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The use of accounting-based measures in measuring M&A performance: a review of five decades of research

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Abstract

The main aim of this chapter is to review the use of accounting-based measures of merger and acquisition (M&A) performance. To do so, we conducted a keyword search in 28 leading management journals and one edited book (i.e., Advances in Mergers & Acquisitions). To complement our review, we draw on very recent literature reviews of M&As (e.g., Haleblian, J., Devers, C. E., McNamara, G., Carpenter, M. A., & Davison, R. B. (2009). Taking stock of what we know about mergers and acquisitions: A review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 35(3), 469–502; Kolev, Haleblian, & McNamara, 2012; Meglio, 2009). Results indicate that accounting-based measures of performance have been used in 36 studies. Also, in these studies, there exists much heterogeneity with respect to the operationalization of M&A performance, the time lag, and the level of analysis. Next, the chapter proceeds with the discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of accounting measures and the proposition of four substantive priorities for future research in the area.