EURAM awards for strategic management papers at Reykjavik conference

Academics from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) won EURAM 2018 Best Paper Awards in the Strategic Management Special Interest Group for their management research. Tatjana Schneidmüller, whose paper explores incumbent response to discontinuous change, and Dr Kevin Heij, who researched co-creation with customers, received the awards at the annual conference of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), which took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, in June 2018.

PhD candidate Tatjana Schneidmüller from RSM’s Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship co-wrote the paper with Associate Professor Mariano L.M. Heyden from Monash Business School, Melbourne, Australia, and Professor Henk W. Volberda from RSM.

Discontinuous change

They received the 2018 EURAM Best Paper Award in the Strategic Responsiveness and Adaptive Organizations Track. Their paper Audience engagement as a legitimizing driver of technological discontinuity adoption deals with how commercial banks in Europe are adapting to the disruption caused by the rise of FinTech.

Schneidmüller focuses on incumbent firms’ strategic responses to competence-destroying technological discontinuities. She and her co-authors found that incumbents facing a significant degree of uncertainty associated with discontinuous change, such as FinTech in financial services, cannot only rely on their internal firm and managerial characteristics to determine adequate adaptive response, but in fact, pay attention to how different social audiences, such as their peers, the professional field, the public, and regulators, engage with the discontinuity.

Audience engagement

The researchers observed that audience engagement, the attention and opinions of external groups, matter. Yet, the degree to which it matters varies across audiences. Their main findings suggest that incumbents respond predictably to the positive and negative engagement of the public and regulators. But, positive engagement from peer competitors and field experts are negatively related to FinTech initiatives by incumbents.

Exploratory innovation

Dr Kevin Heij also received an award for the most inspirational paper within the Strategic Management Special Interest Grouprack, on behalf of RSM’s Prof. Henk Volberda and Prof. Frans van den Bosch for the paper How does co-creation with customers influence exploitative and exploratory innovation? The moderating role of connectedness within an organization.

Co-creation with customers is considered to be an important source of competitive advantage. But prior research has provided mixed results to what extent it increases innovation performance and mainly included the role of formal co-ordination mechanisms within an organisation in it.

To address these gaps in the co-creation literature, the researchers examined how co-creation with customers, conceptualised by relationship learning, influences exploitative and exploratory innovation and how these effects are contingent upon an important informal co-ordination mechanism within an organisation: connectedness.

Co-creation with customers

Based on a survey among Dutch care organisations, the researchers’ findings indicate that relationship learning with customers has an inverted U-shaped effect on exploitative innovation, while its effect on exploratory innovation is positive. Connectedness flattens the negative effect of higher levels of relationship learning with customers on exploitative innovation. These findings contribute to an increased understanding how co-creation with customers contribute to an organisation’s innovation performance.

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.

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