm tourism environment. She is an award winning academic, and has published in a number of Journals including the Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development, the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development.
Connect with Dr. Felicity Kelliher - Founder, Board Member and Senior Researcher
Dr. Anthony Foley is a member of the European Marketing Academy, Irish Marketing Institute and Irish Institute of Training and Development. His research interests revolve around marketing strategy and in particular the development of superior marketing management capability. Anthony has over 15 years experience in retail and tourism and has continued these sectoral interests, particularly tourism related, into academic activity in a number of industry focused initiatives funded by the ERDF and Fáilte Ireland. He is active in research and taught postgraduate thesis supervision and also teaches on the MBS (Marketing) programme at WIT, as well as on the SEEPP programme. Anthony is course leader for the BSc in Small Enterprise Management, which is a new tourism programme developed with Fáilte Ireland. He has published in a number of journals including the Journal of Strategic Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, and Tourism and Hospitality Research, as well as writing cases, book chapters and practitioner publications. Anthony has presented at a number of national and international conferences including the Academy of Marketing, and Academy of Marketing Science. He is also a guest reviewer for the European Journal of Marketing, Services industries Journal and Irish Journal of Management, and was Co-Chair of the Global and Cross-cultural Marketing track at the AMA Summer Conference 2009.
Connect with Dr. Anthony Foley - Senior Researcher
Dr. Fiona Lynch is a lecturer in Information Technology and Management Information Systems at Waterford Institute of Technology. Having Joined WIT in 2002, Fiona is an active researcher on knowledge transfer, information systems development and human centred systems. She is particularly interested in research in the area of how user knowledge is successfully transferred to developers during the systems development process. Fiona has published numerous conference and journal papers on human centred systems, requirements elicitation and information systems development, focusing specifically on embedded knowledge transfer in national and international conferences and journals.
Connect with Dr. Fiona Lynch - Senior Researcher
As the Academic Research Manager for RIKON, Jamie’s role intersects both the applied and academic wings of the Group in terms of consulting, academic and applied research portfolios. The diverse nature of his role enables him to interact with academic, industry and policy stakeholders in pursuit of the development and application of applied service innovation knowledge solutions.
Jamie leads the development of RIKON’s national and European project, collaboration and research funding activities in addition to coordinating the Group’s knowledge transfer, publication and dissemination agendas. He represents RIKON as a work package leader in recently commenced FP7-ICT-2013-10 Coordination and Support Action ‘IPaCSO’ Innovation Framework for Privacy and Cyber Security Market Opportunities. Jamie is also an active researcher in the field of service innovation policy and practice, and has and continues to develop numerous publications in this evolving field. His research interests include, but are not limited to: Service innovation policy and practice; national and EU service innovation project development; consumer, business and market research; HRM research; and qualitative (NVIVO) and quantitative (SPSS) data analysis.
Committed to continuing professional development, Jamie is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Irish Academy of Management. He has received recognition for his research acumen through competitively securing multiple Irish Research Council awards in addition to Waterford Institute of Technology’s Advanced Scholar and PhD Student of the Year accolades.
Connect with Dr. Jamie Power - Academic Research Manager
Dr. Leana Reinl has extensive practical and academic experience in small business learning and development, having been involved in the design, development and delivery of the Fáilte Ireland/Waterford Institute of Technology Tourism Learning Network (TLN) and subsequent degree program where she provided learning facilitation and support to 500+ SME owner/managers in RIKONs tourism network. Leana simultaneously completed a Masters by Research and PhD while in this role. Leana is currently working on the Green Innovation and Future Technologies (GIFT) Interreg project where she engages key stakeholders in the network, co-ordinates the delivery of CPD events and contributes to the Institutes research agenda and expertise on the green economy.
Leanas research interests encompass individual learning and management competency development; small/micro business learning; learning networks and learning network evolution. Leana has published in several peer-reviewed international academic journals and at national and international conferences.
Connect with Dr Leana Reinl - Business Development Officer, Green Technologies and Future Innovation (GIFT)
Clare Flinders joined RIKON in 2008 and has brought with her extensive national and international experience, in areas such as marketing, business and consumer research and corporate administration. As Applied Research Manager, Clare is responsible for the smooth running of the commercial side of the organisation from project inception to completion. Clare has a particular interest in new product and new service innovation in SMEs, and has also been heavily involved in pioneering and managing the Business Model Innovation process for many of RIKON’s clients to date.
Clare graduated in 2003 from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in International Business and Languages.
