A Strategy Tripod Perspective on Merger Effectiveness in the Higher Education Industry, with the Mediating Influence of Future Foresight
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This study aims at testing the impact of the antecedents of the perceived mergers effectiveness in the higher education industry from the point of view of managers and administrators. In other words, the study outlines factors that measure merger effectiveness in the higher education industry and tests them from the perspective of managers against three main antecedents – government support, competitive intensity, and knowledge creation capability. The study develops a novel model that predicts the effectiveness of mergers in the higher education industry by identifying and examining these three key antecedents from the theoretical lens of the strategy tripod with the mediating influence of future foresight. The strategy tripod, which includes three theoretical perspectives, will be the underpinning tool for the conceptual framework of this study that will guide the researcher into identifying the constructs tested in this study. The study identifies one construct under each theoretical perspective that is most relevant to the context of higher education mergers. The significance of this study lies in the use and application of three dimensions of the strategy tripod alongside the future foresight competence. The researcher argues that future foresight will have a significant impact in supporting the strategy tripod’s factors in explaining the relationship between the antecedents and the higher education merger effectiveness – as a mediator. Therefore, one of the researcher’s main anticipated contribution to knowledge is to prove that future foresight can be added as a fourth leg to the strategy tripod framework, making it a Strategy Quadpod. Moreover, to the researcher’s knowledge, this holistic perspective of applying the strategy tripod and future foresight has not been applied in studies related to the higher education industry before. Thereby, this paper examines the influence of external and internal factors on higher education institutions’ mergers. To be specific, this study represents one of the first attempts – if not the very first - that examine factors from the institution-based perspective, the industry-based perspective, and the resource-based perspective of the strategy tripod that influence the effectiveness of higher education mergers in Europe and the United States of America, with the mediating influence of future foresight.