Organizational Learning and Corporate Diversification Performance
59 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2010 Last revised: 2 Apr 2016
Date Written: December 14, 2014
This study investigates the role of organizational learning on the valuation effects of corporate diversification. The empirical findings suggest that corporate diversification reduces shareholders’ wealth. However, consistent with the absorptive capacity viewpoint of organizational learning, diversification performance depends on repetitive and accumulative experiences, as captured by a firm’s prior diversification activity and/or a firm’s experience in operating in multiple-business segments. Specifically, single-business firms that diversify once demonstrate significant value reduction. In contrast, multi-business firms that diversify once do not demonstrate value reduction, while single/multi-business firms that diversify multiple times demonstrate material value creation. Findings also reveal that performance is conditional on the mode of diversification since internal growth diversification show higher valuation effects than diversifications through acquisitions. These findings contribute to the literature by affirming the importance of organizational learning, a cognitive and behavioral perspective, in explaining the valuation effect of corporate diversification.
Keywords: organizational learning, absorptive capacity, diversification, repetitive experience, accumulative experience, diversification discount, firm performance
JEL Classification: L25, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation