Academy of Management Journal
Integration is a difficult process, but one that is vital to acquisition performance. One reason acquirers encounter difficulties is that the integration process exhibits high levels of intrafirm linkage ambiguity – a lack of clarity of the causal link between integration decisions and their performance outcomes. We introduce the construct of intermediate goals as a mechanism that reduces intrafirm linkage ambiguity. Our structural model results, based on a sample of 129 horizontal acquisitions, indicate that the achievement of two intermediate goals (internal reorganization and market expansion) fully mediates the relationships between four integration decisions and acquisition performance.