Is cultural distance a bane or a boon for cross-border acquisition performance?
Literature has offered diverse explanations of the relationship between cultural distance and acquisition performance, pointing to both positive and negative effects. In this paper, we build on these findings and attempt to reconcile the conflicting research streams. We suggest that the effect of cultural distance on cross-border acquisition performance depends on the level of acquisition experience of the acquirer. More internationally experienced acquirers are more likely to be aware of cross-border acquisition pitfalls and are more skilled at resolving acquisition related conflicts; this allows the acquirer to benefit from cultural differences, ultimately leading to higher acquisition performance. Performance of culturally distant cross-border acquisitions launched by inexperienced acquirers is lower because such acquirers are unlikely to have a culturally sensitive anti-conflict action plan, which affects the ability of the acquirer to benefit fully from cultural distances. Albeit we stipulate that experience with domestic acquisitions affects positively the relation between cultural distance and acquisition performance, we do not find support. We empirically test our model with a comprehensive database of 1223 cross-border acquisitions launched during the 2009–2010 period.
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Volume (Year): 48 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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