Sign up now! Start-Up Weekend on digital entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs and academics

This Fall, the FINDER Project team, in collaboration with Radboud Centre for Organization Restructuring and Atos will host a Start-Up Weekend on digital entrepreneurship, which will be of interest to both entrepreneurs and academics. Sign up here.

This Start-Up Weekend is a public event to help individuals with creative ideas for digital entrepreneurship start their innovation journey. This event intends to surround entrepreneurs with smart and passionate people, with the best tools and approaches that will help move towards creating their own business and connecting with the right people and resources. A wonderful opportunity for idea-stage start-ups with an eye towards a partnered, invested, or acquired future to workshop their ideas opposite a panel of industry experts and a group of the general public. Equally a great opening to provide for an academic perspective on the theme of collaboration for responsible innovation.

We foresee inspiring sessions and lively discussions with panelists/speakers from amongst others Philips, ING, TechQuartier Frankfurt and Atos.

Scheduled for the Fall, this Start-Up Weekend is especially geared towards those with a keen interest in entrepreneurship in the (fin)tech domain, and is organized with the intent to lower the hurdle to early career entrepreneurial activity. As part of a series of events to further tie in academia and business practice, the Start-Up Weekend will be another exciting opportunity to exchange ideas between practice and academia. Cementing for future collaborations in the domain of responsible innovation. In this series the FINDER Project Team and the Radboud Centre for Organization Restructuring prior hosted the Inclusive Digital Innovation Week in FS&I together with our project partner Atos.

Designed as an event that builds an innovative collaborative arrangement among established tech firms and start up enthusiasts, we highly encourage startups, university faculty members and students to sign on if interested.

We are currently looking into the possibility of hosting the Start-Up Weekend on site. However, pending further developments of the coronavirus pandemic, the workshop might be virtually hosted.

Details for the sign on procedure can be found here.

Additional information for students:

The panel of 5 general public members will have a unique opportunity to peer into the process of business creation, and this may be of scholarly interest for Master’s level students. Especially students who have it in mind to focus on entrepreneurial themes or business innovation as a topic in their thesis, this could be a valuable networking opportunity and a research flashpoint.

Interested applicants will need to stay keyed in to the group dialogues for the duration of the workshop and pitch in when they have ideas or when things don’t make sense to them, as their primary function is to keep the workshop grounded and from getting disconnected from consumer reality. Akin to product testing research, no specific expertise is required, and it’s not in the interest of the workshop for the general public members to emulate being professionals at something: just be your regular self.

Issue selling to different managerial personalities – How MBA cases could benefit from incorporating behavioral factors to prepare students for company politics

Solving an MBA business case requires creating a balanced analysis of the situation and developing suitable strategic recommendations. However, in real life, analysts present their data and conclusions to managers with individual preferences. Having students consider these preferences might make them more successful.

Strategy development: top-down and bottom-up

Strategy can be developed top-down and bottom-up. For instance, a new CEO can set out a vision that implies strategic change (top-down). However, the vision could have also been strongly inspired by employees that achieved to bring their preferred topics to the management’s attention (bottom-up). The latter often involves a phenomenon known as issue selling: the process by which individuals within an organization bring ideas or concerns, solutions, and opportunities together in ways that focus others’ attention and invite action.[1]

Issue selling at different levels within a company

Issue selling can take place at many levels within a company. Employees can try to build compelling cases to change the routines and processes within their team. Presenting these cases to their respective leader can support getting the so-called managerial buy-in and following a mandate for change. Even more so, at higher levels of a company, issue selling plays a crucial role. To convince top management of the importance of strategic considerations needs to be backed up by solid arguments. However, while there are widely shared interpretations of arguments, managers also hold idiosyncratic preferences for specific information.

Different strategic preferences of different managerial personalities

Since the development of the upper echelons theory by Hambrick and Mason, strategic scholars have investigated which role executive characteristics play in processing information and influencing the firm’s strategic actions.[2] Researchers have paid attention to demographic characteristics like age and tenure, but also to more psychologically sound constructs like narcissism, overconfidence, and temporal and regulatory focus.

The example of CEO regulatory focus

Regulatory focus theory describes that decision-making can either occur through a promotion focus (a sensitivity to gains) or through a prevention focus (a sensitivity to losses). Managerial scholars have found that the regulatory foci of CEOs influence their preferences for strategic actions.[3] Knowing whether a CEO is more likely to consider the opportunities or risks of choices that are presented to him or her can help analysts to structure their arguments to make their case more compelling.

How to implement managerial personalities in MBA business cases?

Oftentimes, MBA students implicitly incorporate their audience’s personality in their case solutions by thinking about the professor’s preferences. However, students first need to learn to separate between a solution supported by the case’s data and the audience’s preferences. Hence, the task is not to present the assumed best-liked solution but to present the solution they consider the best in a way that the audience likes. Therefore, adding a hypothetical manager’s personality to an MBA case as the target audience sharpens the students’ view of the need for issue selling and will help them empathically draw on managers’ characteristics when presenting their arguments.


