Gone with the wind : a meta-analytic review of executive turnover, its antecedents, and post-acquisition performance

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Bilgili, Tsvetiomira V. ; Calderon, Christian J. ; Allen, David G. ; Kedia, Ben L. (2017)

Considerable research has been devoted to examining the factors that influence postacquisition performance. Yet the empirical evidence remains inconclusive as to the extent to which these factors affect postacquisition performance. Building on the theory of relative standing, we propose turnover of acquired firm CEO and top management team (TMT) as an important mechanism through which commonly examined firm and deal characteristics influence postacquisition performance. Specifically, the examined antecedents represent conditions that create perceptions of diminished relative standing among acquired firm executives postacquisition. First, we conduct a meta-analysis to quantitatively synthesize existing empirical research on the effect of the specified antecedents on executive turnover and on postacquisition performance. Then, we combine meta-analysis with structural equation modeling to examine the links between four antecedents, executive turnover, and postacquisition performance in a mediation model. Meta-analytic results (based on 112 studies and 399 effect sizes) reveal that the most significant factors affecting postacquisition performance are executive turnover and the level of integration of the acquired firm. However, TMT and CEO turnover have opposite effects on postacquisition performance. Our results also show that sample and measurement characteristics of primary studies moderate the identified relations. As expected, we find that CEO and TMT turnover mediate relations between three of the four examined antecedents and postacquisition performance. We discuss theoretical contributions and provide directions for future research.
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