Acquired, transferred and integrated knowledge: a study of M&A knowledge performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: The acquisition of knowledge through mergers and acquisition (M&A) may not create value—usually because the knowledge may not be transferred, or transferred but not integrated. The purpose of this paper to develop and test a theoretical model of knowledge and performance in the M&A process. Design/methodology/approach: Theory, model and case analysis. Findings: The literature review led us to distinguish between three main categories of knowledge along the different stages of the M&A process: acquired knowledge in the pre-merger stage; and transferred knowledge and integrated knowledge in the post-merger stage. The application of the model is illustrated in a case study of technology M&A, which includes data collected from annual reports before and after the merger. Research limitations/implications: The model recommends acknowledging the differences between the acquired knowledge, transferred knowledge and integrated knowledge when examining the relationship between knowledge and performance in M&As. In addition, the model suggests considering several factors that influence future knowledge integration in the pre-merger stage. Ignoring the three categories and the factors may be the reason for the reports of previous studied stating that the acquisition of knowledge-based resources is associated with negative announcement returns to the acquiring firm. Originality/value: The paper presents new procedures to measure knowledge, collecting data on R&D employees by using annual reports. In addition, the paper suggests adding “in-process R&D” as an “Acquired Knowledge” measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-305
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Strategy and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2018


  • Acquired knowledge
  • Integrated knowledge
  • Knowledge measures
  • M&A process
  • Performance
  • Transferred knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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