“What integration process?” - The role of subsidiary autonomy in integration processes

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how the autonomy in an acquired subsidiary affects the integration process within an M&A process. The study uses a qualitative and deductive method by conducting a case study in a major Swedish technological company. We have made five different hypotheses based on three prominent articles within the M&A research area that deal with the subject of subsidiary autonomy. These articles are: ‘Integration Vacuum: Creating Action Space for Global Strategy Implementation in International Acquisitions’, written by Helene L. Colman & Birgitte Grøgaard; ‘Determinants of Autonomy in Multinational Corporation Subsidiaries’, written by James Taggart & Neil Hood; and ‘Exploring Subsidiary Desire for Autonomy: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Findings’, written by Christian Homburg & Jana-Kristin Prigge. We found all five of the hypotheses to be verified to alternating degrees. The implications of our empirical data lead us to e.g. propose an expansion to the theory of the integration vacuum. The conclusion of this study is that as an acquirer, you should have a clear purpose behind every M&A process since this increases the chances of a perceived success.

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