The Handbook of Mergers and Acquisitions
7 June 2012
With its inception at the end of the nineteenth century as a means of consolidation and reorganisation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have since become quasi-institutionalised as one of the primary strategic options for organisations, as they seek to secure their position in an ever more competitive and globalising marketplace.
Despite the optimism surrounding M&A as strategic moves, research on post-merger company performance suggests that most firms engaging in M&A activity do not achieve the sought-after performance targets, either immediately or in the years following the deal. What is it that drives M&A activity when research results do not support the performance expectations of these undertakings? Alternatively, have M&A scholars got it all wrong in the way that M&A performance is measured? Is the topic too complex, enduring, and multifaceted to study?