Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

Ben Kedia

Committee Member

Peter Wright

Committee Member

Mehdi Amini

Committee Member

Robert Wiggins


The poor performance of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) is a persistent issue facing researchers and practitioners alike. However, anecdotal and research evidence demonstrates that a minority do succeed, and some firms succeed consistently in conducting M&As. Yet our understanding as to why is limited. This dissertation posits that activity-specific experience spillovers may be one explanation as to why some firms succeed in M&As. Activity-specific experience spillovers occur when lessons and knowledge generated in one corporate process transfer to and inform another corporate process. Within the context of this study, it is argued that knowledge may be transferred from firms’ alliance formation and management processes to firms’ mergers and acquisitions processes due to the similarities between the process structures and associative sub-processes of the two corporate processes. The results present evidence that activity-specific experience spillover does occur, but the effect is conditional on the level of M&A experience firms have and maintain. Knowledge from alliance processes may act as a supplement for firms that have low, incomplete or inadequate M&A experience. Firms with low M&A experience benefit from activity-specific experience spillover. Knowledge from alliances may act a supplement for low, incomplete or inadequate M&A experience. However, activity-specific experience spillover is not beneficial to firms that have and maintain high levels of M&A experience. The findings suggest activity-specific experience spillover is detrimental and may complicate the process. In such situations, activity-specific experience spillover increases the time it takes complete an M&A deal, decreases the likelihood it will be completed, and reduces the performance of the M&A.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.