Justin Jenk, Accenture's head of M&A and corporate strategy, said that awareness could ultimately lead executives to focus less on instant bottom line results and more on how to capture synergies.
"We see a deal not as a transaction, but as a continuum," Jenk
said."The trick is to have the confidence and the discipline to step back and say, 'Am I getting carried away with things?"'
The study showed executives are becoming increasingly aware that most failed deals stem from errors during the merger due diligence phase, or the pre-merger review of a target company's historical and financial records, Jenk
said.The traditional due diligence frequently ignores exactly what steps will need to be taken to successfully implement a merger after it's announced, Jenk
In fact, the study showed 83 percent of the respondents were not able to distinguish between the different value levers -- or strategic rationale -- for doing a deal.
"People tend to be looking for hidden surprises and legal mine fields, as opposed to what they are going to do with the business and create value," Jenk
said."You can look at habitual, successful acquirers and they have a very good system.They have the confidence to do a deal, and the confidence to say, 'No."'
Still, despite better pre-deal preparation, there is still much improvement to be made, Accenture
said.Only 11 percent of the executives surveyed said strategic integrity was the most important factor to completing deals, while 20 percent said execution excellence was the key.