Critical Success Factors of Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are an important strategy for firms to pursue growth and be competitive. They have been the most radical strategies adopted by most firms as a value creation avenue (through acquiring market leadership, combination of complementary assets) to improve their functions and enhance competitive advantages to compete in very challenging market place. Over the last 30 years, in view of the focus on M&As as growth strategy by most firms, many disciplinaries of researchers and practitioners show significant interest to conduct M&As research and their findings reveal that M&As continue to experience high failure rates. This stirred up the interest in doing a research with a title: Critical Success Factors of the Mergers and Acquisitions Performance: Interrelationship of Planning Stage (Pre-merger) and Integration Process (Post-merger)”


The research investigates success factors for M&As that usually have high failure rates. Some of those factors are neglected from current research and/or do not explored at the same time in a coherent systematic study. Specifically, it explores the effects of planning steps (at pre-merger stage) including, for instance, due diligence analysis, cultural differences analysis, planning for post-merger integration, as well as negotiation stage, and integration process (at post-merger stage) on effectiveness of integration process and the overall M&A performance. Using quantitative method to analyse the information and multiple regression analysis to test the hypotheses. The key findings of the study highlight that success of M&As is influenced by several factors at the pre- and post-merger phases.


The findings of the paper contribute to the emerging stream bridging the gap of the lack of connection in the critical success factors of M&A performance between planning stage (pre-merger) and integration process (post-merger).  It is the contention of the paper that the potential linkages between critical success factors of planning stage (pre-merger) and integration process (post-merger) resolved some of the gaps in the M&A literatures.  The paper also provides a broad review of the existing body of knowledge on M&As, covering the main disciplinary contribution from financial, economic, strategic management, organizational and cultural perspectives.


The results of the paper suggest that successful M&As are influenced by both the pre- and post-merger phases. Planning level (including due diligence, cultural differences analysis at planning stage, negotiation process at planning stage and integration planning), and the effectiveness of integration process are both equally critical to the outcome of M&As as both have large or strong positive relationship to M&A performance.


The study offers suggestion for managers in M&As to pay more attention during all stages of M&As, such as preparing and conducting detailed planning before, and during, negotiation, as well as at the integration process. For example, choosing the appropriate integration approach and pay attention to integrated-related decisions to achieve higher effectiveness of integration process and higher success in M&A performance.


Moving forward, understanding the shift of landscape of mergers and acquisitions which has evolved from the 20th century to today’s digital age is even more crucial for businesses to navigate in the complex landscapes. The shift towards digital and technology focused acquisitions on intangible assets, globalizations and cross-border transactions, speed of transactions, regulatory environment, due diligence focus, influences of investors, data analytics usage, new financing method and changes in consumer behaviour are all the important consideration for success in everchanging world of Mergers and Acquisitions.


Keywords: Critical Success Factors, Mergers, Acquisition, Planning Stage (Pre-merger), Integration Process (Post-merger)


Profile: Dr Grace Chew, PhD in International Business Management focuses in mergers and acquisitions research. This research paper has won “The Best Conference Award” at EuroMed Business Academy held in Lithuania in 2023. My engagement in international business environment and activities has led to the direction of investigation in new technology of mobility (urban air mobility), smart city planning for sustainability and the shift in mergers and acquisitions landscape for success.