[1] https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/strategy-issue-selling-in-the-organization/

[2] Hambrick, D. C., & Mason, P. A. (1984). Upper echelons: The organization as a reflection of its top managers. Academy of management review9(2), 193-206.

[3] Gamache, D. L., McNamara, G., Mannor, M. J., & Johnson, R. E. (2015). Motivated to acquire? The impact of CEO regulatory focus on firm acquisitions. Academy of Management Journal58(4), 1261-1282.

Money 20/20 conference – EUROPE’S BIGGEST FINTECH SHOW with Sebastian Schäfer

Sebastian Schäfer – Managing Director TechQuartier Frankfurt – FINDER partner, mentor of amongst others Jonas, as well as co-author on Jonas’s whitepaper, features amongst the 2021 Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam: “Fintech, let’s get back to business”.

The FINDER team is very proud to have Sebastian amongst our crew.

Want to find out more about the conference? Click here.

Start-Up Weekend on digital entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs and academics

This Fall, the FINDER Project team, in collaboration with Radboud Centre for Organization Restructuring and Atos will host a Start-Up Weekend on digital entrepreneurship, which will be of interest to both entrepreneurs and academics.

This Start-Up Weekend is a public event to help individuals with creative ideas for digital entrepreneurship start their innovation journey. This event intends to surround entrepreneurs with smart and passionate people, with the best tools and approaches that will help move towards creating their own business and connecting with the right people and resources. A wonderful opportunity for idea-stage start-ups with an eye towards a partnered, invested, or acquired future to workshop their ideas opposite a panel of industry experts and a group of the general public. Equally a great opening to provide for an academic perspective on the theme of collaboration for responsible innovation.

We foresee inspiring sessions and lively discussions with panelists/speakers from amongst others Philips, ING, TechQuartier Frankfurt and Atos.

Scheduled for the Fall, this Start-Up Weekend is especially geared towards those with a keen interest in entrepreneurship in the (fin)tech domain, and is organized with the intent to lower the hurdle to early career entrepreneurial activity. As part of a series of events to further tie in academia and business practice, the Start-Up Weekend will be another exciting opportunity to exchange ideas between practice and academia. Cementing for future collaborations in the domain of responsible innovation. In this series the FINDER Project Team and the Radboud Centre for Organization Restructuring prior hosted the Inclusive Digital Innovation Week in FS&I together with our project partner Atos.

Designed as an event that builds an innovative collaborative arrangement among established tech firms and start up enthusiasts, we highly encourage startups, university faculty members and students to sign on if interested.

We are currently looking into the possibility of hosting the Start-Up Weekend on site. However, pending further developments of the coronavirus pandemic, the workshop might be virtually hosted. 

Details for the sign on procedure and further event specifics will be shared shortly.

Additional information for students:

The panel of 5 general public members will have a unique opportunity to peer into the process of business creation, and this may be of scholarly interest for Master’s level students. Especially students who have it in mind to focus on entrepreneurial themes or business innovation as a topic in their thesis, this could be a valuable networking opportunity and a research flashpoint.

Interested applicants will need to stay keyed in to the group dialogues for the duration of the workshop and pitch in when they have ideas or when things don’t make sense to them, as their primary function is to keep the workshop grounded and from getting disconnected from consumer reality. Akin to product testing research, no specific expertise is required, and it’s not in the interest of the workshop for the general public members to emulate being professionals at something: just be your regular self.

WHEN ACADEMIA AND PRACTICE COME TOGETHER

Recently Jonas Röttger was invited by the Atos Scientific Community to present his research on CEO personality trades and how they influence strategic choices of firms. His presentation entitled “Loud moves, bold CEOs: The signal interaction effect of CEO overconfidence and deal-specific confidence in M&A announcements“ received one of the highest appreciating ratings during the Atos Scientific Community meeting.

During his presentation Jonas addressed the CEO personality which influences the strategic choices of firms. He investigated whether investors can see through firm actions as a manifestation of CEO personality by analyzing the firm’s M&A communication. In the case of overconfident CEOs, firms can receive more positive M&A announcement stock returns by releasing press statements with a less positive linguistic tone.

The FINDER output was very well received at upper echelon level, the Atos scientific community (approx. 140 people) and included a general discussion revolving around the topic of CEO personality and firm-level outcomes.

A great example of academia-to-practice transitioning – a gap stone point to this ITN program.

Egos Colloquium 2021 sub-theme 19 “Collaboration and the (Ir)Rationalities of Decision-making in a Digital Landscape”

Plenty of (ir)rational decision making commonalities on offer during an inter-disciplinary EGOS subtheme on Collaboration and Decision-making in a Digital Landscape, that kicked off today #EGOS2021

Thanks to presenters and discussants from across the continent (and England of course) we had a lively discussion.

