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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
M&A section. This issue offers a special section on the strategic management of mergers and acquisitions that is noteworthy for some original reportage. The section features an interview with two leading practitioners about their latest research, plus two articles that provide fresh approaches to M&A due diligence and evaluation. Nowadays, however, readers are wise to approach any M&A guidance and counsel with caution, especially suggestions such as "practice makes perfect". At a time when the business landscape is littered with failed mergers, a lot of the expert counsel isn't backed up by reliable data. So we asked two McKinsey & Company practitioners who are writing a book on M&A based on their extensive research and the firm's experience with 800 mergers in the past five years, to share the insights they have gleaned.
Key findings. According to their analysis, there is little correlation between repeated M&A experience and post-merger performance. Their suggested best practice for improving odds of merger success: companies should establish a formal process for learning from a merger experience, apply that learning to the next acquisition, and systematically build the capability to analyze opportunities and integrate acquisitions. They also offer some preliminary guidelines for identifying which merger targets are likely to pose serious integration problems and which are likely to add shareholder value.
Credits. S&L Contributing Editor Stewart Early conducted the McKinsey interview in two sessions. As part of the prep for the interview, he and CE Sam Felton reviewed the current literature, and then they and CE David Rader read a number of submissions to S&L to choose articles for the issue that made sense in the light of the latest findings. More journalism: CE Alistair Davidson prepared a "conference report" on the Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger. My thanks to them for their excellent work on the special section and to the other contributing editors who helped create this issue.
Three new CEs. I am also pleased to announce that S&L's contributing editor team has grown. Three distinguished new talents have come on board:
Robert I. Sutton is a Professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and Co-Director, Center for Work, Technology, and Organization at Stanford University (bobsut@Stanford.edu and http://www.stanford.edu/~bobsut). He is the author of Weird Ideas That Work: 11ø Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation and co-author (with Jeffrey Pfeffer) of The Knowing-Doing Gap. Pfeffer and Sutton are currently writing Dangerous Half-Truths: The Case for Evidence-Based Management. His article "Prospecting for valuable evidence: why scholarly research can be a goldmine for managers" appeared in S&L Vol. 32 No. 1.
Brian Leavy is AIB Professor of Strategic Management at Dublin City University Business School (firstname.lastname@example.org). The author of more than 40 articles and three books (Strategy and Leadership, co-authored with David Wilson; Strategy and General Management, co-edited with James S. Walsh and Key Processes in Strategy), he is a frequent contributor to S&L. His review of The Innovator's Solution by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor appears in this issue.
John Sterling, a Partner with Smock-Sterling Strategic Management Consultants, has 20 years experience in marketing and strategic management (email@example.com) working with industrial and consumer product companies, professional service firms, as well as not-for-profit organizations. He has written a number of case studies and articles for S&L, most recently: "Translating strategy into effective implementation", in Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 31 No. 3.
I'm delighted that all three have accepted a leadership role in our ongoing literary enterprise.
Robert M. RandallEditor