IT Integration in Mergers & Acquisitions: A Case Study of Acquiring Firms in the Paint and Wood Care Industry

David P.G. Hoiness & Christian Ansbjerg

Student thesis: Master thesis


With the increasing number of mergers & acquisitions conducted throughout the world today, there has also been a steady growth in academic research pertaining to this area. Nevertheless, the subject of IT integration in relation to M&A and how it is influenced by a company’s strategic alignment is a subject that has been somewhat overlooked both by scholars and practitioners. Due to IT integration and the alignment of business and IT strategies directly influencing the outcome of M&A’s, this subject is critical to consider when companies seek to realize synergies through M&A. However, the realization of successful IT integration is a difficult process. Due to the currently limited body of literature concerning this topic, there is still a significant amount of uncertainty related to it. This thesis seeks to provide an additional insight into this field of study. By first reviewing and critiquing the already established theories pertaining to this topic and subsequently utilizing and building upon them, we examine the relevant data collected from two different case companies within the wood care and paint industry. Our data stems from qualitative data obtained through interviews with IT management personnel involved in recent M&As and concerns four acquisitions conducted by our case companies. Our analyses of these cases were able to explore and illustrate both the positive and negative effects caused by a company’s strategic alignment in regards to IT integration. Furthermore, the analyses highlighted how IT integration activities were able to greatly sway the outcome of an M&A and thus underlined the importance of this field of study. During our research, we have developed a model which seeks to present practitioners with an overview of what factors to be aware of when pursuing sound IT integration in an M&A. This model encompasses elements such as strategic alignment, IT integration decision making, pre- and post-acquisition activities and contextual factors which all have the ability to influence the IT integration outcome. The findings of this thesis seek to contribute to the body of knowledge pertaining to IT integration by providing necessary theoretical tools which we consider are able to help organizations create a sustainable foundation for realizing successful IT integrations in mergers and acquisitions.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages107