Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 399–425 | Cite as

The intra-firm knowledge transfer in the outward M&A of EMNCs: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms

  • Qi AiEmail author
  • Hui Tan


This paper examines the intra-firm transfer of tacit and explicit knowledge in the post-acquisition integration stage in the outward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of multinational corporations from emerging economies (EMNCs). It also explores rationales underlying the tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in the cross-cultural context. Drawing from the empirical evidence of three Chinese firms’ outward M&A in three European countries, we argue the Chinese acquiring firms emphasized the transfer of explicit over tacit knowledge in the post-acquisition integration in their outward M&A. This can be attributed to complementarity in explicit knowledge, home market advantage, scarcity of key staff and cultural differences.


Mergers and acquisitions Post-acquisition integration Knowledge transfer Absorptive capacity EMNCs China 



We would like to thank Dr. Jing Li and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions, which served to improve this article substantially.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business and LawUniversity of NorthamptonNorthamptonUK
  2. 2.College of Public AdministrationHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.School of Management, Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonSurreyUK

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