- Location: Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Grant, Michael
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Företagsekonomiska institutionen
- Contact person: Grant, Michael
This thesis examines acquisition-making, that is, activities and events leading up to the completion or cancellation of an acquisition. Acquisition-making involves people, from various areas of expertise, who are managed by and organized in what in this thesis is called a professional acquisition organization (PAO).
The PAO is a small task force consisting of people from the acquirer and advisers assigned to make the acquisition. In addition to the PAO, decision-makers are obviously involved. However, the thesis especially examines the PAO’s activities. The setting is serial acquirers in which the PAO is managed by a special group of people appointed for this task.
Acquisition-making is examined through a literature review of qualitative process research in M&A and three explorative case studies. These encompass a study of the role of the PAO in acquisition decision-making; a study of how strategic and financial rationales are produced; and a study of the role of management control systems in secret organizations such as PAOs.
The findings of these studies contribute to our knowledge about how acquisitions are made in three ways. First, the findings show how the PAO plays a critical role in acquisition decision-making, emanating from a division of labor between the PAO and decision-makers. This enables the PAO to enhance or attenuate the perceived benefits of an acquisition when informing decision-makers. The respective purposes would be to receive approval for the acquisition, or to show improved performance after it is made. Second, the findings show how the key reasons for making an acquisition, through the strategic and financial rationales, are made by judgments based on intuitive expertise. Thus, the study provides an explanation for and understanding of how concepts such as cash flows are used in evaluating acquisitions. This implies that the expertise of the practitioners producing the strategic and financial rationales is of utmost importance for acquisition decisions, probably more so than the tools used. Third, the findings show that management control systems are important for how confidential information is concealed and made visible in acquisition-making, revealing different categories of secrets to different insiders and outsiders throughout acquisition-making.