IB researchers emphasize understanding customer motives and active promise management
Understanding customers’ motivation and firms’ active promise management are key to keeping customers and safeguarding their knowledge sharing in the context of mergers and acquisitions
Customers’ sharing their knowledge can best be described as a vital asset to the long-term performance of firms engaged in the process of merger and acquisition (M&A). For example, such customer knowledge sharing can serve merging parties as an effective action for knowledge application and innovation. The study of a Chinese–Finnish acquisition and customer firms of the acquired party across four advanced Western countries showed that customer knowledge sharing relies primarily on the customer’s genuine desire to continue a relationship (customer dedication-based motivation) while also addressing customer’s fears about ensuing changes the M&As may bring (customer concerns about M&As). The abovementioned factors require the support of a three-pronged promise management mechanism (making promises, enabling promises, and keeping promises) from the merging parties to preserve customers’ knowledge sharing even after the M&A.