Clare is currently undergoing a Masters by Research at Waterford Institute of Technology, and her primary research interests are focused around managing innovation in the early stages of new product development in SMEs and have won a best paper award at the Irish Academy of Management Conference.
Connect with Clare Flinders - Applied Research Manager
As Senior Market Analyst, Josephine Holohan works closely with SMEs in Ireland assisting them in determining business challenges and the application of research tools in diagnosing these issues. Adept in both qualitative and quantitative research, Josephine and her team of analysts and researchers are consistently designing, planning and developing research methodologies that meet and surpass our client’s research goals.
Josephine has worked at RIKON since October of 2007, beginning as an Executive Interviewer conducting consumer, intercept, and in-depth interviews. Since then, she has worked in numerous areas of research at RIKON, including data collection, strategy development, data entry, applied research and project coordination, resulting in firsthand experience with every step of a research project. In addition to her career at RIKON, Josephine has also worked heavily in the SME tourism and business sectors. Josephine having worked in the customer service industry, both as an administrator and in roles as varied as rooms division, booking policies, and conference management, can lend this expertise to service innovation at RIKON. Josephine earned her Master’s in Business and her Bachelor’s in Tourism Management from the Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland.
Connect with Josephine Holohan - Senior Market Analyst
Moya Verling joined RIKON in Feb 2012 and has brought with her, extensive national and international marketing experience across a mix of brands, within retail and foodservice industries in the USA and Ireland. As Senior Marketing Manager, Moya will take responsibility for Service Design and Market Development for across all projects. Moya has a particular interest developing marketing strategies for brands of all shapes and sizes
Moya graduated in 2003 from University College Cork with a Masters in Food Business. Having started her career with the Irish Dairy Board in the United States, Moya also worked with Global Brand leader Unilever and with Irish retail business Musgrave, where she was finalist in the MII Awards for Sponsorship Management award for management of the Centra All Ireland Hurling Championship sponsorship launch and activation.
Connect with Moya Verling - Senior Marketing Manager
As Senior Network Manager for the organisation, Rebecca Milne works with numerous SMEs in Ireland on initiatives aimed at creating and establishing collaborative networks to help businesses make a bigger impact and achieve objectives that may have been beyond their reach at an individual firm level.
Rebecca’s commitment and contribution to industry in the South East of Ireland was recognised in 2011 when she was awarded the ‘Women in Business in the Public Service’ title by Network Waterford.
Rebecca graduated from WIT with a Masters in Business and Internationalisation in 2005, and has been employed by RIKON, since 2009. Rebecca has vast experience working in the Tourism Sector in Ireland having previously held a marketing management position in Midlands Tourism and successfully running her own catering business alongside working with the family business in Dunmore East.
Connect with Rebecca Milne - Senior Network Manager
Celine Hartley joined RIKON is September 2012 and has brought her extensive experience in office administration within a number of industries, specialising in pharmaceutical, having worked in departments as diverse as quality control to engineering.
Celine graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology in 1998 with a national Certificate and is a MOS specialist. Celine has also completed courses in book-keeping and payroll and holds an IITD Certificate in Training and Development.
Connect with Celine Hartley - Project Administrator
With over 14 years of industry practice in areas such as sales, marketing, management, network formation in a variety of industries in Ireland, U.K and U.S.A. Danielle brings a wealth of experience to the RIKON team. In her role as Sales and Networking Executive, Danielle is involved in the strategic growth of RIKON in key business segments and identifying funding prospects for clients.
In conjunction with this, Danielle also assists on Collaborative Network Projects, developing network strategies, agendas and managing network relationships. Danielle graduated in 2011 from the Waterford Institute of Technology with a Masters in Business, speciality in Management.
Connect with Ms. Danielle Whelan - Customer Interface Design Executive
Richard Hickey joined RIKON in March 2012 and brings with him experience in sales; media analysis; and communications. As Market Research Executive, Richard works closely with SMEs in Ireland to find solutions to their business challenges by developing and applying various research methodologies and helping them achieve their research goals.
Richard graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2009 with a Masters in Business Studies, having previously completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Sociology at University College Cork, and a Higher Diploma in Media Communications at Griffith College Dublin. As well as previously working in the area of research and analysis, Richard has also worked in various frontline sales and business development roles and is particularly interested in customer experience, relationship management, and maximising customer potential for each business.
Connect with Richard Hickey - Market Research Executive
In June 2013, Sarah joined the Marketing Department at RIKON bringing with her a vast about of knowledge, work experience and research skills. Sarah is a BBS ( Marketing ) graduate from Waterford Institute of Technology. Sarah's final year dissertation was awarded a first class honours titled "Advertising across Cultures". Sarah has always had a keen interest in the area of international business. Returning from travelling, Sarah was shortlisted on the IBEC Export Orientation Program, where she completed a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business Development.
