This study draws on organizational learning and risk management literature to examine the underlying determinants of deliberate learning in post-acquisition integration. In particular, we posit that the performance effect of knowledge codification is mediated by risk management practices on the part of the acquirer. As such, we argue, contrary to received wisdom, that the beneficial effect of knowledge codification is primarily due to the caution that it fosters rather than any improved insight into cause-and-effect relationships. Moreover, we hypothesize that acquisition experience and tacit M&A practices moderate the effect of risk management on acquisition performance. We use insights from extensive fieldwork and a sample of 101 firms that report on 2,447 acquisitions to test our theory. Implications for organizational learning theory and post-acquisition integration management are discussed.

69th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2009
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Heimeriks, K.H, & Schijven, M.P.G. (2009). Caution or causation: The underlying mechanisms of deliberate learning in the context of post-acquisition integration. In Academy of Management 2009 Annual Meeting: Green Management Matters, AOM 2009. doi:10.5465/ambpp.2009.44258151