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Strategic Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions

Strategic Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions

Code: MGT4LG202
Extent: 5 ECTS (135 h)
Timing: semester 2-5
Language: English
Level: Advanced Professional Studies
Type: Elective


The student has successfully completed the IBMA core studies.

Learning outcomes

The goal of the course is to enhance the students’ understanding about the underlying logic behind the firms’ engagement in international operations through international strategic alliances (ISAs) and mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Another goal is to provide students with the tools for an assessment of the benefits and drawbacks associated with the establishment of ISAs and M&As. Furthermore, the important objective of the course is to articulate the critical managerial issues which are needed to be carefully addressed at the formation and evolution stages of ISA and M&As.

Upon successful completion of the workshop, the students will learn about

  • the main theoretical perspectives explaining the formation of ISAs and M&As
  • the main types of ISAs and M&As
  • the major phases of formation and evolution of ISA and M&A
  • the most critical aspects in the management of ISAs and M&As
  • how the performance outcomes of ISAs and M&As can be comprehensively evaluated
  • advantages and disadvantages of ISAs and M&As as a mode for foreign market entry by firms from developed and emerging economies
  • the impact of cultural factors on the implementation of ISAs and M&As

Course contents

  • Introduction: ISAs and M&As: core concepts, theoretical approaches and empirical evidence in a global business
  • International dimension of SAs and M&As: use as a strategic tool in international expansion
  • ISAs: phases and critical management issues
  • ISAs: cooperation vs. competition paradox
  • Assessment of performance implications of ISA
  • M&As: phases and critical management issues
  • Performance implications of M&As: perspective of a acquirer and acquired companies
  • HR issues in M&As integration phase

Cooperation with the business community

Guest lecturers, case analysis

Teaching and learning methods

Contact sessions and exam 32 h
Independent studies 102 h
The assessment of one’s own learning 1 h

Case analysis and group discussions, group presentation, critical essay writing

Accreditation of prior learning (APL)

Accreditation of prior learning (APL) is observed on the course according to separate instructions.

Teacher responsible

Irina Mihailova, Dr.Sc. (Econ.)
Email: irma.mihailova(at)aalto.fi

Course materials

International strategic alliances:

Peng, M. 2009. Chapter 11 ‘Alliances and Acquisitions’. In  M. Peng (Ed.), Global Business, South-Western Cengage Learning, pp. 278-297.

Peng, M. and Meyer, K. (2011). Chapter 12: ‘Foreign entry strategies’. In M. Peng and K. Meyer (Eds), International Business. Cengage Learning, pp. 359-388.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Hubbard, N. 1999. Acquisition strategy and implementation. MacMillan Press Ltd: London.
Chapter 2 “The psychology of acquiring: Why employees act the way they do”.
Chapter 3 “The process of pre-acquisition planning”.
Chapter 5 “The implementation process: Where the work begins”.

Journal articles distributed during the course

Assessment criteria

Class participation: 50% (Attendance &  in class discussion 30%, Case work 20%)
Assignments 20 %
Exam 30%
The assessment of one's own learning does not influence the course grade. The assignment is the same for all courses/modules and the answers will also be used for course/module development. The assignment is completed on an E-form.