Study on the Adaptation with Learning About the Environment: The Case of Post-Acquisition Integration
Jing Su*, Mohsen Jafari Songhori**, and Takao Terano*
*Tokyo Institute of Technology
4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8502, Japan
**Department of Health Technology and Services Research, Technical Medical Center, University of Twente
Ravelijn 5151, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Organizations can be considered as complex systems that can adapt to their changing environment. In this work, we study a complex system adapting to an unfamiliar environment with learning; this is grounded in the context of the post-acquisition integration of the companies. More specifically, we conceptualize post-acquisition integration from the perspective of behavioral theory as a reason for the environmental changes to the firms (agents). We studied the adaptation of these complex systems and we propose a coupled learning method over the NK landscape. The simulation results show that the initial perceptions of the agents regarding the new task environment can be quite influential to the performance of the entire system during the adaptation process. Correct initial perceptions can help the system to quickly achieve high performance, whereas incorrect initial perceptions may prevent the system from reaching high performance. Lack of initial perceptions could lead to a slow yet robust adaptation process with a moderate level of performance. Moreover, certain other factors, such as the sensitivity to the feedback from the environment, the incentive of the system for exploration, and the learning frequency, may have different impact on the adaptation and performance of the system.
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