D. Kwok takes home Best Journal Paper of the Year Award at the EIBA conference

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Diana Kwok, associate professor at EMSBS, received the IBR Best Journal Paper of the Year Award at the 47th Annual Conference organized by the European International Business Academy (EIBA), which took place in Madrid December 10–12, 2021.

International Business Review (IBR), EIBA’s associated journal, sponsors each year the IBR Best Journal Paper of the Year Award that recognizes the best article published in the previous year’s volume. Since 2006, this award has been presented at the EIBA Annual Conference award ceremony.

The paper is entitled “In CEOs we trust: When religion matters in cross-border acquisitions. The case of a multifaith country” and was written in collaboration with Pierre-Xavier Meschi (IAE Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management, CERGAM, Aix-Marseille Université et SKEMA Business School, Sophia Antipolis) and Olivier Bertrand (Fundação Getulio Vargas – Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (FGV-EBAPE), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).


This paper examines the emergence of trust by multifaith target-firm personnel in foreign acquirer CEOs during early post-acquisition integration, a decisive period for acquisition success, yet considerably under-researched. Combining self-categorization and similarity-attraction theories, we argue that religious similarity with the foreign acquirer’s CEO represents shared values to the personnel, from which trust in the CEO arises. Further, we scrutinize the moderating effects of the personnel’s religiosity and prior alliance success between the acquirer and target firm. We test our model using field-experimental data from 411 multifaith Malaysian personnel. The findings show that personnel-leader trust occurs more readily with religious similarity than religious dissimilarity, and that the personnel’s religiosity strengthens this relationship. However, a successful prior alliance does not weaken the religious similarity–trust relationship. Our research encourages acquisition managers to consider religion, a factor beyond the traditional acquisition playbook, as a trust antecedent during early post-acquisition integration.

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We send her our warmest congratulations!

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