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Abandonment of mergers and acquisitions: a review and research agenda

Deepak Kumar (Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, India)
Keya Sengupta (Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, India)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 13 November 2020



The purpose of this study is to provide a broad understanding of the pre-completion stage and subsequent abandonment of mergers and acquisitions (M&As).


A total of 117 peer-reviewed, English language articles published in scholarly journals were considered in the review. The approach includes a descriptive evaluation of the literature, coupled with content analysis. The paper uses both positivist and constructivist approaches to qualitative research. The analysis is conducted with the help of R programming and Gephi visualization software. The authors organize the work around the event of outcome/closure of deal proposal.


It is found that earlier studies sampled on domestic M&As in developed economies (DEs). However, the interest of scholars has increased in cross-border deals and emerging economies (EEs) in the last decade. Various factors interact and facilitate the completion/abandonment of good and bad deals. The authors find that complex non-linear relationships exist, and there is a need for studies with other classification techniques focusing on predictive accuracy.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review is limited to articles available to the researcher using search terms related to M&A completion/termination. The databases accessed were: ProQuest, Scopus and Web of Science. However, backward snowballing was performed to avoid the omission of relevant articles.


The findings and subsequent discussions familiarize researchers and practitioners with an overview of research undertaken in the field of M&A abandonment. The authors find voids within the literature and suggest future research agendas.



The authors are grateful to Dr. Andrea Paltrinieri (the editor) and the four anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback during the review process. The authors are also thankful to Dr. Rouhin Deb for his helpful comments.


Kumar, D. and Sengupta, K. (2020), "Abandonment of mergers and acquisitions: a review and research agenda", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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