We bring together research on stakeholder strategy and corporate strategy to examine how firms create value through stakeholder synergies in acquisitions. By uniting the acquirer’s and target’s complementary relationships with nonmarket stakeholders (e.g., governments, communities, NGOs), acquisitions create stakeholder synergies from the combined firm’s improved ability to influence, gain favor, or reduce conflict with those stakeholders. We theorize that stakeholder synergies arise from combinations of stakeholder relationships with different valences (i.e., cooperation versus conflict), especially when those relationships involve proximate stakeholders or issues, and from novel combinations of cooperative relationships involving different issues. Difference-in-difference estimates of pre- versus post-acquisition changes in Fortune 500 firms’ cooperative and contentious relationships with environmental movement organizations corroborate our theoretical arguments.
- Kate Odzienkowska (University of Toronto)
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