The importance and the influence of the corporate culture in a merger and acquisition context
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are one of the fastest strategic options that companies choose to face the global competitive market. However, previous researches have highlighted the high rate of failure among M&A. In fact, the merging companies have to face the issue of cultural differences which is one of the common reasons of M&A failure, reinforced when it comes to cross-borders combinations. Indeed, both partners incorporate in the new merged company the national and the corporate cultures. So, in order to be successful, the leaders have to consider the importance and the influence of these issues meticulously during the post-merger integration process; at the same level as the synergies, business performance and profit improvement. In order to have a better understanding of the corporate culture mismatches issues, we will present first in the theoretical part three major sections: the merger and acquisition context, the corporate culture and its concepts and finally the leaders‟ role within the M&A integration process. The second part will be illustrated by two case studies: the Daimler-Chrysler (a failure) and the Cloetta Fazer (a success) mergers. The first case represents the complexity that leaders can meet in any international merger. It is the typical frame where the cultural issues have been underestimated. On the other hand, Cloetta Fazer is one of the successful mergers that can be taken as a reference for managers in future merger integration. In that case, the pre-merger phase played an important role in the integration process because each aspect of the cultural differences was identified and a new and shared corporate culture was implemented.
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