The role of human resource and cultural factors in the success or failure of merger and acquisition strategies : the case of Saudi Arabia
For the duration of the past three decades a growing number of research has proved that business environments are evolving at an accelerated rate that require new organisational forms. strategies and processes. In other words, in a hyper-competitive environment with increasing globalisation, it is hard for a single company to possess all resources needed to develop and sustain current competitive advantages whilst trying simultaneously to build a new one. Clearly, in order to gain and sustain competitive advantage in such turbulent environment, organisations need to combine or co-operate with one another organisations. This could explain the popularity of merger/acquisition strategies in the last two decades. However, the results of these strategies were disappointed because merger/acquisition strategies did not achieve the financial objective of the combinations. Number of reasons attributed to such failure, such as the price of the deal is too high, the time of the deal is inappropriate etc. However, by delving deeper into both human and organisational sides of the deal would enable us to realise the essence of merger/acquisition failures or successes: The human resource and cultural factors in addition to the way such issues are managed. Yet, these essential factors often neglected during merger process as soft issues. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the role of human resource and cultural factors in the success or failure of merger/acquisition strategies and how these factor would enable companies to gain and sustain their competitive advantage. The influence of external factors on mergers/acquisitions also investigated. To achieve these aims, this study designed to involve two groups (merging and non-merging companies) and two different sample units for each group (top and middle management). The results signify that human resource and culture factors are critical for the success of mergers/acquisitions. In other words, this study gave evidence that understanding, analysing and managing the redundancies, cultures clash, uncertainty, stress and low morale that often associate with such strategies through effective communication, coping programmes and procedural justice would increase the possibility of success, yet neglecting such essential factors would prove the failure of these strategies. Internal factors were proved in this study to be unique success factors in the context of mergers/acquisition, but external factors were proved to be important for both merging and non-merging companies.