Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the link between external business model communication and financial performance for ten cross-national acquisitions by Danish companies.

Methodology: We tie stakeholder and shareholder theory to Magretta’s (2002) model, which capture a holistic approach to the analysis of newsletters and financial data. We further apply Fairclough’s (1992) critical discourse analysis and regression analyses to analyze the communication process and the accounting data after the acquisition, respectively.

Findings: The study identifies a lack of business model communication in an acquisition process. Furthermore, our analyses show that 15 years after the acquisitions, the acquirers have generally not established substantial links between their own business models and the business models of the acquired companies. As to the quantitative analyses, above average narrative communication has a weak link to company performance. Antecedents of good communication are the number of stakeholders that have to be addressed, as well as the anticipated disruptive events after the acquisition.

Research limitations: The analytically indicated links between external communication and financial performance have limitations due to a small sample and due to the complex organizational set-up where the acquired organizations’ financial performance is quickly absorbed into the parent company.

Originality: This study is novel in its approach of applying a longitudinal qualitative as well as quantitative approach to business model identification in mergers and acquisitions. Furthermore, it provides linkages and discussions of business model conceptualization with stakeholder and shareholder theories.


Author Biographies

Margit Malmmose, Department of Management, Aarhus University

Margit Malmmose is Assistant Professor at Department of Economics and Business at Aarhus University, Denmark. She holds and Msc in International Business and Finance and a Master in International Business Communication and latest a Ph.D. in Management Accounting. Her professional skills lies within analyzing balance sheets, budgeting, valuating companies from the accounts, preparation of annual results, auditing, cost evaluation, management accounting and reporting. Her research interests concern Accounting and Communication Management: Performance measurements, public sector. For further information on Margit's professional and academic profile see: @Linkedin:

Rainer Lueg

Leuphana University : Lüneburg Professor at Department of Accounting