Colman, Helene Loe, Rouziès, Audrey and Lunnan, Randi (2023) Social integration in subsidiary-building acquisitions. Journal of International Business Studies.

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Identification Number : 10.1057/s41267-023-00633-y


We identify and conceptualize the phenomenon of subsidiary-building acquisitions. International acquisitions provide a powerful means for multinational corporations (MNCs) to grow their existing subsidiaries. The integration of subsidiary-building acquisitions involves a triad of actors: the MNC, the existing subsidiary, and the target. However, extant research emphasizes international acquisitions as a cross-border phenomenon, focusing in a limited way on the foreign acquirer–local target dyad, thus ignoring the complexities of subsidiary-building acquisitions. Through a qualitative study of a Norwegian target acquired by a French MNC with an existing Norwegian subsidiary, we find that subsidiary-building acquisitions involve tensions between autonomy and integration in two distinct and interrelated integration processes: local integration and cross-border integration. We uncover how pressures for autonomy in one process counter-intuitively trigger pressures for integration in the other. These dynamics fuel headquarters–subsidiary relationships and subsidiary cohesion, the two components of social integration in subsidiary-building acquisitions. By unearthing the underexplored phenomenon of subsidiary-building acquisitions, we provide novel insights into the complexities of international acquisitions. We bridge the merger and acquisition (M&A) and MNC literatures, thus paving the way for research on international acquisitions to move beyond the acquirer–target dyad to understand their implications for MNCs.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: 6 July 2023
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Londres
Uncontrolled Keywords: international acquisitions, subsidiary-building acquisitions, qualitative studies, multinational corporations, post-acquisition integration
Subjects: C- GESTION
Divisions: TSM Research (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 12:29
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 12:29
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