Lisa X. Tang

Lisa X. Tang
  • Doctoral Candidate

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3026 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: corporate strategy, organizational learning, firm scope, mergers and acquisitions, multinational management, strategic human capital, growth of technology firms

Links: CV


I am a PhD candidate at Wharton. My research lies at the intersection of corporate strategy, organizational learning and multinational management, with an emphasis on understanding how organizational structures, resources, learning processes and institutional environments impact firms’ boundary choices. The empirical contexts of my research center around mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in both developed and emerging economies, and I rely on large-scale empirical methods in my work. In today’s increasingly competitive global landscape, M&A has become an ever more important strategic tool whereby firms change their corporate scope, reconfigure their resource bases, and sustain their long-term competitive advantages. In examining this phenomenon, I take a multi-level, deconstruction approach to the M&A process, where I study both the internal (e.g. individual decision makers, learning processes, control and governance capabilities) and external (e.g. institutional environments, industry dynamics) mechanisms driving each stage of the M&A lifecycle, as well as their consequences for M&A capabilities and performance. Through my work, I hope to contribute both theoretically and empirically to the literatures on strategic management, organizational learning and internationalization of multinational enterprises, and offer managerial implications on performance drivers of inorganic growth strategies across organizations.

Prior to joining the doctoral program at Wharton, I worked as an M&A investment banker in Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong and London offices, advising clients across a wide range of sectors including financial institutions, information technology, industrials, natural resources, and transportation. I received my Master of Science from Wharton in 2017, and my Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Philosophy from Harvard College in 2011.

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  • Xiaolu Lisa Tang, Revisiting the Locus of Experience: A Study on Corporate Development Executives, Organizational Learning, and M&A Performance.

    Description: Job Market Paper.

  • Xiaolu Lisa Tang and Minyuan Zhao (Under Revision), Information and Integration: A Study of Emerging Market Multinationals.

    Abstract: Recent years have seen a surge of cross-border M&A by emerging-market multinational enterprises (EMNEs). These acquirers tend to leave the top management team of the target firms intact and implement limited integration, which seems to contradict the conventional view that integration is crucial for realizing value from M&A. In this study, we argue that country, cohort, and firm factors—all associated with information constraints faced by EMNEs—help explain this light-touch integration approach. With a sample of 1,963 cross-border M&A, we found supportive evidence that the negative country effect on integration is reversed as EMNEs and their peers gain more cross-border experience. By disentangling the multiple factors behind the phenomena, this study contributes to our understanding of EMNEs in particular and integration strategies in general.

    Description: Revise and Resubmit at Strategic Management Journal.

  • Wei Shi, Xiaolu Lisa Tang, Yadong Luo (Under Revision), The Effect of Internal Control on Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions: A Strategic Fit Perspective.

    Abstract: Building on the strategic fit perspective, this study contends that firms with weak internal control capability will refrain from intensive cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) because successful cross-border M&As call for firms to have strong abilities in information processing, risk management, and fraud prevention. We also contend that acquirers weak in internal control are less likely to target firms in high-risk (high corruption) countries. Furthermore, investors’ evaluations of cross-border M&As of targets in high corruption countries will be less favorable for acquirers with weak internal control as opposed to those with strong internal control. Using a sample of 4,785 U.S. firms, we find support for our arguments. This study advances acquisition research by highlighting the influence of strategic fit in internal control capability on cross-border M&A decisions, location choices, and investor evaluations of such decisions.

    Description: Revise and Resubmit at Strategic Management Journal.

  • Xiaolu Lisa Tang and Emilie Feldman (Working), The Strategic Complementarity between M&A and R&D.


Past Courses


    We all spend much of our lives in organizations. Most of us are born in organizations, educated in organizations, and work in organizations. Organizations emerge because individuals can't (or don't want to) accomplish their goals alone. Management is the art and science of helping individuals achieve their goals together. Managers in an organization determine where their organization is going and how it gets there. More formally, managers formulate strategies and implement those strategies. This course provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges involved in formulating and implementing strategies by taking a "system" view of organizations,which means that we examine multiple aspects of how managers address their environments, strategy, structure, culture, tasks, people, and outputs, and how managerial decisions made in these various domains interrelate. The course will help you to understand and analyze how managers can formulate and implement strategies effectively. It will be particularly valuable if you are interested in management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship - but it will help you to better understand and be a more effective contributor to any organizations you join, whether they are large, established firms or startups. This course must be taken for a grade.

Awards and Honors

  • Winner, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference Best Conference PhD Paper Prize, 2019
  • Honorable Mention, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference Best Conference Paper Prize, 2019
  • Winner, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference Corporate Strategy Interest Group Best Paper Award, 2019
  • George James Research Travel Grant, 2019
  • SRF Dissertation Research Scholar, 2018-2020
  • Best Reviewer Award, IM Division, Academy of Management Annual Conference, 2018
  • Chinese Ministry of Education Humanities and Social Science Research Grant, 2018-2019
  • National Natural Science Foundation of China Research Grant, 2018-2019
  • Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center Research Fellowship, 2017-2019
  • George James Research Travel Grant, 2017
  • Mack Institute Research Fellowship, 2016-2019
  • Finalist, Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Society Special Conference (Hong Kong), 2016
  • Winner, Internationalization Theme Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Society Special Conference (Hong Kong), 2016
  • Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, 2011


Latest Research

Xiaolu Lisa Tang, Revisiting the Locus of Experience: A Study on Corporate Development Executives, Organizational Learning, and M&A Performance.
All Research

Awards and Honors

Winner, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference Best Conference PhD Paper Prize 2019
All Awards