Acquiring social capital

Rogan, Michelle (2006) Acquiring social capital. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School. OPEN ACCESS


In this dissertation, I explore the question - under what conditions can a firm successfully acquire the inter-organizational relationships of another firm, i. e. the firm's social capital? Drawing on research on acquisitions, social capital and interorganizational networks, I argue that two factors - the extent to which the firm has ownership of its exchange relationships relative to its employees that maintain these relationships on the firm's behalf and the level of competitive overlap experienced by the firm's exchange partners - determine in part the likelihood that the merged firm's relationships will be retained or dissolved post-acquisition. I conduct separate analyses for each factor on a longitudinal sample of client relationships of acquiring and target firms in the advertising industry in North America and Europe. In the first analysis, I find that in general competitive overlap increases the likelihood of client relationship dissolution post-acquisition, and that somewhat counter intuitively, this effect is even stronger for longer duration client relationships. In the second analysis, I find evidence of a curvilinear effect of relationship ownership on the likelihood of client relationship dissolution. At low and high levels of relationship ownership, client relationship dissolution is least likely. When relationship ownership is in the midrange, however, client relationship dissolution is most likely. Together, the results of both analyses enable a further refinement of our understanding of the factors that may contribute to firms' retention of client relationships in acquisitions of external social capital, and thus represent a novel contribution to the strategy and organization field..

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 10:31
Date of first compliant deposit: 25 Feb 2022
Subjects: Organisational behaviour
Knowledge management
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2022 04:49

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