PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (11): 1423-1434.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.11.011

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A literature review of merger and acquisition (M&A) study from the geographical perspective: Location choice, driving mechanism and implications

Jiawei WU1,2,3(), Wen CHEN1,2,3,*(), Peng ZHANG1,2,3   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geography, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2017-12-07 Published:2017-12-07
  • Contact: Wen CHEN;


Cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have undergone a rapid growth in recent years, which has facilitated the mobility of various elements across different regions and sectors. Therefore M&As are considered an important impetus and solution for the optimization of enterprise organization, industrial transformation, and spatial restructuring, as well as regional integration and sustainable development. Since the 1950s, there has been a vast literature straddling the boundaries of economics, enterprise managerialics, international trade studies, and economic geography on M&As. The literature mainly focused on three perspectives, namely organizational perception, interaction or networks perspective, and a contextual or spatial view of the firms involved in M&As. Taking advantage of theories and methodologies in relevant research fields, such as location theory, corporate geography, industrial agglomeration, and global production networks and proximity, scholars have done much effective empirical work on this issue. First, the spatiotemporal pattern and contacting networks of M&As have been investigated in various spatial scales, such as worldwide, inter-countries, and inter- and intra-regions. Second, deriving related theories, the literature focused on the driving factors and dynamic mechanism of M&As, especially the heterogeneities of enterprise characteristics, industrial attributes, and locational context. Third, the literature has paid increasing attention to the locational implications of M&As for corporate performance, public welfare, industrial transformation, and regional development, and the spatial consequences of M&As is a hotspot for related studies. Although cross-border and domestic M&As taken by Chinese corporates are increasingly frequent since the global financial crisis, research on M&As from spatial and geographical perspectives in China is far from sufficient. Therefore, this literature review focuses on the progress in theoretical perspectives and empirical research on M&As, and explores the implications and agendas for further research on M&As in a transitional China.

Key words: merger and acquisition, location choice, driving mechanism, locational implications, literature review