Is Academia Ignoring Fintech?

Three MonkeysCurrently the Annual Academy of Management (AoM) Meeting is taking place in Anaheim, California. Some 10’000 Management scholars from 88 countries are meeting to discuss the current affairs of Management and its outlooks. In more than 2’500 sessions topics are discussed from the disciplines of Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation Management, Organization Development and Change, and Operations Management, just to name a few. The meeting program spans a whopping 608 pages and contains literally hundreds of thousands of words. Yet one word is missing: FINTECH!

Already today more than three dozen Fintech unicorns exist, most of which are not even five years of age. Moreover we are witnessing the appearance of novel Fintech companies almost on a daily basis. This development has caught the attention of business people, regulators and politicians alike. Yet, this development has largely gone unnoticed by the academic world as far as management sciences are concerned. Clearly, there are noteworthy exceptions from this rule, but at large Fintech is simply not existing in this academic setting.

This situation gives rise to several questions. For instance, how do we educate Management students for today’s banking and finance world if the Fintech phenomenon remains untouched? How do we train executives? How does academia intend to give sound advice to policy makers in view of this neglect? If the ultimate purpose of science – among others – is to explain, control and predict, academia must swing into action and intensify its efforts in the field of Fintech.

I therefore also strongly welcome efforts such as the ones by Thomas Puschmann of the University of Zurich who is actively building a bridge between the practical Fintech world and academia by establishing the “Swiss Fintech Innovations” association as a port of call for practice and academia alike.

In Luxembourg Anne-Laure Mention is one of the commendable academics at CRP Henri Tudor who attempts to narrow the gulf between innovation in financial services in practice and academia.

If there are other such initiatives in other countries, please do drop me line! I am keen to learn!

Dr. Patrick Schüffel, A.Dip.C., M.I.B., Dipl.-Kfm.
Haute école de gestion Fribourg
Institute of Finance
Chemin du Musée 4
CH-1700 Fribourg,