Communication in M&A
: the impacts of integration and autonomy

  • Sofia Leão Brito Correia de Carvalho (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Previous academic research has focused on communication as the critical determinant of success in post-acquisition integration, arguing that a strong communication strategy is fundamental. However, we identified a gap in the literature, as it has never been studied what could vary in the content communicated among different acquisitions, depending on the levels of integration and autonomy. Through fifteen interviews with top and middle managers of a company that acquired four companies with heterogeneous levels of integration and autonomy, we find evidence that what to communicate with employees and the amount of communication must vary with the level of integration and autonomy of the target. Therefore, linking the integration strategy to the chosen approach, we reveal that communicating a detailed action plan to the employees of the combined entity is essential with high integration and low autonomy to realise potential synergies. The forementioned findings contribute to the M&A and communication literature, linking both theories together. When interpreting the results, one must be cautious as the sample is constituted by acquisitions made by one company, which may hinder the generalization of our findings.
Date of Award3 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorFlorian Andreas Bauer (Supervisor)


  • Mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Communication
  • Integration and autonomy


  • Mestrado em Economia Empresarial

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