“To Build, Buy, or Ally: Envisioning Growth Amidst the Fintech Revolution”

Scenario: your large, multinational firm has just completed a costly acquisition, yet one that promises to increase your global revenues by a considerable margin. Yet, your share prices keep steadily declining, and your investors are starting to show negative sentiment towards your stock. If you don’t act quickly with some sort of whizbang, strategic solution, lucrative opportunities elsewhere in the space might decay your investor base, triggering a sell-off and catastrophes of unknown number and magnitude thereafter. What do you do?

Luckily – or hopefully – you’re not actually in that scenario. Someone probably is, somewhere in the world, and we’d love to help. But in the meantime, we here at the FINDER project are more concerned with building a corps of strategists who can not only solve these problems in situ, but see them coming from a mile/kilometer away and make prescient moves to help their firms avoid these rough waters.

Recently, SAGE Business Cases, a premier-if-not-the-premiere business and teaching case publisher, accepted a teaching case for publication that the FINDER team submitted last year. Typically, academic researchers dedicate most or all of their research efforts to publishing their work in strictly academic journals – in the scope of FINDER, this might mean theoretical work intended to (slightly) shift a discipline’s collective way of thinking. A tall order, to say the least, and this shows in the many years that it often takes for such a work to go from first draft to accepted publication. However, this is not universal law: an exemplary exception is the recent PLOS ONE article that Dr. Rick Aalbers, Jonas Röttger, and colleagues published which examines market reactions to certain strategic orientations in the wakes of firm acquisitions.

With teaching cases, though, the motivation is different. Rather than shifting academic thought, these articles are meant to provide educators with tools to build academic thought. Thinking in the scope of business schools and business cases: corporate strategy is concerned with teaching students to examine complex matrices of phenomena from a central headquarters’ point of view, prescribe solutions for the firm, and measure the effects of those decisions and deployments to achieve certain prescriptions. Short form: consulting by any other name. In all seriousness, though, these skills are useful for careers well beyond consulting. Strategic thinking of the kind I just described finds a home in political sciences, small business founding, tech development, and many more arenas.

It is our hope that the teaching case will find use in classrooms around the world and wherever educators and students alike are concerned with ideating strategic solutions to organizational problems. The case, as well as many others, can be found at https://sk.sagepub.com/cases/discipline. If you’d like to use the case, feel free to go through the above link or to contact us through this website or LinkedIn.

– S. James Ellis

Please cite the case as:

Aalbers, R., Ellis, S., Khanagha, S., Luijendijk, I., Neuteboom, R., & Röttger, J., (2022). To build, buy, or ally: Envisioning growth amidst the fintech revolution. In SAGE Business Cases. SAGE Publications, Ltd., https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781529793840

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