Success and Failure in M&As : Is There a Place for a Paradigm Change? Evidence from the Israeli Hi-tech Industry
The consistent growth of mergers & acquisitions (M&As) activity around the world in the last decade, and the volume of capital involved in such transactions, stand in sharp contrast to the high failure rates evident in M&As. The inconsistency amongst empirical findings on M&A performance is based on a variety of settings and on different measurements investigated under the generic label 'M&As'. This paper claims that we need to differentiate between general M&As and those involving technology firms acquisition. The combination of the drive, the dynamic process and the human capital capabilities which characterize the latter, is expected to result in a more successful result than was reported. Hi-tech innovative acquirers can benefit from buying small, start- up firms by adding valuable resources, increasing market power and initiating strategic renewal. It is proposed that in addition to the traditional critical success factors (CSFs) identified as the most influential variables on M&A performance, attention needs to be given to the acquired firms' motivation to succeed and to the performance of start-ups in the hi-tech sector. Some unique variables in that configuration need to be researched, amongst them are: trust, readiness for change, commitment, knowledge transfer and preserved autonomy. By doing that an opportunity will be given to examine if the general research paradigm of M&As fits the hi-tech's circumstances or if a separate one is needed to measure the merger performance of start-ups. It is assumed that the Israeli's start-ups mergers represent a more successful case and that they will perform with more positive results. This paper presents a theoretical framework for investigating M&A performance in the hi-tech area through an interdisciplinary approach. The article is organized as follows: The first section outlines the various theoretical ideas and research done on M&As. The second part deals with some critical reviews that aim to explain the confusing data produced from that paradigm. Section three turns to the emerging area of the technological business environment highlighting the uniqueness of the Israeli start-up phenomena. The last section combines performance with hi-tech in order to provide new insights on the M&As processes for executives engaged in both planning and implementing M&A deals. The paper concludes with a short summary and practical recommendation for further research.(original abstract)
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