Path-dependent and path-breaking change: Reconfiguring business resources following acquisitions in the U.S. medical sector, 1978-1995
This paper studies how firms use acquisitions to achieve long-term business reconfiguration. We base the study in a routine-based perspective on business dynamics. We develop and test hypotheses concerning the relative extent of change by acquiring and non-acquiring businesses, focusing on product line addition, retention, and deletion as forms of changing resources. We develop and test hypotheses that compare and contrast resource-deepening and resource extension arguments. We test the hypotheses with data from more than 3000 firms that offered more than 200 product lines in the U.S. medical sector between 1978 and 1995. We find that acquisitions play a major role in business reconfiguration, offering opportunities for firms to both build on existing resources and obtain substantially different resources. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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