Thank you Yuliia Yehorova, Erik Hanel, Zahra Kashanizadeh, David Langley, Werner Hoffmann, Alexander Engelmann, Renate Kratochvil, Sotirios Paroutis, Daniel Stedjan Svendsrud, Jin Xu, Linda Buis, Marjukka Klippi, Saeed Khanagha, Uli Meyer, James Ellis, Johan Buchholz,  Jonas Röttger, Maryia Zaitsava, Matthew Knight, Szyman Wiercinski, Henk Volberda, Dimitar Krastev and others.

Looking forwards to day 2: this round starting with a session on digital collaboration and its perils and troubles ….


Dr. Rick Aalbers

COVID-19 recovery in Cities and Regions: lessons from the 4th OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs

After partaking in the prior OECD Roundtables on Cities and Regions it was a pleasure to be part of the community that comprised the 4th OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs on the theme of a Framework for COVID-19 recovery in Cities and Regions.

Recovery is high on the agenda after the disrupting forces unleased by the recent COVID pandemic. A challenge that transcends form the individual to the firm level, to the city and regional level and back, introducing a relational complexity that is unprecedented. Hence it is great to see the many initiatives that allow firms, cities and regions veer back from the COVID driven turmoil they went through over the past year. A key takeaway from this roundtable has been the role of digital technologies to facilitate the swift recuperation. Technology allows for the communications and lessons learned and shared during this very OECSD hosted roundtable, but there is more to it.

With digital ecosystems operating beyond organizational and industry boundaries, as facilitator for organizational (firms, cities and regions alike) resilience,  such reorientation comes with advanced interdependencies. The management literature provides for some interesting lessons on this front. Reviewing some of the work that has passed by over the last decade, lessons can be learned. Organizations that find themselves in dire circumstances can improve their situation despite these ecosystem interdependencies, however, for instance by proactively implementing strategic change to stem survival-threatening performance decline. While firms’ propensity to reshape under external and internal pressure has received increasing scholarly attention (e.g. Bowman and Singh, 1993; McKinley and Scherer, 2000; Girod and Whittington, 2015), digital ecosystem dynamics have remained relatively understudied as a mechanism facilitating such organizational transitioning (Pagani, 2013).

Our current understanding of how orgnaizations reshape themselves as part of their digital ecosystems is limited however by the lack of a strong theoretical base to understand the implications of digital technology on extant theories and knowledge of organization restructuring as part of a digitally enabled environment (Adner, 2006; Kane et al., 2015). As firms no longer operate in isolation but operate in digital ecosystems that determine the way and magnitude to which a firm can transform a firm’s core architecture and the way it serves its customers (Tangpong et al. 2021). Though there has been more attention to the dynamic nature of business ecosystems in general terms, several scholars have argued that more work is needed to understand reciprocal relationships, timing and causal effects of these events, calling for further attention for dispositional, behavioral and contextual influences (e.g. Quintane et al., 2014).  Equally, extant research on turnaround management typically focuses on traditional outcomes (e.g., profits), and antecedents, (e.g. time and pace of change) with less emphasis on the technological advancements that may foster or hamper the extent to which organizations manage to individually or collectively reshape. On both fronts surprisingly little is known however about the organizational, temporal, and ambidexterity dimensions in digital ecosystems as they endure exogenous tremor. This challenge has recently infused several members of our Centre to shine new light on the challenges and opportunities posed by digital driven business ecosystem collaboration as firms collaboratively are forced to reinvent themselves. Thank you to the organizers of the 4th OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs On that note for bringing further inspiration to this initiative.

Dr. Rick (H.L.) Aalbers

European Academy of Management 2021 Conference

Last week, S. James Ellis presented his research on bifurcated legitimization strategies at the European Academy of Management, or EURAM, 2021 Online Conference.

Each year, academic conferences the world over provide opportunities for scholars to meet and discuss their embryonic, in-progress, and fully developed papers as well as to network. At larger ones such as EURAM, the conferences are subdivided into interest groups. This groups like-disciplined academics so that critical feedback and conversations with potential collaborators can start at a higher baseline of understanding. In line with the overall theme of FINDER, James participated in the Innovation strategic interest group and specifically, its track titled “Digital Innovation: Strategies, Competencies, Theories, and Practice.”

After a 15 minute presentation, the small group of track scholars engaged in a fruitful dialogue around how to further refine the theoretical and storytelling layout. The common interest in sessions like this is for each scholar to walk away with tools and recommendations that will ideally improve their paper’s chance of publication when they go on from the conference and submit their work to an academic journal.

