We examine whether size-specific experience influences performance following large related, domestic acquisitions. Supporting a transfer theory of learning, our results suggest that although prior experience in making large, related acquisitions transfers positively to this focal situation, experience in making small related acquisitions hurts firm performance. We find that bidder-to-target dissimilarity in product offerings and geographic reach exacerbates the negative effects of experience in small related acquisitions. In contrast, perceived dissimilarity in organizational cultures curbs these negative effects. Moreover, retaining acquired top managers and engaging in less integration in large related acquisitions both aid acquirers in better drawing on experiences from smaller related acquisitions.
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