Several Ways to Address Cultural Issues
Four Possible Scenarios for Culture Integration
Advantages to Each Approach
Why Are Post-Merger Cultural Issues Difficult to Manage
Consequences of Culture Conflict
Culture Differences Can Cause Integration Failure
3 Important Drivers of Cultural Issues
Components of Culture Change Programs

Why are Post-Merger Cultural Issues Difficult to Manage?

  • Culture is frequently ‘under the surface’ i.e. not obviously visible – driven by values, beliefs, norms, mental models, different expectations
  • Cultural ‘hot spots’ within the two organizations may simmer for awhile before causing major problems
  • Root causes of cultural issues might be in different areas than where the issues appear
  • Culture is deep rooted, created over a company’s history, and therefore extraordinarily difficult to change ...

Advantages to Each Approach

Cultural Assimilation

  • Quick, efficient, and many tough decisions made “automatically”
  • Only requires compliance from staff rather than commitment
  • Can make staffing & restructuring decisions easier

Forge New Culture

  • Builds foundation for long-term synergy-based gains
  • Builds shared core values and vision
  • Encourages innovation and builds staff commitment rather than creating winners and losers
  • Can promote breakthroughs in products, services and performance

Keep Separate Cultures

  • Simple - allows each unit to continue to build on its historical strengths
  • Does not cloud or confuse market image
  • Little or no disruption of business
  • Still provides opportunities for synergies and shared learning

Operate with Sub-cultures

  • Quick - can defer complex integration issues
  • Minimizes disruption to acquired unit’s customers and production staff
  • Can serve as “skunkworks” environment for developing innovations
  • Can provide alternative market interface in niche areas...

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