Behind M&As in China and the United States: Networks, learning, and institutions
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Few scholars would dispute the argument that mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are different in China and the United States, but we know little about how they differ. This article reports one of the first studies that systematically compares and contrasts how M&As differ in these two countries. While prior research on M&As tends to emphasize economic and financial explanations while treating firms as atomistic actors severed from their institutional and network relations, we develop a new theoretical framework based on relational, behavioral, and institutional perspectives. We not only consider firms as learning actors embedded in network relations, but also compare and contrast their M&A patterns between China and the United States, two distinctive institutional contexts. We find that both a firm's structural hole position and its learning orientation (exploration/exploitation) in alliances have direct and joint impacts on subsequent M&As. Further, such impacts differ across the two countries, due to their institutional disparities.
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