Date of Award

Summer 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Strategic Management

Committee Director

Brian K. Boyd

Committee Member

Diana L. Deadrick

Committee Member

G. Steven Rhiel


In the 1980s, Germany saw a significant increase in the number of corporate acquisitions. This study deals with the role that director interlocks play in gathering and disseminating information about corporate acquisitions. Specifically, it explores the possibility that acquisitions may result from interorganizational imitation. Hypotheses that relate a German firm's acquisition activity with its own acquisitions and the acquisition history of interlocking firms are tested on 1982-1989 acquisition data for a sample of 193 German firms. The results from the negative binomial and logistic regression analyses indicate that there is no significant evidence for interorganizational imitation. Instead, the number of acquisitions that a German company had previously completed determines whether this company will buy another firm. The results indicate that findings about acquisitions in the United States cannot easily be generalized to German companies. Differences in merger policies and cartel law, co-determination, and cultural context are discussed as moderating factors which likely affect the applicability of U.S. research findings to German organizations.


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