Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Pam Scholder Ellen

Second Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Dr. Vikas Agarwal


Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are an important part of many companies’ strategic plans, yet they often fail to meet expectations. Part of this failure may be due to a lack of understanding of the risks present during the important period after the initial agreement to merge has been struck and the failure to apply a practical framework for managing these risks. The literature outlines many of the risks managers face and explains risk resolution techniques that can be used to mitigate these risks. Risk management techniques or frameworks have been developed for use in projects involving mergers and acquisitions (M&A), construction, strategic alliances, software requirements development, distributed software projects, and post-merger implementation of information systems. However, to our knowledge, no integrated framework has been developed to manage risks during the post-selection phase of mergers and acquisitions.

In this dissertation we identify risks present and the risk resolutions available at this stage of the M&A process via a review of the literature and interviews with experienced managers of mergers and acquisitions. We then develop a practical framework for managing post-selection phase risks in M&A. We analyzed published case studies to evaluate the framework and confirm issues raised in the literature review. Hence, this research contributes to the M&A and risk management literature by identifying and classifying the risks in the post-selection phase of the M&A process, identifying and developing a classification of risk resolution actions linked to those risks, and providing a practical framework that can be used to more comprehensively identify risks and potential risk management strategies.