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The Impact of knowledge codification, experience trajectories and integration strategies on the performance of corporate acquisitions

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This study addresses the following questions : 1) can organizations learn how to manage infrequent and heterogenous tasks? 2) if they can, then what the mechanisms that might explain learning under these circumstances? and 3) what are the mimitations under which these mechanisms operate? A model based on explicit knowledge codification and tacit experience accumulation is submitted and tested using data from a sample of 183 acquisitions in the US banking industry. Measures of post-acquisition integration strategies and of pre-acquisition resource characteristics are included in the model.The authors find that tacit knowledge accumulation significantly impacts performance when the experiences are highly homogeneous, and that knowledge codification improves acquisition performance in the context of high post-acquisition integration, ie. when the organizational challenge is particularly complex. Also, the level of integration between the two firms involved in the acquisition psitively influences performance, while the replacement of top managers in the acquired firm impacts performance in a negative fashion. Implications are drawn for organizational learning theory and for a knowledge-based view of corporate acquisitions.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp1998/98-62.pdf

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