Handbook of Research on Strategy Process
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Handbook of Research on Strategy Process

Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns

The Handbook of Research on Strategy Process reveals the current state of the art of strategy process research as a whole as well as emerging research initiatives. It also discusses managerial and organizational factors affecting strategy implementation.
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Chapter 18: A Review of Research Progress in Understanding the Acquisition Integration Process: Building Directions for Future Research

Annette L. Ranft, Frank C. Butler and Jennifer C. Sexton


Annette L. Ranft, Frank C. Butler and Jennifer C. Sexton Mergers and (M&As) acquisitions play a major role in corporate strategy as evidenced by the $1.45 trillion spent on M&A activity in the United States in 2007 alone (Mergers and Acquisitions Report, 2008). Despite the preponderance of continued acquisition activity, traditional financial, strategic, and organizational perspectives of M&As have failed to explain the generally disappointing value created by these corporate events (King et al., 2004; Larsson and Finkelstein, 1999; Pablo et al., 1996). Scholars have increasingly emphasized the importance of the post-acquisition integration process, where ‘the actions of management, and the process of integration, determine the extent to which potential benefits of the acquisition are realized’ (Birkinshaw et al., 2000: 397). Indeed, it is during the acquisition integration process that potential synergy in an acquisition is realized (Larsson and Finkelstein, 1999). A major challenge then, for both managers and scholars, is to identify and manage integration processes that can lead to post-acquisition success. While there is a rich body of research on mergers and acquisitions,1 research specifically examining process issues during acquisition integration is more limited and somewhat disjointed. A theoretical process perspective of acquisitions was developed and introduced by Jemison and Sitkin (1986). This perspective considers the overall acquisition process as a series of decisions and behaviors from early stages of the due diligence phase, to deal construction, to the post-deal integration phase. Subsequent process perspectives focused on fundamental dimensions of the acquisition integration phase...

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