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Exploration outcomes of M&A: The interplay between coordination mechanisms and acquisition experience

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>R and D Management
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)86-102
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date7/02/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Post‐acquisition exploration aims at triggering innovation outcomes through newly acquired resources and capabilities. To this end, formal and informal mechanisms contribute to coordinating such exploration goals. As the usefulness of such coordination mechanisms in merger and acquisition (M&A) depends upon transaction experience, we investigate how tacit and explicit acquisition experience influences the outcomes of formal and informal coordination mechanisms on post‐merger exploration. Based on a sample of 115 transactions of German, Austrian, and Swiss acquirers, our results demonstrate that exploration outcomes are fostered through informal coordination mechanisms. Yet the effect is dampened when previous M&A experiences are held tacit. Formal coordination mechanisms show positive influences on post‐acquisition exploration only when acquisition experience is made explicit. In combination with tacit M&A experience, formal coordination has a negative influence. Thus, we contribute to the extant literature by showing which coordination mechanisms can be utilized to foster post‐acquisition exploration and how explicit and tacit M&A experience can be deployed effectively.