Managing the Strategic Dynamics of Acquisition Integration: Lessons from HP and Compaq

by Robert Burgelman, Richard McKinney



This article presents a conceptual framework that decomposes the overall acquisition integration process into four sequential and co-evolving processes: formulating the integration logic and performance goals; establishing the integration planning approach; executing operational integration; and executing strategic integration. Managing the strategic dynamics of acquisition integration in fast changing competitive environments requires attention to all four processes and the feedback loops between them. An analysis of the HP-Compaq merger, however, suggests that creating a strong feedback loop between the operational integration process and the process of formulating the integration logic and performance goals is difficult. At the same time, it is needed to maintain sustained top management attention to the remaining longer-term operational integration tasks and to the multi-year strategic activities necessary to meet the dynamic competitive challenges.

California Management Review

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