This study explores the evolution of post-acquisition integration drawing on an eight-year longitudinal multi-case study of eight strategic-asset-seeking acquisitions of Western firms by globalizing Chinese private owned enterprises and taking a dual view from both the acquiring and the acquired companies. In contrast to the extant literature, it reveals significant heterogeneity by identifying three differing post-acquisition integration evolution paths. All three start with a form of light-touch integration as proposed by existing research but transition to different target models, either another form of light touch or absorption. A driving system has been developed to explain these differing evolution paths which are largely determined by the catch-up strategy (strategy to catch up with Western incumbents) whilst resource dependency and cultural difference working as the steering drivers for transition. Overall, seven distinct forms of integration (six distinguished forms of light-touch integration plus absorption) and three types of catch-up strategy are identified and explained in this study.
- Catch-up strategy
- Chinese multinational enterprises
- Cross-border acquisitions
- Emerging market multinationals
- Light-touch integration
- Post-acquisition integration