This study raises the question of whether the nature of the merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy per se, that is reflected throughout the M&A process, may lead to a potential trade-off between the two main objectives of M&As – synergy success and efficiency gains, which may explain the high failure rate of the M&A strategy. The purpose of this paper is to present a mediation model to explore the potential trade-off that may exist between synergy success and efficiency gains. The model examines whether the change in the workforce size during the M&A process mediates the relationship between the types of M&A and M&A success, resulting in a trade-off.Design/methodology/approachThe study uses a sample of 394 public firms.FindingsThe study reveals that if the management over-increases the workforce size to realize the synergy potential, then it heightens the risk of the “win synergy-lose efficiency” trade-off, resulting in an increase in revenue growth but a decrease in profitability. The results even show that international M&As lead to an “over” increase in the workforce size to maximize the synergy potential, but at the same time, an increase in the workforce size harms the efficiency gains, resulting in a decrease in profitability. However, vertical and conglomerate M&As may lead neither to synergy success nor to efficiency gains, which reflects a situation of no benefits from the M&A for the acquirer.Originality/valueThe study emphasizes that one of the main challenges in the implementation of the M&A strategy is to strike a balance between the objective of improving efficiency through cutting costs and workforce reduction during the integration stage and the objective of realizing the synergy potential, despite the workforce reduction during the M&A process.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 30, 2018
Keywords: Synergy; Trade-off; Conglomerate M&As; International M&As; Merger and acquisition (M&A); Vertical M&As
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Already have an account? Log in
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.