Purpose: Companies often aspire to create advantages for their businesses through acquisitions. Their participation has increasingly been documented to include different motives for acquirers, while focusing less on the ambitions of acquired parties with the acquisitions. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss gaps and the handling of gaps between acquirers and acquired parties in acquisitions of innovative firms. Design/methodology/approach: In the paper, the authors specifically focus on acquisitions of innovative firms. Four case studies illustrate gaps between the acquirers and the acquired parties. Findings: The authors conclude that gaps may be present from the start as latent gaps, and become activated in integration or as the consequence of non-integration decisions. Gaps between the acquirer and the acquired party may be further manifested in external parties’ reactions to the integration. The handling of gaps emphasizes a transition time and communication about expectations between the acquirer and the acquired party. Originality/value: The paper contributes to previous research on mergers and acquisitions in general, and acquisitions of innovative firms in particular. Prior literature on acquisitions is scarce on descriptions of gaps or the handling of gaps. Gaps complement ideas on differences in culture between acquirers and acquired parties. It also highlights how acquired parties have as much intention with an acquisition as acquirers.
- Innovative firm