Toward unlocking the full potential of acquisitions: The role of organizational restructuring

Harry G. Barkema, Mario Schijven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Building on behavioral theory, we study when and how firms unlock synergy from acquisitions over extended periods of time. We argue that initial integration is inevitably suboptimal and that, as a result, acquisitive growth decreases an acquirer's performance, eventually forcing it to engage in organizational restructuring to more fully unlock the synergistic potential. Hence, we conceptualize organizational restructuring as a second stage in the integration process. Moreover, we theorize about how acquisition-restructuring cycles evolve as firms gain acquisition and restructuring experience. We tested our theory using panel data on firms undertaking almost 1,600 acquisitions over four decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-722
Number of pages27
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume51
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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