Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Mergers and Acquisitions

Handbook of Research on Mergers and Acquisitions

Elgar original reference

Edited by Yaakov Weber

For the last four decades, researchers in various disciplines have been trying to explain the enduring paradox of the growing activity and volume of mergers and acquisitions (M & A) versus the high failure rate of M & A. This Handbook will stimulate scholars to focus on new research directions.

Chapter 7: Researching mergers and acquisitions with the case study method: idiographic understanding of longitudinal integration processes

Lars Bengtsson and Rikard Larsson

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, organisational behaviour, strategic management, economics and finance, corporate governance


There are two major ways of empirically studying various phenomena; broader nomothetic surveys of many observations and idiographic case studies of one or few in-depth cases (Larsson, 1993). In the area of mergers and acquisitions, as with many other management research areas, the scientific literature is dominated by nomothetic surveys (for example, Andrade et al., 2001; Chatterjee et al., 1992; Haleblian and Finkelstein, 1999; Hitt et al., 1991; Jensen and Ruback, 1983; King et al., 2004) and conceptual publications (for example, Haspeslagh and Jemison, 1991; Jemison and Sitkin, 1986; Schweiger and Walsh, 1990). These two categories tend together to outnumber the published M & A case studies (for example, Buono et al., 1985; Greenwood et al., 1994; Larsson, 1990; Sales and Mirvis, 1984) by more than 10 to 1 among the most referenced M & A articles and books (compare Haleblian et al., 2009). One can speculate why case studies are much less prevalent in the M & A literature, such as dominating positivistic, quantitative research norms in the mainly American academic community that devalues more interpretive, qualitative case studies more often used by European researchers (Bengtsson et al., 1997, Collin et al., 1996). The classic example of this being the claim of case studies lacking scientific value, that fortunately Campbell himself retracted this quite exaggerated statement (Campbell, 1975).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information