Recent News

Ecosystem Dominance: forthcoming Atos white paper

A joint white paper is currently making its way through the Atos Scientific Community press channels. Approximately two years in the works, this paper written in collaboration with Ivo Luijendijk (Atos) and with invaluable contributions from George Dermowidjojo (personal friend of the project) considers as its premise the horizontal or flat nature of ecosystems. In a well balanced one, most ecosystem participants have roughly similar means and no inordinate power over the entire system. How, then, does a firm eke out a dominant advantage over its competitors?

That strongly depends on its initial conditions vis-á-vis where they sit in the value/supply chain or ecosystem, or their extant inventory of knowledge/talent/resources, or both. Though more factors certainly do play roles in answering the question, we focus on these three aspects as they seem most critical in determining how a firm can establish and maintain dominance over peer or competitor firms.

The full white paper elaborates on everything discussed thus far – including a discussion on what dominance might mean in different ecosystem utilities – and includes insights pulled from desk research, practical expertise, and a key expert interview on the topic; it will soon be available via the Atos Blog.

– S. James Ellis


Remember how back in the day the FINDER ESRs each defined the ever evolving term “Fintech”? Feel encouraged to refresh your memory here. You will find a broad set of varying interpretations, one just as valuable as the other.

Curious to see if their interpretation changed in the course of these past years? Or more importantly, what conclusions they derive from these varying interpretations and their own research in particular? All will be revealed in the much anticipated FINDER eBook – a compilation of the ESRs’ research results, conclusions derived and policy implications.

Before its release though, let’s lift just a tiny tip of the veil.

What does the broad set of definitions on one of the core phenomenon under observation under the research scoping of the FINDER project mean? It means that there is ample leeway for exploration. It also means in terms of direct implications for central bank policy as well as for new fintech’s scouting for scaling momentum, that there are many organizational ad stakeholder leavers to take note of when charting a future course of direction. Well-established financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, ING and Barclays, coexist with small players that have still to reach a national platform or are even still operating in underground modus as they scout for the right moment to take off.  And how do big tech companies such as Google, Meta Platforms Inc. and Atos lean into this landscape? We’ll set off with some reflection to set the scene for such analytical reflections.

We’ll keep you posted on the development and publication of the FINDER eBook on this website. So stay tuned for more.

Social-emotional engagement is an important advantage in mergers and acquisitions.

During the FINDER Final Conference (mid-September) Arjan Groen (former partner EY Parthenon) discussed how family companies enjoy superior M&A performance. They have 10-16% better returns from acquisitions and divestments than non-family businesses.

However, family businesses are 16-25% less likely to undertake M&A than non-family businesses.

This was one of the intriguing research findings shared at the The Strategic Management Society‘s annual conference extension in London, a unique platform which combined thoughtful science with practical experience.

Arjan Groen – Finder Final Conference

Key strategic topics were Private Equity (Can they win from family/public companies?), Shareholders’ Activists (Can they be a force for long term good?) and Board Room Dynamics (How do you make sure they make the right decisions?).

Arjan stated “It was an honor and pleasure to present alongside leading academics and top practitioners such as Francesco CastellanetaMark DesJardinePhilip DunneEmilie R. Feldman (thanks for sharing above research!), Robert HoskissonGerry McNamaraMario SchijvenChris Vialle and Himanshu Vyas.

The discussions were lively in the conference room and ended at the bar!

Thanks to professors Rick Aalbers and Koen H. Heimeriks for organizing this great event!

And plenty of opportunities for family businesses…

Thank you Arjan for your inspiring input during the SMS Extension Conference!

Co-designing community solutions

On Monday October 10th, 2022 Dr. Remco Mannak (Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Organization Studies) presented his new research: “Citizen acceptance of co-designed public sector innovation”. Co-designing community solutions is an interesting topic given the FINDER scoping, especially for our Early Stage Researchers, e.g. Ms Ami Xioalei Wang, who studies the Effective strategies and policies for enhanced social payoff, during and after digital transformation.

Seminar by Dr Remco Mannak

Dr. Mannak studies under what conditions organizations form and persists inter-organizational relationships and how these collaborations affect the performance of both individual organizations and joint consortia. He particularly focuses on the timing of (repeated) collaborations in relation to dynamics at the inter-organizational network level.

During this inspiring seminar, Dr. Mannak introduced a novel lens to examine the different roles of participants in spurring innovations to overcome some of its greatest challenges in the public sector. After the presentation, a lively discussion evolved between Dr. Remco Mannak and the PhD students of Nijmegen School of Management on the current research trend in strategic management.

By FINDER ESR Ms Ami Xiaolei Wang

FINDER academic work presented at the SMS22 in London

Jonas Röttger presented the paper Behavioral Signal Sets in Acquisition Announcements and Market Reaction: The Moderating Role of Impression Management he is coauthoring with his supervisors Rick Aalbers, Koen Heimeriks, and Saeed Khanagha in Monday morning’s conference session, The Antecedents of Mergers and Acquisitions. With his second paper being presented earlier at the Paper Development Workshop for Junior Scholars, the SMS conference has been extremely valuable in terms of receiving feedback from top notch academics.

