Essays On Mergers & Acquisitions And Innovation

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While innovation and growth can be promoted internally through focus on research and development (R&D), many firms find acquisition from external sources to be a speedy and attractive alternative. Despite the numerous theories of merger and acquisition (M&A) in the literature, no empirical study has tackled the problem of target selection in an acquisition. The existing studies on M&A outcomes also fail to control for the endogenous matching between the acquirer and the target. Essay 1 of this dissertation is the first to study the target selection criteria in an empirical setting. It quantifies the elusive concept of synergy by developing new measures of similarity and complementarily between the acquirer and the target that are more comprehensive than the existing measures in the literature. Using an innovative application of the discrete choice model, I find that firms use acquisition to promote growth and innovation in areas of strategic interest. Specifically, acquirers choose target firms whose product markets match their own R&D projects, and target firms whose R&D projects match their own product markets. Essay 2 enriches the modeling approach for merger partner selection in essay 1. I use a game-theoretic matching model and study the impact of matching on merger performance. With a Bayesian estimation method, I apply the model to 1895 mergers in five high-tech industries that occurred between 1992 and 2008. I find that the unobserved strategic fit between the two merging partners has a significant effect on the post-merger innovation abilities of the combined firm. Managers wisely choose merger partners that deepen their technical knowledge, but under-estimate the challenges in integrating foreign partners and partners with similar technology. I also find evidence of estimation bias due to matching induced endogeneity. Essay 3 of the dissertation is a comprehensive review of the M&A related research published in top marketing journals. This review will provide marketing scholars with a research background on M&A, both in terms of theories and marketing applications of those theories. This review will help readers to appreciate the contribution made by marketing researchers to M&A knowledge, and hopefully inspire more marketing scholars to incorporate M&A topic in their research.

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