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  • Writer's pictureNicola Mirc

Trade-offs between fast or slow post-merger integration

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are significant milestones in organizational growth, and the post-merger phase is widely acknowledged as critical for value creation. One of the key decisions in this process is determining the pace of integration. However, despite increasing literature on this subject, conclusions still need to be made more explicit.

In their recent paper, eM&Ai affiliate members Mark Thomas, Duncan Angwin, Ioannis C. Thanos and their colleagues Gazi Islam and Robert Demir challenged the assumptions advocating for fast or slow post-merger integration.

Two not-for-profit organizations underwent a longitudinal study lasting 30 months. The researchers used multiple sources of process data to identify and track periods of rapid and slower integration during the two-and-a-half-year period following the merger. The study offers a unique empirical demonstration of the changes in speed during the post-merger integration process. The researchers support their findings with a theoretical discussion that uses the temporal concepts of chronos and kairos. They analyze the determinants and mechanisms of speed changes, asking why and how these variations occur. They call this mechanism the kairotic switch and discuss its theoretical and managerial uses and implications. For more information on managing variations and understanding the factors influencing speed changes, please refer to the full paper published in Long Range Planning.

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