ESR Jonas Röttger (white shirt) during the session on The Antecedents of Mergers and Acquisitions

After all the hard work is done

London, Friday September 16th, 2022

After a full day of inspirational presentations and lively discussions on the intriguing theme of ‘Behavioral Biases and Corporate Transformation Strategies’,  it was time to unwind. The FINDER team and all participants in the SMS Extension Conference gathered in the interesting historic pub “The Cittie of Yorke” for drinks and social networking.

Team members cheering on the success of the conference

Fun fact: The Cittie of Yorke is situated on London’s High Holborn. The current building is a rebuilding of the 1920s, but it is said that buildings on this site have been pubs since as early as 1430. Some features include the Henekey’s long bar located in the grand, which happens to be the longest pub in England, and Victorian-style cubicles.

The Cittie of Yorke is also famous because Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas is alleged to have written a poem named for the bar. The top of the poem reads “This little song was written in Henneky’s Long Bar High Holborn by Dylan Thomas in 1951.” The “song”, about the threat of a fabulous new hostelry run by “Mr Watts-Ewers / (Licensed to sell / Beer, wine and spirits / And tobacco as well)” was scribbled on the reverse of headed notepaper for the Apollo Society, a poetry and concert society whose original members included Peggy Ashcroft, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis, and for which Thomas gave readings.

Strategic Management Conference

The Extension Conference and the Conference themselves have been fruitful for broadening the FINDER PhDs’ topical scopes.

The PhDs had the opportunity to attend a wide variety of SMS sessions as part of the broader conference, such as Ecosystem Value Creation Outside the Boundaries of the Firm, When Strategy Processes Go (Partially) Virtual, and various paper development workshops aimed towards honing dissertation chapters.

Dr. Rick Aalbers provides opening words in the Behavioral Biases in Strategic Tasks session.

Members of the FINDER team Dr. Rick Aalbers, Dr. Koen Heimeriks (Warwick University), and Jonas Röttger were joined by Deirdre Coveney (Warwick University) hosted a packed session on Behavioral Biases in Strategic Tasks, building onto Friday’s session mentioned above, which hosted some of the same panelists: Dr. Francesco Castellaneta, Dr. Robert Hoskisson, Dr. Gerry McNamara, and Dr. Mario Schijven.

Additionally, Jonas Röttger presented the paper (Behavioral Signal Sets in Acquisition Announcements and Market Reaction: The Moderating Role of Impression Management) he’s coauthoring with his supervisors in Monday morning’s conference session, The Antecedents of Mergers and Acquisitions.

SMS Extension Conference: ‘Behavioral Biases and Corporate Transformation Strategies’

Today marks the beginning of the FINDER Final Conference, as the SMS Extension Conference on ‘Behavioral Biases and Corporate Transformation Strategies’ just started!

Hosted by Atos London, we will discuss the intriguing theme of ‘Behavioral Biases and Corporate Transformation Strategies’. With a keynote speaker and panelist set of prominent and outspoken individuals from both academia and practice,  today promises to be inspirational on various fronts. Sessions revolve around original examples, new insights and evolving theories that shed light on how behavioral bias affect strategic decision making. Hence we are touching upon a phenomenon that can significantly implicate strategic decision making and implementation of strategic tasks.

The day’s set-up is geared towards an interactive format, so all participants’ expertise and experience will undoubtedly turn this into a very valuable happening!

We believe to have put together an exciting program with inspirational speakers, recapped here for your convenience.

Strategies for an Open World: SMS Junior Scholar Paper Development Workshop

We are delighted to share that Jonas Röttger, one of the FINDER Project’s Early Stage Researchers got accepted into the Strategies for an Open World: Junior Scholar Paper Development Workshop.

Congratulations Jonas!

Jonas submitted his paper on CEO salience, which will be discussed during this paper development workshop at the annual conference of the Strategic Management Society in September 2022.

The strategic management research community is poised to make contributions that will help organizations create innovative, sustainable, and resilient strategies for this increasingly open world. To navigate this rapidly changing complex environment, strategy scholarship must encourage creative approaches to evaluating ways in which firms can organize, collaborate and compete.

The Junior Scholar Paper Development Workshop seeks to create a space where scholars can explore these and similar topics. Through an interactive panel and Q&A discussion followed by in-depth facilitated feedback sessions, this paper development workshop aims to bring together a variety of perspectives across diverse strategy communities.

More details about the workshop can be found here.

FINDER working paper presented at the Academy of Management Conference in Seattle

Last week, ESR Jonas Röttger presented joint FINDER research at the Academy of Management Annual Conference in Seattle. The presented working paper revolves around organizations’ attempts to manage stakeholder perception by manipulating strategic announcements’ linguistic tone (sometimes referred to as sentiment). Our study on 2000 acquisition announcements revealed that firms tend to be overly optimistic in their announcements, but surprisingly investors react more negatively to positive announcements. However, this relationship hinges on other signals that help investors assess the value-creating potential of a deal, like an acquirer’s leverage and the payment method used to finance the deal. Overall, the results suggest that linguistic tone has a substantial effect on investors’ evaluation. We received valuable feedback and enjoyed the great nature around Seattle after the conference.