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The Impact of Knowledge Codification, Experience Trajectories and Integration Strategies on the Performance of Corporate Acquisitions

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  • Harbir Singh
  • Maurizio Zollo
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    Abstract

    This study addresses the following questions: (1) can organizations learn how to manage infrequent and heterogeneous tasks ? (2) If they can, then what are the mechanisms that might explain learning under these circumstances ?, and (3) what are the limitations under which these mechanisms operate ? A model based on explicit knowledge codification and tacit experience accumulation is submitted and tested using data from a sample of 183 acquisitions in the US banking industry. Measures of post-acquisition integration strategies and of pre-acquisition resource characteristics are included in the model. We find that tacit knowledge accumulation significantly impacts performance when the experiences are highly homogeneous, and that knowledge codification improves acquisition performance in the context of high post-acquisition integration, i.e. when the organizational challenge is particularly complex. Also, the level of integration between the two firms involved in the acquisition positively influences performance, while the replacement of top managers in the acquired firm impacts performance in a negative fashion. Implications are drawn for organizational learning theory and for a knowledge-based view of corporate acquisitions.

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    File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/98/9824.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 98-24.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:98-24

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    1. Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
    2. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
    3. Agrawal, Anup & Jaffe, Jeffrey F & Mandelker, Gershon N, 1992. " The Post-merger Performance of Acquiring Firms: A Re-examination of an Anomaly," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1605-21, September.
    4. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G. & Ruback, Richard S., 1992. "Does corporate performance improve after mergers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 135-175, April.
    5. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Pennings, J.M. & Barkema , H. & Douma, S., 1994. "Organizational learning and diversification," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-382776, Tilburg University.
    7. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Albert Banal-Estañol & Jo Seldeslachts, 2005. "Merger Failures," CIG Working Papers SP II 2005-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    2. Meschi, Pierre-Xavier & Metais, Emmanuel, 2006. "International acquisition performance and experience: A resource-based view. Evidence from French acquisitions in the United States (1988-2004)," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 430-448, December.
    3. Lee, Po-Yen & Lin, Hui-Tzu & Chen, Hung-Hsin & Shyr, Yi-Hwan, 2011. "Dynamic capabilities exploitation of market and hierarchy governance structures: An empirical comparison of Taiwan and South Korea," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 359-370, July.
    4. Chen, Hung-hsin & Lee, Po-yen & Lay, Tzyy-jane, 2009. "Drivers of dynamic learning and dynamic competitive capabilities in international strategic alliances," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1289-1295, December.
    5. Luo, Yadong, 2005. "Toward coopetition within a multinational enterprise: a perspective from foreign subsidiaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 71-90, February.

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