Facilitating the merger of multinational companies: A case study of the global virtual enterprise

William Y.C. Wang, David J. Pauleen, Hing Kai Chan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on case research investigating the challenges presented by a newly formed supply chain after a merger and acquisition (M&A) and the subsequent solution - the enactment of a global virtual enterprise (GVE). Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST) is used as a lens to view and understand the transformational effects that occurred after the merger and the adoption of the GVE. A case study approach was adopted with empirical data collected from corporate web sites, direct participation in the project, and in-depth interviews with the two merged multinational supply networks set in Asia (the sub-ordinates are based in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam) and North America (sites in Canada and the U.S.). The major problems encountered in the M&A process in the supply chain included incompatible product codes, redundant business processes, no unified ERP platforms, conflict of interests of supply chain entities, etc. The findings show the GVE approach improved the efficiency and effectiveness of this global acquisition through the re-alignment of organizational structures and personnel. Implications for practice and the further application of AST to the study of global supply chains and M&A are raised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-58
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Global Information Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive structuration theory
  • Case study
  • Global virtual enterprise
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Supply chain integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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