The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Towards a Governance Perspective to Mergers and Acquisitions

Petri M. T. Parvinen

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to be presented with due permission of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management for public examination and debate in Auditorium Luna at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 7th of February, 2003, at 12 noon.

Dissertation in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-6381-5)   [1764 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-22-6324-6)


The aim of the present study is to conceptually integrate insights from governance theories of the firm to the research area of mergers and acquisitions (M & A). The primary governance theories of the firm are understood to consist of the neoclassical view of the firm, the nexus of contracts perspective, agency theory, early incomplete contracting theory, transaction cost economics and property rights theory.

This study uses a bipartite research agenda, consisting of conceptual and bibliometric methodologies to investigate two aspects of conceptual integration. Firstly, the role of the governance theories in the de facto structuring of the M & A discourse, with a focus on disciplinary research orientations, underlying theories and key antecedents to performing M & A research, is investigated. Secondly, the contribution of the governance theories to M & A in the form of interlinkages between the two discourses is analyzed. It is shown that the governance theories assume significant roles that vary vis-à-vis their importance and function within the M & A discourse.

Based on various types of identified interlinkages between governance theoretical thinking and the M & A discourse, a novel, holistic governance perspective to M & A is presented. This perspective, consisting of an academically oriented exploratory mapping of the research field as well as a set of suggestions on how to apply governance theory into M & A decision-making, is intended to stimulate further integrative research in the area of M & A. Simultaneously, it demonstrates the usefulness of a general governance perspective to management research and highlights the need to consider governance not as an administrative exercise, but as an area of strategic decision-making.

Keywords: governance theories, mergers, acquisitions, M & A research, firms, conceptual integration, bibliometric methodologies, decision-making process

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© 2003 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26