This article applies a mixed‐method approach to explore the complexities of post‐mergers and acquisitions (M&A) integration processes. Extant literature provides significant insights regarding the impact of task and human integration and their influence on post‐integration processes. However, the literature often fails to differentiate between subelements of these two dimensions. This article investigates task and human integration in a cross‐border M&A aimed at efficiency and innovativeness. We highlight the importance of a clear distinction between two subelements of task integration (product harmonization and structural integration) and show that different interorganizational contexts matter. Consequently, we propose a conceptual framework based on two contextual characteristics—source of synergy and choice of location—suggesting that different integration approaches should be applied simultaneously in different contexts of the same post‐M&A organization. Due to the complexity of the post‐M&A integration process, organizing and managing such a process is a challenge to most practitioners. Understanding how to manage different integration dimensions increases the need for prioritization in order to bypass a one‐size‐fits‐all initiative. We suggest that managers should apply a differentiated postintegration approach, depending on specific organizational contexts. A product‐focused approach seems to fit best in a context where target and acquirer remain working in separate locations, but on similar products. A structure‐focused approach is recommended when target and acquirer remain separated, but work on complementary products. Finally, a people‐focused approach is proposed when target and acquirer are colocated.
Organizations are frequently engaging in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to strengthen innovation and performance outcomes. However, research indicates that M&A lead to pervasive and often negative consequences. Failures of M&A are often attributed to the many interdependent components of the M&A process, i.e. the dynamic complexity of this process. Based on an ongoing post-acquisition integration case, this paper set out to examine the effects of human integration on task integration, and how task integration may affect synergy and innovation outcome(s). First, we develop a theoretical conceptual model. Second, we use structural equation modellig to test our model based on a survey of one of Norway’s largest acquisition in recent times. Finally, we propose a preliminary dynamic model linking theory and survey results.