S. James Ellis, Dr. Rick Aalbers, Dr. Philipp Tuertscher, and the infamous Lenovo attending EURAM 2021.

The conference was one of several that the FINDERs will present their research at this summer. The next will be the European Group for Organization Studies 2021 Colloquium, where Dr. Rick Aalbers and Dr. Saeed Khanagha of the FINDER project along with Dr. Sotirios Paroutis of the Warwick Business School will convene the track “Collaboration and the (Ir)Rationalities of Decision-making in a Digital Landscape.”

Market reactions to acquisition announcements: The importance of signaling ‘why’ and ‘where’

Acquisitions are common in industries, but not all acquisitions succeed and those that fail often have a negative effect on the acquirer. A recent publication in the Long Range Planning further explores multiple levels of risks involved in acquisitions and the importance of signaling the ‘why’ and ‘where’ of said acquisitions.

Dr Rick Aalbers (Associate Professor in Strategy and Innovation at Radboud University Nijmegen and coordinating team member of the FINDER Project) teamed up with Dr Killian J. McCarthy (Associate Professor of Innovation at University of Groningen) and Prof. Dr Koen Heimeriks (Professor of Strategy at Warwick Business School) deep dived into the matter, which resulted in the publication of:

“Market Reactions to Acquisition Announcements: The Importance of Signaling ‘Why’ and ‘Where’”
Aalbers R., McCarthy, K. & Heimeriks, K. (2021)
Long Range Planninghttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024630121000364

As acquisitions are risky events but not all acquisitions involve the same levels of risk, the authors suggest that the announced acquisition motive – the ‘why’ of the acquisition – is an important risk signal. In the paper they categorize acquisition motives and distinction is made between acquisitions with ‘pure explore’ and ‘pure exploit’ motives. Recognizing that most acquisitions have multiple motives, acquisitions with ‘ambidextrous’ motives – different combinations of explorative and exploitative motives – are identified too.
Building on recent contributions to signaling theory, it is argued that the ‘why’ will matter more, if the ‘where’ pertains to a high-risk setting. The authors measure this, using target-to-acquirer industry relatedness.

Findings:

  • The market reacts more positively to pure acquisitions, aimed at exploration or exploitation, compared to ambidextrous acquisitions.
  • The market reacts more positively to ambidextrous acquisitions orientated towards exploitation than ambidextrous acquisitions orientated toward exploration.
  • Relatedness moderates this relationship, in that the market is more willing to tolerate exploration in a related industry.

The authors core contribution is to the literatures on acquisition motives and ambidexterity. They provide new insights into the incidence of specific motives, the ways in which they are mixed, and the market’s reaction to their announcement. In addition, they contribute to the emerging literature that takes on behavioral perspective of market reactions by showing that the ‘why’ and ‘where’ of an acquisition matter.

Summary of the FINDER inclusive digital innovation in FS&I week

Last week, we hosted the FINDER inclusive digital innovation week in FS&I together with our project partner Atos. It was an exciting opportunity to exchange ideas between practice and academia and receive food for further thinking. We want to thank the organizers of the event, Remco Neuteboom, Rick Aalbers, Ivo Lujiendijk, Jonas Röttger, Catherine Dutton, Linda Buis, S. James Ellis, Ana Barroso, Belen Gonzalez Rodriguez, and Saeed Khanagha.

Thank you also to all participants! We enjoyed your excellent questions and the discussions.

Summary of the sessions

1. How to de-risk corporate-startup innovations while improving speed and cost? By Josemaria Siota

Josemaria Siota, Executive Director IESE Business School, explained how to engage in venturing as a corporation by pulling from his latest research report (available here). The session was facilitated by Nikhil Chouguley, Global Head of Product Governance & ESG Oversight at Deutsche Bank. Click here for a summary of the session.  

2. GAIA-X: The future of the European datacloud by Hubert Tardieu

Hubert Tardieu, Chairman of the Board of the GAIA-X AISBL, introduced the European business to business data sharing initiative GAIA-X. Click here for a summary of the session.  

3. Ecosystem dominance by S. James Ellis and Ivo Luijendijk

S. James Ellis, FINDER Ph.D. candidate, and Ivo Luijendijk, Industry Director Atos, presented their whitepaper findings on how to achieve dominant positions in ecosystems as a company. Click here for a summary of the session.  

4. Retail Banking transforms into Life-fulfilment services by Eddy Claessens and Jonas Röttger

Eddy Claessens, Industry Director Atos, and Jonas Röttger, FINDER Ph.D. candidate, laid out their vision of how retail banking will transform into a hyper customer-centric model in which customers interact with various industries through a banking portal. Click here for a summary of the session.  

5. Enabling next-generation customer insights & interactions in insurance through explainable AI by Jeremie Abiteboul

Jeremie Abiteboul, Chief Technology Advisor at DreamQuark, explained how explainable AI works, its benefits, and how DreamQuark is implementing it with customers. Click here for a summary of the session.