Post-Acquisition Mobility: The Role of Expertise Similarity and Network Ties



It is well-known that acquisitions frequently do not achieve their goals. Aiming at exploring possible reasons for this underperformance, we investigate determinants of individual mobility decisions employees after their employer is acquired. Arguing that an acquisition disrupts the relative bargaining power of firms and employees, we analyze the aspect of expertise similarity between a focal employee and the acquiring firm, and the role of focal employees’ network ties to coworkers. Using data from the U.S. video game industry that track employees’ career movements we find strong evidence that expertise similarity and the number of internal ties negatively predict post-acquisition employee mobility.