This paper examines the role of acquirers’ prior related knowledge in the post-acquisition integration process. The purpose of this paper is to identify what constitutes the key prior related knowledge that can contribute to the reverse knowledge transfer following Chinese firms’ outward mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to Europe, and explain how prior related knowledge affects such transfer of knowledge.
The authors employ a multiple case study approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted from February 2012 to June 2013 with 24 managers.
The authors find that, in addition to knowledge about the target, prior international business experience, R&D capability, and industrial capabilities are key components of acquirers’ prior related knowledge that can contribute to the success of M&A integration and post-acquisition reverse knowledge transfer. Indeed, Chinese acquirers’ prior related knowledge can influence the reverse knowledge transfer from acquired firms to acquirers by directly improving acquirers’ absorptive capacity and building a harmonious organisational climate to facilitate such transfer.
This paper contributes to the absorptive capacity and the cross-border M&A literature. It extends the current knowledge on the key components of an acquirer’s prior related knowledge in the outward M&A by Chinese firms. It also uncovers how post-acquisition reverse knowledge transfer is affected by acquirers’ prior related knowledge.
Ai, Q. and Tan, H. (2017), "Acquirers’ prior related knowledge and post-acquisition integration: Evidences from four Chinese firms", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 647-662. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-08-2015-0145
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