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Mergers & acquisitions
Mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, etc.: the cultural thread in the story of your merger
You are undoubtedly aware of the statistical chances of a foreign acquisition or merger with a foreign partner developing into successful cooperation with fruitful long-term prospects. They are certainly not encouraging: 50 to 70 percent of such mergers and acquisitions do not deliver the result hoped for, and many are total failures. What is more, there has been hardly any improvement in these statistics over the last few decades.
Why is it that one merger succeeds while another does not? As an international manager you will certainly have considered this in some depth. You will in any case have answered the question for yourself – with the knowledge and experience you have. And the scenario for your next merger or acquisition may already have been written.
The part played by the cultural factor
You are also undoubtedly aware that a cultural thread runs through any merger scenario. It is a troublesome thread whose storyline is sometimes hard to fathom. However, it is worthwhile making a proper assessment of the part played by the cultural component in any merger or acquisition process. Not to overestimate it or underestimate it. Not in a positive sense, nor in a negative sense. A realistic analysis of the significance and the effect of the cultural factor in your merger or acquisition process is the first prerequisite for the effective management of this cultural factor.
The cultural factor encompasses more than just the culture shock and incompatibility of value systems so readily lamented by many international managers when their merger or acquisition is in danger of going pear-shaped. Culture is in the first place a bearer of positive forces and potential energy. And isn’t that what everybody is promised (with shareholders to the fore)? Joining forces – syn-energies?