The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 


The Leadership Factor in Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are driven by the quest for value creation and the conviction that the deal will result in new sources of value and ultimately competitive advantage. While the potential reward is great, the risk that the deal will fail to meet its objectives remain very high, often due to human capital (HC) factors.

M&A teams often take a highly transactional view of HC issues in a deal—culture integration plans, retention bonuses, labor laws across countries, etc. This transactional view remains important; however, companies are missing a broader and more strategic issue to ensure successful deal objectives—namely the potential impact of leadership. Those involved in M&A transactions understand the importance of leadership, though they often underestimate how critical the leadership aspect can be and are unsure what to do about it. Leaders drive culture within organizations. Leaders support engagement of employees. Identifying and deploying the right leaders for M&A deals and integration is paramount to ensuring the successful outcome of deal objectives.

This publication is exclusive to members of The Conference Board.
For information about membership click here.



Amy Lui Abel, PhD

Vice President, Human Capital Research
The Conference Board


Marion Devine

Senior Human Capital Researcher, Europe
The Conference Board


J. Keith Dunbar, EdD

Distinguished Principal Research Fellow
The Conference Board



Support Our Work

Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.