Chinese overseas M&A: Overcoming cultural and organisational divides

Francesca Spigarelli, Iilan Alon, Attilio Mucelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This article contributes to the existing knowledge on the difficulties and critical aspects of the post-acquisition phase of an emerging market multinational. To establish the context, a literature review on multinational companies from emerging countries, and specifically on the internationalisation initiatives of Chinese companies, is provided, along with a framework to analyse cultural and management-related differences related to mergers and acquisitions (M&As). This review and framework is followed by a case study of a Chinese M&A in Italy. The case illustrates how Chinese companies use Italy to access Western markets (and strategic logistical services), as well as a wide range of distinct skills/intangible assets, such as brands, know-how and technology, particularly in the manufacturing industries. The findings suggest that while superficial product-portfolio and cost benefits can accrue due to the acquisition, cultural and administrative differences and lack of synergies can prevent the acquirer from fully integrating the intangible assets, particularly human resource talent, of the acquired firm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-208
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Case study
  • Emerging markets multinationals
  • Merger and acquisitions
  • Post-acquisition integration problems


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