Journal article

Learning through acquisitions

Vermeulen F, Barkema H ...see all

Academy of Management Journal, vol. 44, issue 3 (2001) pp. 457-476

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Abstract

Research on acquisitions has typically focused on acquisitions per se, examining issues such as performance and implementation problems. This study moves beyond that perspective and studies the influence on a firm's later expansions. We argue that exploitation of a firm's knowledge base through "greenfields" eventually makes a firm simple and inert. In contrast, acquisitions may broaden a firm's knowledge base and decrease inertia, enhancing the viability of its later ventures. Over time, firms strike a balance between the use of greenfields and acquisitions. Various implications of this theory-tested with survival analysis and "logit" models-were strongly corroborated.

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Authors

  • Freek Vermeulen

  • Harry Barkema

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