Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 658–672

Cultural differences and capability transfer in cross-border acquisitions: the mediating roles of capability complementarity, absorptive capacity, and social integration


DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400287

Cite this article as:
Björkman, I., Stahl, G. & Vaara, E. J Int Bus Stud (2007) 38: 658. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400287


This paper presents an integrative model of the impact of cultural differences on capability transfer in cross-border acquisitions. We propose that cultural differences affect the post-acquisition capability transfer through their impact on social integration, potential absorptive capacity, and capability complementarity. Two dynamic variables – the use of social integration mechanisms, and the degree of operational integration of the acquired unit – are proposed to moderate the effects of cultural differences on social integration and potential absorptive capacity. The implications for acquisition research and practice are discussed.


cross-border acquisitionscultural differencescapability transfer

Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingmar Björkman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Günter K Stahl
    • 3
  • Eero Vaara
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Management and Organisation, Swedish School of EconomicsHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.INSEAD Euro-Asia and Comparative Management Research CentreFontainebleauFrance
  3. 3.INSEADSingapore
  4. 4.Ecole de Management de LyonLyonFrance