Hybridization in Mergers and Acquisitions

234 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2011

Date Written: January 19, 2011


According to numerous studies, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) tend to fail more often than being profitable. While strategic fit seems to be a pre-requisit for M&A success, organizational culture differences between merging organizations seem to set boundaries for achieving the synergies identified prior to the deal.

This doctoral thesis deals with hybridization, i.e. the blending of organizational cultures, in the context of M&As and provides detailed insights into how this phenomenon shapes the outcome of such strategic activities. Based on a qualitative research design (3 case studies, grounded theory, 55 narrative interviews) five different forms of hybridization were identified: (1) Vintage concept of hybridization, (2) deck of cards concept of hybridization, (3) uncontrolled local adaptation of management knowledge, (4) boundary spanning, and (5) people’s twist.

Major findings of this doctoral thesis suggest, that most forms of hybridization have rather a negative impact on the M&A performance. Moreover, the outcome of such deals is strongly depending on contextual factors and the acculturation strategy chosen to harmonize existing cultural values, strategies, organizational structures and operations. Finally, financial key ratios to assess the success of M&As could only partly illustrate what had been found through narrative interviews. Thus, measuring M&A success should not only be based on quantitative measures. This doctoral thesis suggest a more holistic approach to M&A research, when considering cultural effects on the organizational level of analysis.

Keywords: Hybridization, Merger, Acquisition, Organizational Culture, Strategy, Structure, Operations, Performance

JEL Classification: M14, M16

Suggested Citation

Dauber, Daniel, Hybridization in Mergers and Acquisitions (January 19, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1743962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1743962

Daniel Dauber (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

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