Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions: Volume 17

Cover of Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions

Table of contents

(10 chapters)


Pages i-xiii
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In this paper, we responded to recent calls for the use of a greater variety of qualitative methods in the study of inter-organizational encounters, including mergers and acquisitions (M&As). The paper provided a reflection on the authors’ experiences in carrying out two studies of merger processes in the UK and Finland, one ethnographic and one combing also auto-­ethnographic methods. Contrasts between the former case of an “outsider” entering into an ethnographic study and the latter case of an auto-ethnographer with a dual role as a researcher and integration team member were highlighted. The paper offered three contributions to extant research. First, the paper extended the methodological debate in the study of M&As to the level of individual methods. Second, the paper identified the finding types that emerge when using ethnographic methods in the study of mergers. Third, the paper discussed the unique challenges posed when conducting ethnographic work investigating organizational combinations in times of mergers as opposed to ethnography in traditional, single organizational settings.


Empirical evidence for the positive correlation between company size and competitiveness is widely supported in the literature and research. Of the many ways in which companies can increase in size, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are the most common. M&As are now a strategic option for corporations to exploit emerging opportunities in order to expand. This paper reviewed the literature on how M&As impact company’s performance, comparing pre-merger and post-merger situations. We found that while scholars have explored this topic extensively, no minimum level of consensus has been reached, not only in conclusions but neither in methodologies nor in identifying independent and dependent variables. The evidence from the M&A literature is extremely inconsistent. Based on these mixed findings, we identified directions for future research, and suggested how to develop the scholarship to reach a consensus on the answer to the research question: does company performance improve after M&As?


In the rapidly changing and globalizing environment, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have become increasingly important. In this study, we paid specific attention to the voluntary announcements of M&A budgets by Japanese firms. We discussed the antecedents and consequences of such announcements by incorporating the context of Japan, which has experienced an enduring economic downturn since 1990 and is in the process of adopting a Western style of governance. Drawing on signaling theory and impression management theory, this exploratory study intended to contribute to the literature by incorporating the influence of the social context and by arguing for the possibility that announcements of M&A budgets may be used not only for strategic purposes but also for impression management and to reduce information asymmetry.


Many announced cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are never brought to completion despite potential negative consequences to acquirers and targets. This paper presented evidence on the dynamic effects of spatial distance and two industry-level characteristics, namely industry relatedness between the two firms and technological intensity, on the completion likelihood of cross-border M&A deals. Based on a sample of 8,489 M&A transactions we found that the completion likelihood of cross-border M&As increases with spatial distance. The effect is more pronounced for deals across technology-based industries, evidence for related deals is inconclusive.


In this study we investigated the effects of news reports on acquirer short-term performance. Our focus was on the extent to which key deal characteristics – the type of deal, during a merger wave or not or the presence of a significant premium – are made explicit. Moreover, we looked for the effect of the assessment of the deal characteristics by different key informants: board members, top management team members, and analysts. Configurations derived using the set-theoretic approach suggest that media-transmitted signals form complex interrelations among content and informant. We found that investors react positively to deals that are surrounded by unequivocal signals of synergy potential: they contain explicitly stated deal characteristics as well as deal endorsements from the boards and/or top management of acquirer and target companies. Analysts’ assessments of the deals seem to bear little influence on investor reaction. Meanwhile, investors react negatively to deals with low or absent media coverage as well as deals surrounded by signals of ambiguous synergy potential.

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Increasing chances of firm survival requires enduring entrepreneurship or the ability to balance competing demands for exploration and exploitation. We developed how acquisitions can provide needed disruption to change a firm’s dominant orientation toward exploration or exploitation or enable a continued focus on a firm’s dominant orientation. The result is a new typology for acquisition integration associated with different pre- and post-acquisition characteristics. For example, a firm with an exploitation orientation faces different integration challenges in acquiring targets with an exploration or exploitation orientation. We also distinguished between human and task integration to enable more nuanced integration decisions that help to reconcile conflicting findings on acquisition integration decisions. Implications for management research and practice were discussed.


The use of social media information for personnel decisions in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) could have greater effects on employees in targeted firms of M&As. Negative information from social media can facilitate employee departures especially during reorganization efforts. Managers should be aware that personnel decisions using information gained from social media could have legal ramifications. As such, appropriate policies concerning social media should be in place to guide organizational decision making. Although social media has been a part of society and business, research on its influences on human resources, employment decisions, and organizational behaviors has been limited. As such, this paper reviewed the current literature on social media and suggested ways to advance studies in the field.


Firms pursue merger and acquisitions in order to gain valuable resources from acquired companies, including employee-held know-how and culture. This study aims to identify reasons employees choose to stay or leave in reaction to acquisitions. Seventeen employees involved in two major acquisitions in the software industry were interviewed for this qualitative study that goes beyond classical turnover variables to indicate that turnover or retention decisions depend on highly critical acquisition-specific variables such as leadership behavior, contact with new colleagues, or appreciation from the acquirer. We develop an acquisition-specific turnover model as a basis for further research on acquisition-specific turnover and to provide guidelines for practitioners dealing with retention and turnover during acquisitions.


Pages 185-191
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Cover of Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions
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Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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