You are here


Evidence of acquiror learning in mergers and acquisitions, 1985-1995

Mathew Lisle Alister Hayward, 1999
Faculty Advisor: Donald C. Hambrick


This dissertation uses organizational learning theory to explain and predict whether and when acquirors learn from direct and vicarious acquisition experience. Direct experience is conceived as the amount, nature, timing, performance and management of a focal firm's own acquisition experience. Vicarious experience is conceived as the learning derived from the focal acquiror's industry competitors and professional advisors. Firms learn when they have direct and vicarious experiences which can increase their acquisition performance.

The acquisition experience of 20 acquirors from 6 industries is tracked from 1985 to 1995 to study this question. The acquisitions of these firms from 1985-1995 form an experience base that affects focal acquisition performance, or the performance of acquisitions occurring from 1990-1995. Results suggest that acquirors experience better acquisition performance when (1) they are managed by CEOs with longer tenure at the firm; (2) there is a moderate temporal interval since their prior acquisition; (3) they have previously undertaken acquisitions of different sizes; (4) they have made small, prior acquisition mistakes; and (5) they do not use investment banking advisors. Contrary to my expectations, greater acquisition experience did not increase focal acquisition performance. Taken together, these results suggests that acquirors, learn more from direct than vicarious experience. Further, the nature, timing and performance of prior acquisitions, rather than the amount of experience, is beneficial to acquisition performance.

Doctoral Program News

Honigsberg featured in Ideas at Work

The August issue of Ideas at Work features research that doctoral candidate Colleen Honigsberg led in conjunction with Sharon Katz.

Read More about Colleen

Wazlawek featured in Ideas at Work

Abbie Wazlawek's joint research with Professor Daniel Ames is featured in the June 24th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Ethan Rouen featured in Ideas at Work

Ethan Rouen's joint research with Professor Dan Amiram is featured in the May 15th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Rivas Wins Fellowship

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Miguel Duro Rivas, who was awarded the Nasdaq Educational Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Read More about Miguel

Wong wins Deloitte Fellowship

We are proud to announce that Yu Ting (Forester) Wong is one of the recipients of the 2014 Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting.

Read More About Yu Ting >

The PhD Program Congratulates John Yao

PhD student John Yao was a finalist in the 2013 M&SOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) student paper competition.

Read More About John >

Honigsberg Named Postdoctoral Fellow

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Colleen Honigsberg, who was named the Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at the Millstein Center at Columbia Law School in October 2013

Read More about Colleen >


Application Deadlines

Master of Science in Marketing >

For Fall 2015 Entry:
Deadline: January 5th, 2015


Master of Science in Financial Economics

For Fall 2015 Entry:
Deadline: January 5th, 2015


Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering

For Fall 2014 Entry:
Early Decision: Jan 6, 2015
Regular Decision: Feb 15, 2015


Apply Now
Sept 2015

Deadline: 01/05/15

MS Marketing
Deadline: 01/05/15

MS Financial Economics
Deadline: 01/05/15


Check Application Status

Students listening to classroom lecture

Once you've submitted your application, you can login and track your status by using the link below.

Check Status