Managing Information Systems Integration in Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

University dissertation from Lund Business Press

Abstract: Corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have during the last decade established themselves as prominent tools for corporate strategy. Consequently, more and more organizations direct their attention towards the potential benefits of a corporate merger and acquisition (M&A) and the problems of leveraging the potentials. This thesis addresses information systems (IS) integration in the context of M&As. It seeks to enhance the understanding of how IS integration relates to the M&A context, and how to act upon the environmental pressure on the integration solution. The thesis presents a study that can be divided into two phases. The first phase introduces a theoretical framework for IS integration in corporate M&As by integrating previous research on M&A and IS integration. Guided by the framework, the thesis describes and explains the managerial decisions on IS integration and the decision consequences in four corporate M&As. In the second phase of this thesis the research findings from the case studies are used as kernel theory in a design process. In this design process, descriptive and explanatory theory are transformed to prescriptive theory with the ambition to support IS professionals concerned with management of IS integration in M&As. Three managerial challenges related to IS integration in M&A are addressed: 1) improving the capability of IS integration in M&A over time, 2) determining the impact of IS integration on synergetic leverage, and 3) choosing an IS integration architecture. The prescriptive theory, presented in the form of so called design propositions, are evaluated by fellow researchers and IS professional with experience of IS integration in M&A.