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Keywords:

  • mergers and acquisitions;
  • industry alliance network;
  • network and learning factors;
  • institutional settings

Abstract

What drives mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in different institutional environments? This article builds on the resource dependence perspective and argues that networks, learning, and institutions represent three building blocks that can enhance our understanding of the drivers behind M&As. Specifically, we consider firms as learning actors embedded in network relations and influenced by institutional development, and compare and contrast firms' acquisition activities across the United States and China. Our findings show that there are indeed important learning and network factors that lead to M&As. More interestingly, the impact of such learning and network factors varies sharply across countries with different market-based institutions. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.