One of the enduring puzzles in the finance and management literature has been the propensity of companies to engage in acquisitions and mergers despite evidence that on average these are not successfully carried out. The finance literature suggests that acquisitions and mergers at best do not add value to the acquiring firm, and that more probably they are seriously detrimental to shareholder wealth in the long term. In this literature, the comparative metric is some model of 'normal' returns. In essence, these models attempt to compare the returns earned on a portfolio of acquiring firms compared to some risk-adjusted benchmark portfolio return. By contrast, the management literature has addressed the question of acquiring firm performance using a more diverse range of tools, including questionnaires and case study investigations of acquiring firm management. A considerable number of human resource and organisational behaviour specialists have focused upon both pre merger and post merger issues involving employees. Many questions have been asked pre merger about the 'culture fit' or otherwise of two organisations in merger talks, or in deciding who would be an appropriate suitor. In addition, the relationship that develops pre merger or the process engaged in can have an impact on post merger behaviour and any problems that might materialise. Another issue is how to manage the communication process with employees post merger, or indeed the whole process of structural change - usually poorly managed, accounting for many poorer merger or acquisition failures.
This series aims to increase awareness of researchers, students and practitioners of the inter-disciplinary possibilities for research into mergers and acquisitions from both the management and finance perspectives.