Post-merger concerns: cultural integration in a multinational corporation.

Garcia-Lorenzo, Lucia and Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa (2005) Post-merger concerns: cultural integration in a multinational corporation. The international journal of knowledge, culture and change management., 4 . pp. 289-298. ISSN 1447-9575

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Abstract

Most research on mergers and acquisition processes has traditionally focused on ‘post-merger cultural integration’; suggesting that efforts need to be concentrated in achieving the successful post-merger ‘acculturation’. However, the main focus is always the economic, financial and management characteristics of the companies, glossing over the more cultural aspects of the integration process it claims to study. It is this area in the study of M&A that this paper seeks to address. In the paper we conceptualise culture as intrinsically social, generated and shared through social interactions in daily working practices. We consider organisational reality as socially constructed and composed of collective interpretations of meanings and rules of interpretation – culture - that help people orient themselves in their everyday lives. Mergers, however, challenge existing organizational forms, practices and cultures in very fundamental ways. The tension that this creates is then reflected in the way people (re)produce the organisation -and themselves within it- through the stories and narratives they share. The particular organisation on which our analysis focuses is a traditional UK based British engineering company that in 1999 bought a collective of family-run businesses, scattered across Scandinavia. This paper draws on the findings from a research project carried out with the newly created company during the post- merger period. The paper focuses on the effects of the M&A processes in the way people reconstruct the new organisation and their role as employees through the stories they tell. The analysis of these stories shows how despite differences in both national culture and ways of working, employees from both companies share a ‘narrative of progress’ that guides -and therefore constrains- their reconstruction of the current change process. This narrative is used to both make sense and challenge the current working conditions and the emerging cultural order in the new organisation. However, this dialectic between commonalities and differences among employees of both companies creates a space where a new narrative can emerge. This emergent narrative begins to articulate a common organisational future that can be capitalised upon when dealing with integration problems.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Health and Education > Health & Education
ID Code:7024
Deposited On:24 Feb 2011 10:25
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:12

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