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The SME perspective on motives and success factors in cross-border mergers: The importance of network position

Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek (Department of International Marketing, Poznan University of Economics, Poznan, Poland)

IMP Journal

ISSN: 0809-7259

Article publication date: 6 July 2015



The purpose of this paper is to address two research questions. First: what causes an small and medium enterprises (SME) to engage in a merger with a multinational group and thereby change its relationships and to start functioning in a hierarchical structure which may be viewed as being the integration of a weaker entity by a stronger and bigger one? And second: what causes the successful continuation of a cross-border merger project from the perspective of an SME?


The concept of the network position is adopted to undertake a longitudinal study of an IT company from Poland.


From the perspective of the SME, its own perceived important network position resulting from the resources it possesses, the ability to decide how they are utilised, as well as relationships strongly supported by trust and a good atmosphere are key motives and success factors for the merger.


By adapting the IMP research perspective and the concept of network position to the analysis of mergers the additional aspects of the merger process which are usually not raised in relevant traditional mergers and acquisitions literature are revealed. A merger is not just the sourcing of resources, but also interdependencies and taking joint decisions with regard to them; not just economic aspects, but also social aspects of relationships (trust and atmosphere); not just the sharing of resources between merged entities, but also the constant influence of other relationships and interactions on these resources.



The paper was written with financial support from the Polish National Center of Science (Narodowe Centrum Nauki) – Decision No. DEC-2012/05/D/HS4/01138. Project “The global and local dimension of business networks” (project leader Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek). Special thanks to reviewers from IMP for the very thorough and constructive reviews and suggestions as well as to the CEO of nSense Poland.


Ratajczak-Mrozek, M. (2015), "The SME perspective on motives and success factors in cross-border mergers: The importance of network position", IMP Journal, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 136-162.



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