In This Chapter


Authored by: Annette Risberg

The Routledge Companion to Mergers and Acquisitions

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415704663
eBook ISBN: 9780203761885
Adobe ISBN: 9781134497652


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A widespread number of mergers and acquisitions (also M&As) are shaping industries across continents. Consequently, companies, as well as the people who work in them, are frequently affected by acquisitions one or more times during their lifetimes. The impact on companies’ and peoples’ lives, together with the pervasiveness of acquisitions, explains the continued and renewed interest from the academic community in investigating this phenomenon. Acquisitions are no longer extraordinary events for corporations. They have become a context where old and new management and organizational issues unfold, and the importance of these issues is magnified due to the seemingly simple circumstance that two companies become one. For example, all firms bring in new hires with established routines and processes. This rather simple act becomes complicated because a firm’s managers and its processes are often unprepared to bring in thousands of established employees following an acquisition. Moreover, acquisitions tend to spread their effects not only within the boundaries of the companies involved but also outside their boundaries to include other stakeholders, such as consumers, suppliers, competitors, investors, and governments to name a few. These considerations illustrate that acquisitions are complex processes taking place at many levels of an organization, and across many organizational dimensions and boundaries at the same time. All these issues explain the continued attention that M&A scholars give to such a complex phenomenon.

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