To add to Sarah's academic knowledge, she has worked in senior roles within the Financial, Retail and Non for profit sectors gaining a vast amount of experience in marketing, branding, fundraising, public relations, web development and customer services.
Sarah has also assisted Startup companies with cost effective marketing plans and strategies to promote awareness of their service and/or products. Sarah has gained many academic accreditations throughout the financial services sector including Qualified Financial Advisor In life Insurance and a Consumer Credit Certificate. Sarah also completed a Web design/development professional development course in W.I.T. in January 2012.
Connect with Sarah Bolger - Marketing Executive
Following graduation from D.I.T. Cathal Brugha Street, Jennifer Hussey left Ireland to join the Holiday Inn chain’s graduate programme. Jennifer went on to become a major contributor to the development of Holiday Inn Express, a new brand within the chain. Opening her first hotel as General Manager, at the age of 25, Jennifer was involved in the opening of a further four Express hotels. Jennifer returned to the 5-star Radisson SAS St. Helen’s Hotel, before joining the Bewleys Hotels chain to assist in opening their 350-bedroom Leopardstown property. This lead to opportunities for promotion to the General Manager role in Newlands Cross, where Jennifer oversaw the full refurbishment of the 300 bedrooms and the addition of a further 50 rooms.
In 2009, Jennifer returned to academia to complete a Masters by research in Business Studies on ‘The evaluation of Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Learning Network (TLN) initiative – Modelling Best Practice.’ And it appeared to be an ideal opportunity to exploit Jennifer’s background knowledge of the tourism industry. Jennifer is now pursuing her PhD. Jennifer’s current area of study is in the area of tourism enterprise manager development, with specific regard to the professionalisation of the SME owner/manager through the use of a problem-based and blended learning approach. Jennifer’s current PhD research project is entitled ‘Developing Professionalism in the Tourism Industry: Evaluating the Effect of a Purposely Built BSc in Small Enterprise Management’. The calibre of Jennifer’s research work was acknowledged with a best paper award at the EUROCHRIE Conference in 2011 and a best postgraduate paper at the Irish Academy of Management Conference in 2010. Similarly, Jennifer’s recent work with RIKON has lead to amongst others the completion of a LEADER-funded project on tourism development in the Swedish region of Tranas.
Connect with Jennifer Hussey - PhD Candidate
Catherine Gannon graduated in 2006 with a first class honours from the Bachelor of Business Studies specialising in the accounting stream. Subsequently, Catherine began her career in management in the retail industry working with several national and international retailers. Catherine returned to academia in 2008 to do a PhD under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Patrick Lynch and Dr. Denis Harrington, who are leading experts in this area. Her PhD will be completed in 2013.
The title of her PhD is ‘Building and Managing a Firm-Wide Transformational Capability Structure in the Irish Tourism Industry through Knowledge Management Capabilities’. The theme of this study is to explore the relationship between Knowledge Management (KM) and Intellectual Capital (IC) and how it enhances an organisation’s performance to create a competitive advantage in the tourism industry. This research project encompasses study and research in the following areas: Management and Organisation, Strategy, Knowledge Management, Intellectual Capital and Resources, Competitiveness and Tourism. Catherine was awarded the Fáilte Ireland Research Scholarship for 2009 to 2011 and received Best PhD Poster in the Business School Category, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Research Day, in 2010.
Connect with Ms. Catherine Gannon - Academic Researcher, PhD Candidate
Lorna Bailey graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2012 with a first class honuors degree from the Bachelor of Business Studies that specialised in management. Prior to her return to academia Lorna enjoyed a 20 year banking career as a personal banker where her role involved business development, relationship management and consumer lending.
Lorna joined RIKON research group in 2012 to peruse a PhD around service design, under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Lynch. Her research interests include service design, service innovation, systems thinking and lean.
Connect with Lorna Bailey - Applied Researcher
Tadhg graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2012 with a first class honours from the Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons.) degree programme. He then immediately commenced his PhD work on a capability maturity model for service innovation, under the supervision of RIKON’s Dr. Patrick Lynch. Tadhg’s PhD work focuses on the measurement and targeted improvement of the processes associated with innovation in services. Currently, he is the youngest PhD candidate at RIKON and brings a great deal of new energy, ideas, and enthusiasm to the work.
