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Gap analysis for innovative firm acquisition – acquirer and acquired party perspectives

Christina Öberg (School of Business, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden) (The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
Seppo Leminen (Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo, Finland) (Department of Marketing, Aalto University School of Business, Aalto, Finland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Companies often aspire to create advantages for their businesses through acquisitions. Their participation has increasingly been documented to include different motives for acquirers, while focusing less on the ambitions of acquired parties with the acquisitions. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss gaps and the handling of gaps between acquirers and acquired parties in acquisitions of innovative firms.

Design/methodology/approach

In the paper, the authors specifically focus on acquisitions of innovative firms. Four case studies illustrate gaps between the acquirers and the acquired parties.

Findings

The authors conclude that gaps may be present from the start as latent gaps, and become activated in integration or as the consequence of non-integration decisions. Gaps between the acquirer and the acquired party may be further manifested in external parties’ reactions to the integration. The handling of gaps emphasizes a transition time and communication about expectations between the acquirer and the acquired party.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to previous research on mergers and acquisitions in general, and acquisitions of innovative firms in particular. Prior literature on acquisitions is scarce on descriptions of gaps or the handling of gaps. Gaps complement ideas on differences in culture between acquirers and acquired parties. It also highlights how acquired parties have as much intention with an acquisition as acquirers.

Keywords

Citation

Öberg, C. and Leminen, S. (2017), "Gap analysis for innovative firm acquisition – acquirer and acquired party perspectives", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 380-395. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-01-2016-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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