Case study 2: Paper for Management Decision on mergers and acquisitions

Vassilis M. Papdakis (Athens University of Economics and Business) wrote a paper entitled 'The role of broader context and the communication program in Merger and Acquisition implementation success'. As with the previous example, the reviewers gave fairly detailed comments suggesting some modest revisions. The author provided two cover sheets, one for each reviewer, quoting their comments, responding to the comment, and stating what action taken. The reviewers gave fairly detailed comments, a selection of which are shown below in summary form, along with authors' responses.

Reviewer 1 Reviewer 2
Practical applications - are the implications for practitioners clearly drawn out?

Somewhat weak... The implications are primarily for research purposes.

'Looking back at the paper more objectively, we have to admit your are right.' Rewrote implications section adding new implications for managers and elaborating on already presented implications.

Very limited advice for improving practice

See opposite

Research applications - does the article suggest areas for further research?

Yes, and this is strong

Further research needs to be stated in terms more relevant to that stream.

Section re-written as has discussion and conclusion

Clarity and readability - is attention paid to clarity of expression and readability?

Yes, however identify M&A acronym at the beginning of the manusript

Change made

Major problem. Grammatical and typo errors.

Proof read again and errors corrected.

Originality - does it add to the subject area/body of knowledge?

Only peripheral contribution

Respectfully disagree, giving four reasons. ACTION: rewrite 2nd part of intro so that these points are better brought out

Analytical rigour - does the article demonstrate soundness in the way in which it has been research and/or argued?

Researchers did not establish validity and reliability of their measures. Needs to be a quantitative analysis of the data to determine its validity and reliability.

Fair point: have attempted to use well known and tested measures of main variables, to ensure reliablity and validity of variables in the research. ACTION: establish validity a) by indicating source of variables b) by discussing how other studies used as ref points; also explain in more detail reliability of all composite measures in the study.

Discuss literature before stating hypothesis; devt. of measure of independent variables not well explained; include some controls in the regression analysis; methodology weak.

'We believe, there is no such thing as a perfect research design. However, we are confident that we have exercised every caution to present a reliable, and well researched and ...improving the research designs...of other researchers. ACTION: added several papers to the theoretical section; rewritten several paras; have not included addit. control variables as the M&As studied come from 10 different industry sectors.'

Internationality - will the article be of interest to an international audience?

Need for discussion of implications beyond Greece.

Additional info on M&A activity in Greece given plus further discussion on usefulness to international audience, plus prospective EU members

Little discussion of Greece in terms of explaining the research findings

See opposite

Please specify any other revision criteria

Additional changes:

  • enriched section discussing further research recommendations;
  • added new relevant papers to theoretical framework
  • rewrote introduction and several other parts


Note that although the second reviewer recommended rejection, the author did in fact revise it.

Return to How to revise your paper