Globalisation, strategic alliances, acquisitions and technology transfer. Lessons from ICL/Fujitsu and Rover/Honda and BMW

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Abstract:

As globalisation proceeds major national companies may find themselves involved in domestic mergers and acquisitions, only to have turn later to international co-operation. International strategic alliances, though, often eventually move on to international acquisition, either involving the alliance partner (as in the case of ICL/Fujitsu) or some third party (as in the case of Rover/Honda/BMW). This article draws on research in Britain and Japan to investigate the strategic and technological implications of such co-operative trajectories.

Two acid tests appear to determine whether such inter-company co-operations (whether mergers, acquisitions or strategic alliances) are likely ultimately to prove transitory, or whether they will progress towards some more stable inter-action:

•Is the arrangement ‘adding value’ technologically?

Is it contributing to some process of international integration?

•Technological synergies and learning possibilities are often played down initially in domestic acquisitions, and even in international strategic alliances offering particular scope for technology transfer; but they are important in determining long term outcomes.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Manchester Business School, Manchester M15 6PB

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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