Rivals’ reactions to mergers and acquisitions

Klaus Uhlenbruck, Margaret Hughes-Morgan, Michael A. Hitt, Walter J. Ferrier, Rhett Brymer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Mergers and acquisitions research has principally focused on attributes of the acquiring firm and post-acquisition outcomes. To extend our knowledge, we focus on external factors, in particular rival responses, and explore when and how rivals respond to their competitor’s acquisitions. Leveraging the awareness–motivation–capability framework, we predict and find evidence that a rival’s dependence on markets in common with the acquirer, resource similarity between rival and acquirer, and a rival’s organizational slack increase the volume and, in some cases, also the complexity of a rival’s competitive actions following an acquisition. Furthermore, the type of acquisition positively moderates some of these relationships. The results extend our understanding of the influence of mergers and acquisitions on competitive dynamics in the marketplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-66
Number of pages27
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2017


  • competitive action repertoire
  • competitive dynamics
  • competitive response
  • content analysis
  • mergers and acquisitions


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