Towards a governance perspective to mergers and acquisitions

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Doctoral thesis (monograph)
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Doctoral dissertations / Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Institute of Strategy and International Business, 2003 / 3
The aim of the present study is to conceptually integrate insights from governance theories of the firm to the research area of mergers and acquisitions (M & A). The primary governance theories of the firm are understood to consist of the neoclassical view of the firm, the nexus of contracts perspective, agency theory, early incomplete contracting theory, transaction cost economics and property rights theory. This study uses a bipartite research agenda, consisting of conceptual and bibliometric methodologies to investigate two aspects of conceptual integration. Firstly, the role of the governance theories in the de facto structuring of the M & A discourse, with a focus on disciplinary research orientations, underlying theories and key antecedents to performing M & A research, is investigated. Secondly, the contribution of the governance theories to M & A in the form of interlinkages between the two discourses is analyzed. It is shown that the governance theories assume significant roles that vary vis-à-vis their importance and function within the M & A discourse. Based on various types of identified interlinkages between governance theoretical thinking and the M & A discourse, a novel, holistic governance perspective to M & A is presented. This perspective, consisting of an academically oriented exploratory mapping of the research field as well as a set of suggestions on how to apply governance theory into M & A decision-making, is intended to stimulate further integrative research in the area of M & A. Simultaneously, it demonstrates the usefulness of a general governance perspective to management research and highlights the need to consider governance not as an administrative exercise, but as an area of strategic decision-making.
governance theories, mergers, acquisitions, M & A research, firms, conceptual integration, bibliometric methodologies, decision-making process
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