How do different types of mergers and acquisitions facilitate strategic agility?

Nir N. Brueller, Abraham Carmeli, Israel Drori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Firms struggle to create an agile organizational system since it requires the development of three enabling capacities: to make sense quickly, make decisions nimbly, and redeploy resources rapidly. While the study of strategic agility is of growing interest as a prime means of organizational growth, the ways by which key mechanisms of growth such as mergers and acquisitions (M&As) help in building this capability remain elusive. This article highlights the differences between platform acquisitions and bolt-on acquisitions (most bolt-on acquisitions in high-technology industries can further be separated into product acquisitions on the one hand, and educational, technological and/or talent acquisitions on the other hand). These different forms of acquisitions can enhance strategic agility in distinct ways along different time horizons. When properly managed, acquisitions can enhance the gradual accumulation of the capabilities underlying strategic agility. This article presents a more complex picture of a non-linear reinforcing dual path between M&As and strategic agility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-57
Number of pages19
JournalCalifornia Management Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Agility
  • Mergers and acquisitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management


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