Best paper runner-up award for RSM scholars at Toronto FinTech Conference

PhD candidate Tatjana Schneidmüller and her co-authors Prof. Henk W. Volberda of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Mariano L. M. Heyden, received the runner-up award for best paper at the First Annual Toronto FinTech Conference for the conference paper Audience Engagement and the Legitimization of Technological Discontinuities in Regulated Markets: Evidence from FinTech in October 2017.

The paper studies how audience engagement - the attention and opinion - of peer bankers, financial services field experts, the general public, and regulators impacts the strategies that established banks employ to tackle the unprecedented wave of innovation in financial services – FinTech.

Acceptable in society

“Basically, the more social groups attend to and positively speak of FinTech, the more it becomes legitimised, hence acceptable within society,” says Schneidmüller, adding this is crucial for banks, which operate in a tightly regulated environment and have to comply with rules and regulations rather than simply be perceived acceptable by the society.

The Annual Toronto FinTech Conference was held in Toronto, Canada on 20-21 October, and aimed to connect scholars in the fields of strategy, entrepreneurship, innovation, organisation theory, finance, and economics to discuss their research on the rise, diffusion, and disruptive potential of financial technologies (FinTech).

FinTech research projects

In addition to the regular paper sessions, the paper’s findings were also presented to all conference participants during a short keynote presentation. “To be even considered for best paper as a second-year PhD candidate, among such big names as Michael King and J.P. Vergne, is a huge honour,” said Schneidmüller. “It’s a confirmation for me that my work matters and is worth pursuing.”

Schneidmüller is working on two other FinTech projects. “I’m fascinated with FinTech. In my theoretical paper, I seek to explain the inter- and intra-audience dynamics that lead to the acceptance or rejection of FinTech. And my third project looks into how regulatory legitimacy – compliance with established rules and regulations – of established banks influences, and potentially inhibits, them to adopt FinTech.”

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Ramses Singeling, Media Officer for RSM, on +31 10 408 2028 or by email at

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