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Title: The acquisition decision making process : an exploratory study of the biotechnology industry
Author: Heyman, D. P. C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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In chapter 1, this thesis revisits the academic literature in acquisition research and concludes that justifications for acquisitions based on the financial, strategic and organisational perspectives provide insufficient insight into understanding why and how acquisitions are conducted. To address these shortcomings, this thesis proceeds by adopting a ‘resource-based view’ augmented by a process perspective. The latter is predicated on the belief that the very process by which acquisitions are conducted is critical to its outcome. Chapter 2 identifies which process elements are important to understand and explain acquisitions and acquisition success. The acquisition process is analysed theoretically in chapter 3 and a framework for understanding what happens during the process is constructed. Research focuses on the British biotechnology sector, an overview of which is presented in chapter 5, followed by in-depth interview-based case studies about five recent acquisitions (1997-2003) in this industry. The subsequence cross case analysis in chapter 6 reveals that the acquisition process is influenced by three elements which are crucial in understanding acquisitions and success: valuation, performance, and decision-maker characteristics. They form the iterative decision making process. More specifically, the outcome of this pre-acquisition process is strongly dependent on the decision maker within that process and not automatically related to the RBV explanation for the initial motivation behind the acquisition. It is suggested that the decision-making process is an iterative process between these three interacting process elements and that the process is completed successfully only once its direction is aligned with the decision maker’s interests. As a result, acquisition success is subjective and related to the extent to which the decision maker’s objectives have been fulfilled. Also success is relative to the options a firm has at any given moment and the objectives it sets out to pursue.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available