For some firms, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is part of a normal growth strategy in a competitive environment. Such firms accumulate a body of M&A knowledge that can be employed for the benefits of organisational continuity. Despite the significant risks associated with M&A failure, they are able to approach each new event with a set of experiential learnings that can better inform their actions. For other firms however, M&A represent rare occasions in the company’s lifecycle. Valuable integration knowledge is inherently fragmented, making these firms especially vulnerable to M&A risks. A case study was undertaken in a firm that matches this latter category. A Task-based Knowledge Management approach provided a framework for inquiry. Our focus was on knowledge work associated with the post-acquisition integration task of an acquirer. The findings reveal substantial M&A learnings, which if harnessed adequately, can enhance firm’s competitive advantage and mitigate against associated M&A risk.
Zanner, Richard A.; Burstein, Frada; and Linger, Henry, "A Task-based Knowledge Management Case for Addressing Merger and Acquisition Risk" (2008). ACIS 2008 Proceedings. 89.