A process model for acquisition integration success
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On average over the last 30 years 50% of all mergers and acquisitions have failed, with a third of all these failures having been caused by poor integration. This study sets out to examine a potential solution to improve the chances of integration success. An evaluation of the published acquisition integration process models that had strategic alignment of the acquisition strategy at their core was carried out and these were found to be incomplete and deficient in various aspects, including integrating fit factors, defined process stages and their interconnectedness. A conceptual acquisition integration process model was developed, based on a review of the literature which was subsequently used to design an appropriate research methodology to enhance and validate this model. In subsequent field work a qualitative case study approach, incorporating interviews, documents and comparative data analysis, was undertaken using four organisations and sixteen interviews, to assess how those organisations carry out the integration process. The results were combined with the conceptual model to develop an interim integration process model. This model was subsequently tested on the previous case organisations through semi-structured interviews. The conceptual process model was re-appraised and an internal and a limited external validation study were carried out on the revised model. From this the final complete acquisition integration process model and acquisition planning and integration implementation ‘onion’ was developed that is both practical and empirically tested, albeit on a small sample set.