You're Fired! A Complex Adaptive Systems Perspective of Post-Merger and Acquisition Executive Turnover
Jason Whan Park
City University of Hong Kong
Carnegie Mellon University
Kevin H. Kim
University of Pittsburgh - School of Education
September 30, 2011
Since the publication of Organization Science’s 1999 Special Issue on complexity theory, researchers have applied this paradigm to various organizational phenomena. In this paper, we examine post-merger and acquisition (M&A) executive turnover from a Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) perspective. This lens integrates and subsumes the existing literature on this phenomenon, which is fragmented, incomplete, and lacking in an overarching theory. The observation of a power law distribution in target firm TMT rates for a sample of 70 U.S. acquisitions valued over US$ 1 billion from 1997 to 1999, at the height of the 1990s M&A wave, supports our interpretation.
Keywords: Mergers and acquisitions, executive turnover, power law, Complex Adaptive System, Self-organized criticality, top management team
JEL Classification: G34, J44, M51
Date posted: June 13, 2011 ; Last revised: March 1, 2012
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