How do firms learn to successfully acquire other firms? The authors first review early work, mostly from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, testing the learning curve perspective on acquisitions and exploring some contingencies. They then discuss three more recent streams of research on negative experience transfer, deliberate learning mechanisms, and learning from others, which provide deeper insight into the contingencies and mechanisms of organizational learning in strategic settings such as acquisitions. The article concludes with an agenda for future research.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Barkema, H., & Schijven, M. (2008). How do firms learn to make acquisitions? A review of past research and an agenda for the future. Journal of Management (Vol. 34, pp. 594–634). doi:10.1177/0149206308316968