Tadhg is an active part of the academic research support team and informs how commercial projects are delivered through the application of contemporary research. His interests include innovation management frameworks, business process modelling, service design, and the practical application and dissemination of research to businesses.
Connect with Tadhg Blommerde - Applied Researcher
On completion from her BA in 1992, Deirdre spent 16 years in various Marketing positions including Marketing Executive, Brand Management and Marketing Management. Between 1992 and 1996, she held marketing executive positions in manufacturing and services companies in Ireland including, Qualceram and Oxford Associates, developing markets both domestically and internationally. In 1996 Deirdre moved to the UK to work in the retail division of Compass Group, a FTSE 100 Food services company. Here she held Brand Management and Marketing Management positions which involved the development of brand plans for food service retail brands including store design, new product development, pricing and promotional plans. After 5 years Deirdre moved to Sainsburys plc as Format Marketing Manager for small and Town Centre stores. This involved the development of Customer Propositions for these formats including store clustering-location planning, store design and local marketing.
Deirdre moved back to Waterford in 2006 and worked as Trade Marketing Manager for Waterford Crystal before opening her own company consulting in marketing/retail and range planning. Her most recent contract was with Musgraves Retail Partners Ireland. She returned to full time education in September 2009 to do a PhD with a keen interest in Inter-organisational relationships within the SME sector. Her PhD title is Towards a framework of understanding repair methods during the stages of dissolution in inter-organisational relationships.
Connect with Deirdre Fleming - PhD Candidate
Margaret Walsh graduated in 2006 with a first class honours from the Masters of Business Studies and was the recipient of the WIT 2006 MBS Marketing Student of the Year Award. In 2007, Margaret Joined the research team in Centre for Marketing Studies and in 2008 commenced a PhD programme under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Lynch and Dr. Mary Holden within RIKON. Margarets research focuses on the topic of firm-level innovativeness in the tourism SME. By deconstructing the concept of innovativeness and differentiating it from innovation, her study aims to offer a generalisable conceptualisation of innovativeness and to examine the underlying factors that shape SME innovativeness in the tourism sector.
Margaret currently occupies the full time position of Knowledge Economy Theme Officer on the green innovation and future technologies (GIFT) project at WIT. GIFT is an instrument to establish a cross border forum to develop a sustainable green economy in Ireland/Wales. Funded under the European Unions INTERREG 4A programme, the project is a joint collaboration between WIT, UCD and Bangor University in Wales.
Noel graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons). Following this, he completed a Higher Diploma in Education in Trinity College Dublin and pursued a career teaching Business and Economics at second level. He then returned to WIT and graduated with a first class honours Masters in Business Studies in 2005, Anchored by extensive industry experience at both national and international level across disciplines such as food business, retail management, recruitment & hospitality. Noel returned to WIT at the end of 2009 where he is currently pursuing research to doctoral level as a member of RIKON. Noels research interests lie mainly in the field of strategic networks and tourism. Whilst pursuing his research, Noel works as a Learning Support Tutor, coordinating the services provided by the Academic Skills Centre for the Disability Office in WIT.
Eileen is currently in third year of her bachelor of business (hons) degree and is specialising in Human Resource Management. Eileen has always had a keen interest in employee/employer relationship management and the recruitment and selection policies and procedures in both small and large organisations.
Since beginning her placement in RIKON, Eileen has been a key project support assistant for all of the commercial research team.
Michael Ryan has joined RIKON on a student placement from Waterford Institute of Technology. Michael is currently in his third year of the Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree and is specialising in Human Resource Management.
Michael is currently working as a Junior Research Assistant in our Kilkenny based office specialising in Executive Education, Customer Service Delivery, Destination Tourism, Developing Networks and Customer Interface Modelling. Michael is also a key project support assistant for all of the commercial research team here in RIKON.
Michael’s previous knowledge in HRM and team management practices allow him to assist in developing business solutions for SME’s in Ireland that are further enhanced through the application of RIKON’s tailored research methodologies.
Lorraine is currently in third year of her Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree and is specialising in marketing. Lorraine has always had a keen interest in marketing and has joined RIKON on a student placement from Waterford Institute of Technology.
Lorraine is currently based at our Waterford Institute of Technology offices and is working as a junior research assistant dealing with customer interface, social media, service innovation as well as developing business models and solutions.
Lorraine's previous knowledge in marketing practices, experience in working in the hospitality industry and interacting with customers allows her to assist in developing business models and deal with customer interface and innovation projects for SME's in Ireland that are further enhanced through the application of RIKON'S tailored research methodologies.