Session 45

Learning and Decision Making for Acquisitions and Alliances

Track E

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010


Time: 15:15 – 16:45


Room: Kokoustila 5

Session Chair:

Title: Complexity of Behavioral Learning in Acquisitions: The Effects of the Separation of Responsibility for Content and Process-Related Learning


  • Natalia Vuori, Aalto University

Abstract: In this study we seek to extend previous research on the micro-foundations of capability development by investigating the managerial mental models and acquisitive actions in a multiunit firm. On the basis of an in-depth case study, we find that even though the managers constantly take actions to learn and develop acquisition capabilities, it does not yet guarantee success. In particular, we find that the separation of responsibility for content and process-related learning influences negatively all the phases of learning process: experience accumulation, knowledge articulation, knowledge codification, knowledge sharing, knowledge internalization, and knowledge integration. We find that managers have a tendency to cognitively restrict themselves into the boundaries of their own unit and not be able to learn from others. We show how this cognitive “boxing” influences interpretation of information, and the change of managerial cognitive frames, and, as a consequence has negative effects on actions aimed at capability development

Title: Making Sense of Strategic Alliances from a Managerial Perspective


  • Louis Rinfret, University of Quebec-Three Rivers

Abstract: Theory on alliances has largely been rooted in economic logic with a particular concern for issues at the interstice of organizations, such as those of trust and control. While economics and relational issues clearly matter, this framework is insufficiently robust to explain alliances’ formation and evolution. This is in part due to the fact that inter-organizational activity is derived from processes operating within each partner firm’s micro-context. Managerial sensemaking is at the core of these processes and represents a useful area of focus to surface overlooked psycho-sociological factors influencing decisions and actions. This view complements extant literature by highlighting the importance of managers’ behaviour in addition to macro and meso level factors, which have received a disproportionate amount of attention in explaining the development alliances.

Title: Pre-Acquisition Decision Making - A Closer Look


  • Elina Happonen, Helsinki University of Technology
  • Satu Teerikangas, Helsinki University of Technology

Abstract: Whilst mergers and acquisitions have been the subject of extensive study over the last decades, a lot of this effort has focused on understanding managerial or performance factors post-deal. In this paper, we report the findings of an explorative multiple case study research project in the context of a single company, wherein we studied the pre-deal managerial decision-making process leading to two acquisitions and another seven non-completed ones. Our findings point to factors and feedback dynamics that explain the managerial decision-making process leading to acquisition decisions. We argue that this is among the first papers since Jemison and Sitkin (1986) to explicitly focus on the pre-acquisition managerial decision-making process, and hence offers a potentially significant contribution to the research and practice of mergers and acquisitions.

Title: Strategic Knowledge Transfer in Service Business Development - A Multilayered Analysis of Social and Intellectual Capital


  • Katja Karintaus, University of Tampere
  • Hanna Lehtimaki, University of Eastern Finland

Abstract: This paper presents a preliminary framework for a multidisciplinary research project examining what are the practices of creating social and intellectual capital and how these two forms of capital transform into value for service business. A multilayered research brings together three perspectives to social relationships and knowledge transfer: 1) the structure, scope and activity in social network relations linking individuals and organizations, 2) interaction amongst the networking individuals and, 3) the neural affective-motivational reactions people exhibit during co-operation. The research joins in the strategy-as-practice line of research in studying interaction and interacting individuals in a search for implications in shaping strategy. The research will join in the strategy process field of research in examining the emerging findings from neurosciences on cognition and emotions of interacting individuals.

All Sessions in Track E...

Thu: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 44: Mergers and Acquisitions
Thu: 15:15 – 16:45
Session 45: Learning and Decision Making for Acquisitions and Alliances
Thu: 17:00 – 18:30
Session 41: Investing for Performance
Fri: 10:15 – 11:45
Session 40: Networks and Alliances for Competitive Advantage

Strategic Management Society