Integrating Acquired Capabilities: When Structural Integration Is (Un)necessary
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
Acquirers who buy small technology-based firms for their technological capabilities often discover that postmerger integration can destroy the very innovative capabilities that made the acquired organization attractive in the first place. Viewing structural integration as a mechanism to achieve coordination between acquirer and target organizations helps explain why structural integration may be necessary in technology acquisitions despite the costs of disruption this imposes, as well as the conditions under which it becomes less (or un-) necessary. We show that interdependence motivates structural integration but that preexisting common ground offers acquirers an alternate path to achieving coordination, which may be less disruptive than structural integration.