Handbook of Research on Mergers and Acquisitions
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Handbook of Research on Mergers and Acquisitions

Edited by Yaakov Weber

For the last four decades, researchers in various disciplines have been trying to explain the enduring paradox of the growing activity and volume of mergers and acquisitions (M & A) versus the high failure rate of M & A. This Handbook will stimulate scholars to focus on new research directions.
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Chapter 9: Facilitating mergers through management and organization of communication: an analysis of strategic communication in a cross-border merger

Anne- Marie Søderberg


Mergers are extraordinarily complex organizational change processes. Pre-merger considerations about a good ‘strategic fit’ and ‘cultural fit’ between potential company partners have attracted much focus among both scholars and business consultants. During the past 10_15 years more attention has been directed to the integration phase, often driven by an interest to better understand why the performance of many mergers has been disappointing, and how it may be improved. Some scholars have tried to investigate how human resources and cultural differences are managed in integration processes (Hitt et al., 2001; Morosino, 1998; Pablo and Javidan, 2004; Stahl and Mendenhall, 2005). Other scholars have tried to identify socio-cultural issues (for example, Ailon-Souday and Kunda, 2003; Riad, 2006; Risberg, 1999; Søderberg and Vaara, 2003) that may explain why only few mergers turn out to be an undisputable success whereas more of them fail, or at least meet serious challenges in areas where top managers and decision makers were not prepared for them. Stahl and Voigt, 2008, who have studied a substantive body of recent research contributions on the role of culture in M & A, conclude that cultural differences not only create major obstacles to achieving integration benefits. Differences in culture may also be a source of value creation and learning if cultural diversity within an organization is acknowledged, communicated and managed professionally.

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