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Cultural differences and synergy realization in cross-border acquisitions

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  • Wang, Daojuan
  • Hain, Daniel S.
  • Larimo, Jorma
  • Dao, Li T.

Abstract

Research on cross-border acquisitions (CBAs) consistently recognizes the importance of cultural differences, yet it lacks consensus on whether it has a positive or negative impact. While tied to the purpose and consequences of an acquisition, synergy realization has not received much attention in research on culture-performance relationship. Focusing on synergy realization in CBAs and applying a process and conditional perspective, we propose the relationship between national/ organizational culture differences and synergy realization to be moderated by the quality and extent of due diligence and post-acquisition coordination. Drawing from cross-cultural interaction and inter-organizational learning arguments, we further propose idiosyncratic effects of cultural differences in different synergy realization contexts, where we contrast explicit with implicit synergy realization. Our analysis is based on a unique survey on a sample of 103 cross-border acquisitions. The results indicate that both national and organizational culture differences exert a negative impact on the realization of implicit synergies while no impact on the realization of explicit synergies. National culture differences are found to have a stronger negative effect than organizational culture differences on synergy realization. Sufficient culture and human due diligence prior to the acquisition is found to significantly moderate the impact of high cultural differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Daojuan & Hain, Daniel S. & Larimo, Jorma & Dao, Li T., 2020. "Cultural differences and synergy realization in cross-border acquisitions," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:29:y:2020:i:3:s0969593120300135
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2020.101675
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