To reconcile the existing contradictory conclusions on the relationship between cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and innovation, this paper aims to propose a theoretical model of the impact of cross-border M&As on technological innovation and explore the moderating role of institutional distance from the perspective of springboard theory and new institutional theory.
Through the use of the two-way fixed effect model and the U-test method, the authors test the hypotheses based on a sample of cross-border M&A events of Chinese manufacturing enterprises during the period from 2006 to 2019.
The research shows that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between cross-border M&As and technological innovation. Furthermore, formal institutional distance moderates the inverted U-shaped relationship in such a way that it reaches its turning point at a smaller scale of cross-border M&As, and the inverted U-shaped relationship is steeper when formal institutional distance is relatively high. The informal institutional distance moderates the inverted U-shaped relationship in such a way that it reaches its turning point at a larger scale of cross-border M&As and the inverted U-shaped relationship is flatter when the informal institutional distance is relatively high.
The research conclusions integrate heterogeneous views of the existing research, further clarify the influence mechanism and boundary conditions between cross-border M&As and technological innovation, identify the different moderating roles of formal institutional distance and informal institutional distance and enrich the literature on knowledge transfer and recombinant innovation during post-merger integration.
The authors appreciate the insightful comments and suggestions from Editor Manlio Del Giudice and the anonymous reviewers. Funding: This research is funded by China National Fund for Philosophy and Social Sciences (Grant number: 20&ZD083).
Zhang, H. and Yang, H. (2021), "Cross-border M&As and technological innovation: the moderating roles of formal and informal institutional distance", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-12-2020-0905
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