The contingent role of distributed leadership in the relationship between HR practices and organizational ambidexterity in the cross-border M&As of emerging market multinationals. By: Rao-Nicholson, Rekha; Khan, Zaheer; Akhtar, Pervaiz; Tarba, Shlomo Y. International Journal of Human Resource Management. Jan2020, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p232-253. 22p. 1 Diagram, 3 Charts.

This paper investigates the effect of human resource practices on organizational ambidexterity in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Previous research suggests that human resource practices play an important role in improving organizational performance, but that there may be contingency factors that interact with human resource practices, leading to different performance outcomes. We focus on one such potential contingency factor: distributed leadership as a key moderator that interacts with human resource practices, leading to organizational ambidexterity in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. We examine 84 deals of emerging economies cross-border mergers and acquisitions. We found that human resource practices positively influence the acquired firms’ ambidexterity, but when we take into account the contingent role of distributed leadership, the effect of human resource practices becomes much stronger, indicating the importance of distributed leadership as a key variable that can explain variations in the success of cross-border mergers and acquisitions. The findings have important implications for international human resource management practices in the acquired subsidiaries and for individual leadership styles adopted by parent firms during the post-acquisitions period.