When a CEO wants to boost corporate performance or jump-start long-term growth, the thought of acquiring another company can be extraordinarily seductive. Indeed, companies spend more than $2 trillion on acquisitions every year. Yet study after study puts the failure rate of mergers and acquisitions somewhere between 70% and 90%. A lot of researchers have tried to explain those abysmal statistics, usually by analyzing the attributes of deals that worked and those that didn’t. What’s lacking, we believe, is a robust theory that identifies the causes of those successes and failures.
The Big Idea: The New M&A Playbook - Harvard Business Review