Cross-border mergers and acquisitions as a tool to transfer knowledge and foster competitive capabilities

Pedro Oliveira, Aleda V. Roth, Katherine M. Ponte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years the number and the transaction amounts of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), both domestic and cross-border, have increased rapidly in virtually all sectors of economic activity. Some recent changes in the business environments of many countries, including the trend towards deregulation, market liberalisation and increasing globalisation, have facilitated the recent wave of M&As. However, empirical studies examining the stock market reaction find little evidence of wealth creation. Similarly, there appears to be little or no improvement in the post-acquisition operating performance. This creates a troubling paradox, since the pace of M&As is not expected to abate in the near future. In this context, this paper addresses the following research questions: What motivates the accelerated pace of M&As activity? How can companies achieve competitive capabilities through cross-border M&As? We argue that, through M&As, companies can obtain the knowledge-based competencies required to achieve the combinative capabilities necessary to compete in today's uncertain and complex business environment. Cross-border M&As can provide a network for knowledge transfer, and can play an important role in restructuring the operations and reallocating assets in the countries where the companies are located, namely by leveraging the competitive capabilities of those companies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-223
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Technology, Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Competitive capabilities
  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions
  • Knowledge transfer


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