Despite decades of experience and research, many results in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) research remain contested and inconclusive; this introductory chapter argues that the field is in need of a re-rooting. It posits the need to bridge the strategic, financial, and sociocultural lenses in the study and practice of M&A. It posits four shortcomings underlying present-day M&A activity that is seen as stemming from this unbridged divide: egotistic drivers of M&A activity, M&A as victims of myopic growth, a “Tayloristic” view that omits the human element, and a prevailing short-term focus. As a means of moving beyond the seeming lack of interdisciplinarity in the study and practice of M&A, this chapter proposes a three-dimensional model of M&A management consisting of the strategic, financial, and sociocultural dimensions of M&A activity. This three-fold conceptualization provides the background for the Handbook’s structure and syntheses.
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