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Joining Forces: Making One Plus One Equal Three in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Alliances by Philip H. Mirvis, Mitchell Lee Marks

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Chapter I. The Elusive Equation

One plus one equals three. Billions of dollars and millions of jobs hinge on fulfilling this equation and the hope that a combination of two organizations can produce something more than the sum of the parts. Whether it's called synergy or leverage, the prospect of creating value through a combination is touted vigorously in boardrooms and executive suites where top managers and their financial, legal, and strategic advisers conjure up and put together deals.

The concept is alluring: combine the strengths of two organizations to achieve strategic and financial objectives that neither side could accomplish as easily or affordably on its own. The reality, however, is often woeful: up to three-quarters of corporate ...

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