Preface: Joining Forces

When we began studying the human, organizational, and cultural aspects of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) over thirty years ago, roughly 70 to 75 percent of corporate combinations failed to achieve their desired financial or strategic objectives. Since then, scholars have generated many insights and practitioners have honed many tactics to improve M&A success. To this day, however, the failure rate still hovers in the same range. Although some organizations, such as Cisco and General Electric, have developed competencies in finding a good partner and managing the integration effectively, most executives remain ill-prepared for the rigors of steering a combination through its three phases—too often they rush through the ...

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