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Map-It RAP – Topic 19

Topic 19 is all about assessing the consequences of either a recent merger or an acquisition. Most student might find this topic daunting but with clear understanding and planning, it will easy to nail this research topic. The discussion here will help you to do so.

Start the research by short-listing possible mergers or acquisitions.

Don’t be quick in deciding whether you want to take  a merger or an acquisition. Let the research guide you in this matter. Remember to take examples on which you can get most available data. As without enough data you wont be able to carry out much of an assessment.  Read something like the article on Recent example of corporate takeovers and mergers at website. This should give your imagination some wheels to move to the next level.

A research methodology is also vital.

For such a complex topic, a proper methodology will make your research process easier. Plan this out in advance. Think about what quantitative aspect will your report talk about and what qualitative aspect can you evaluate in your RAP. I would recommend reading a ‘How to carry out Research‘ textbooks to help you in planning your research.

The most important thing is to have a game plan on the theme of your RAP.

In case of Topic 19 the RAP has to talk about two things.

1) Assessment of Merger/Acquisition

2) Financial and Operational consequences of this step.

While short-listing a particular M&A case make sure you think about these two points i.e., will you be able to gather enough facts to assess the merger/acquisition and will you be able to carry out financial and operation assessment of the data?

Point 1: Assessment of the Merger/Acquisition

This should give the reader a before-after picture. The RAP should show how the entity performed before the merger/acquisition and what happened to its performance after the merger/acquisition. Remember that both negative and positive things might have happened as a result of the merger/acquisition and your RAP should depict both of them. With most students what I have seen as a mentor is that they focus a lot on the most common negative aspect of the merger/acquisition i.e., failure due to cultural differences. Even though it is a vital point to put in your report, do avoid the temptation to making your overall RAP all about it.

And last of all, don’t forget to have a strong literature review in your RAP.

All research reports require a literature review section that tells the existing research and concepts of your selected topic. The literature should not be too far-fetched and should be limited to the topic of your RAP. Remember that this is a literature review and not a text-book so avoid writing excessive explanation of the concepts of mergers and acquisitions. The rule of the thumb is ‘Make sure it relates to your evaluation and assessment part’. For example if your research is about failure of mergers because of corporate culture. the literature review should focus on corporate culture and existing research on why they are the cause of failure. Of course from hereon you can extend to the literature review as much as required for your RAP.