The influence of national culture on cross-border M&A

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Ekonomihögskolan, ELNU; Linnéuniversitetet/Ekonomihögskolan, ELNU

Abstract: In theory, the phrase "mergers and acquisitions" (abbreviated M&A) refers to buying, selling and combining different companies in order to gain improved financial performance, create a global presence, and face the global competitive market. Nevertheless, many researches have underlined the high rate of failure among M&A, and the difficulty to achieve expected results and synergies. Among the reasons of failure, many analysts have pointed out the determinant influence of the cultural aspect in the success or the failure of a cross-border merger. However, the cultural issue in M&A is often neglected and too less stressed. In order to have a better understanding of the cultural aspect in the merger and acquisition process, and point out its influence on the merger process as well as the corporate culture, we first present a theoretical part introducing the cross-border merger and acquisition concept with the perspective of the national culture, and the role that leaders could play in order to limit the negative impact of culture and the clashes on cross-border M&A. Therefore, a part including three cases of "cultural failure" in the merger process illustrates the concepts explained in the theoretical part. Those well-known cases are: DaimlerChrysler, UpJohn & Pharmacia, and Volvo – Renault. The cases show how the cultural issue had been underestimated and had implied cultural clashes and extra-costs for the companies involved. After concluding our findings, we end the thesis with a prospective part based on the possible evolution of the merger and acquisition market. Indeed, we believe that our research topic will gain importance in the future, and the influence of culture on M&A deals may increase.

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