Facilitating integration and maintaining autonomy: The role of managerial action and interaction in post-acquisition capability transfer
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Business Research, Volume 109, March 2020, Pages 148-160 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.09.063
Through acquisitions, firms can access resources and capabilities they cannot develop on their own. Post-acquisition, a key managerial challenge is balancing the need for integration, to transfer capabilities, with the need for autonomy, to preserve knowledge-based capabilities. Drawing on extensive qualitative data, I find that this balancing involves managerial perceptions and actions that unfold in a reciprocal and dynamic process, resulting in capability transfer. I identify two distinct trajectories of capability transfer, one driven by the acquiring managers’ perceptions of valuable capabilities in the target, and one driven by the target managers’ desire to shield their capabilities from deterioration. This study contributes to the post-acquisition integration literature by conceptualizing the role played by target and acquiring firm managers in the dynamic, reciprocal, and sequential process of post-acquisition capability transfer.