Competence Center Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are an important engine of transformation in the global economy with significant influence on national and international production networks, market relations and competitive dynamics. Since they can trigger strong financial market reactions and frequently have far-reaching consequences for customers, employees, and suppliers, they are usually of great public interest. Yet, acquisitions are generally associated with a high degree of complexity and risk and prior research indicates, that the majority of corporate transactions fails to realize their intended objectives. In the competence center for Mergers and Acquisitions we empirically examine this phenomenon.

In different research projects we analyze various aspects of the transaction process: from the strategic decision-making phase to the organizational implementation and long-term implications of non-organic growth. We try to identify dysfunctional behavioral patterns and scrutinize possible solutions. To do so, we examine the role and interaction of a number of different actors such as dedicated M&A departments, top executives, supervisory boards, analysts, and advisors and work with different types o primary and secondary data, such as accounting and stock-market data, interviews, shareholder meetings, advisor track records, and internal M&A archives. A particular emphasis of our recent work lie in the area of acquisition program and the acquisition practices of active «serial» acquirers, including the development of digital tools for the management of the transaction process.

Competence Center Management

Prof. Dr. Dr. Tomi Laamanen

He is chair holder and Professor of Strategic Management and a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Management & Strategy (IoMS) at the University of St. Gallen. Tomi Laamanen holds PhDs in finance and strategy.

Dr. Xena Welch Guerra

She is doing her habilitation and works as a lecturer in strategic management at the Institute of Management & Strategy (IoMS) of the University of St.Gallen. She has completed her doctorate at the University of St. Gallen with the highest honors and has received several national and international awards.

  • Bertrand, Olivier; Betschinger, Marie-Ann and Laamanen, Tomi (2018) Effects of subnational regional corruption on growth strategies in emerging economies: Evidence from Russian domestic and international M&A activity. Global Strategy Journal, Forthcoming
  • Girisch, Andreas. WelchGuerra, Xena., Laamanen, Tomi. Van den Boom, Michael., Samanta, Anna., Faddoul, Kristina. (2017). Value Capture: Unlocking the full Potential of M&A. Deloitte, Switzerland. A joint Study by Deloitte and the University of St.Gallen.
  • Düsterhoff, Henning; Pfeifle, Kathrin; Müller-Stewens, Günter & Ringlstetter, Max. (2017). ZF Friedrichshafen’s acquisition of TRW Automotive. Part A: Making the deal. Part B: Shaping the process between signing and closing. Part C: Post-merger integration. England : The Case Centre
  • WelchGuerra, Xena.(2016). Debiasing Attempts in M&A Departments. Working Paper. Best Paper Award, Behavioral Strategy Track, European Academy of Management Conference.
  • WelchGuerra, Xena., Laamanen, Tomi., Samanta, Anna., and Koller, Stefan. (2015). Serial Acquirers: Getting your ducks in a row. Deloitte, Switzerland. A joint Study by Deloitte and the University of St.Gallen.
  • Laamanen, Tomi; Brauer, Matthias and Junna, Olli (2014) Performance of acquirers of divested assets: Evidence from the U.S. software industry. Strategic Management Journal, 35 (6)
  • Teerikangas, Satu and Laamanen, Tomi (2014), Structure First! Temporal Dynamics of Structural and Cultural Integration in Cross-Border Acquisitions, in Sydney Finkelstein , Cary L. Cooper (ed.) Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.109 – 152
  • WelchGuerra, Xena and Laamanen, Tomi. (2014) Performance Implications of Different Types of Serial Acquisition Strategies. Working Paper. Best PhD Paper Award, Strategic Management Society Conference.
  • Laamanen, Tomi, Keil, Thomas, McGrath, Rita (2013). Is A Counterattack The Best Defense? Competitive Dynamics Through Acquisitions. Long Range Planning, Volume 46, Issue 3,195-215
  • Keil, Thomas and Laamanen, Tomi (2011) When Rivals Merge, Think Before You Follow Suit. Harvard Business Review, 89 (12). 25-27.
  • Kunisch, Sven; Wahler, Caspar and Müller-Stewens, Günter (2011) Crucial: The State as an M&A Actor. Performance, (2). 14-26.
  • Müller-Stewens, Günter & Brauer, Matthias (2010) Synergies: Optimally Using Synergy Potential. io new management, 2010 (9). 30-33.
  • Laamanen, Tomi and Keil, Thomas (2008) Performance of serial acquirers: Toward an acquisition program perspective. Strategic Management Journal, 29 (6). 663-672.
  • Laamanen, Tomi (2007) On the Role of Acquisition Premium in Acquisition Research. Strategic Management Journal, 28 (13). 1359-1369
  • Deutsch, Yuval; Keil, Thomas & Laamanen, Tomi (2007) Decision-Making in Acquisitions: The Effect of Outside Directors’ Compensation on Acquisition Patterns. Journal of Management, 33 (1). 30-56.
  • Schildt, Henri and Laamanen, Tomi (2006) Who buys whom: information environments and organizational boundary spanning through acquisitions. Strategic Organization, 4 (2). 111-133.
  • Frankenberger, Sebastian; Kappler, Florian & Müller-Stewens, Günter (2006) Organizational Development in M&A Processes. Gruppendynamik und Organisationsberatung, 37 (1).

Bücher und Fachartikel

  • Müller-Stewens, Günter/Kunisch, Sven/Binder, Andreas (Hrsg., 2016): Mergers & Acquisitions. A Guide for Strategists, Analysts, Consultants and Lawyers, 2nd revised edition, Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel Publishing.

Günter Müller-Stewens

Prof. em. Dr.
Professor em. of Management

+41 71 224 27 61

Di Bian

PhD student, Research Associate

+41 71 224 27 56

Johannes Luger

Prof. Dr.
Affiliated researcher


Alexander Wallot

PhD Candidate, Research Associate