Öberg, C., & Leminen, S. (in press). Gap analysis for innovative firm acquisition – acquirer and acquired party perspectives. Journal of Organizational Change Management. DOI: 10.1108/JOCM-01-2016-0014

Abstract: Companies often aspire to create advantages for their businesses through acquisitions. Their participation has increasingly been documented to include different motives for acquirers, while focusing less on the ambitions of acquired parties with the acquisitions. This paper highlights differences in intentions and expectations between acquirers and acquired parties in terms of gaps. The paper also discusses the handling of such gaps. In the paper, we specifically focus on acquisitions of innovative firms. Four case studies illustrate gaps between the acquirers and the acquired parties. We conclude that gaps may be present from the start as latent gaps, and become activated in integration or as the consequence of non-integration decisions. Gaps between the acquirer and the acquired party may be further manifested in external parties’ reactions to the integration. The handling of gaps emphasizes a transition time and communication about expectations between the acquirer and the acquired party.