National and organisational cultures and the influences on cross-border post-acquisition management and performance
This thesis is concerned with the impact of national and organisational cultures on the post-acquisition management process, as applied to the case of the automotive supplier industry. The search for literature on the impact of culture in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) indicated that despite a plethora of post-acquisition and cultural studies, knowledge on the interactions of national and organisational cultures and their impacts on post-acquisition performance was incomplete. The main conceptual framework developed was based on three distinct schools of thoughts, strategic management school, the process school and the organisational behavioural school. The researcher perceives national culture and organisational culture as a multi-dimensional construct that interacts between levels. Ultimately, in this study, the researcher implies that national culture and organisational culture are dynamic constructs in the post-acquisition management and success. The study consists of the case study approach which investigated one American MNE in the automotive supplier industry and its four acquisitions into Europe (Germany, France, and Sweden) during the 1990s. The data collection process was carried out between August 2001 and September 2002 and was divided in three phases: 1) desk research on the company; 2) 27 interviews and 75 returned questionnaires at the four acquired sites in Europe, and 3) 5 interviews and 41 returned questionnaires at the North American and European headquarters. The interviews involved senior managers and employees who were involved in the post-acquisition process. Analysis of the case studies through pattern-coding and triangulation of data methods showed how the differences and interactions of cultures between the acquirer and its acquired subsidiaries influenced: The acquirer's management technique (types, timing and communication of post-acquisition changes) which in turn influenced the - The acquired's employees behaviour; which in turn influenced the - Post-acquisition success in the acquired firm. In addition, the findings seem to suggest that the post-acquisition process consists of very distinguishable sub-phases and these have been identified and included into the main theoretical framework. By charting the sub-phases, it may be possible to anticipate certain behavioural patterns of employees and relevant management solutions for each. The multi-dimensional cultural interface developed from the literature has been supported by the findings of the research. It displayed the complex interactions of national culture and organisational culture on the post-acquisition process. The strength of the influences of the cultural dimensions on each post-acquisition phase is discussed as well as how to deal with them. This multi-dimensional cultural interface has contributed in bridging the gap in the literature that has usually focused on either national culture or organisational culture in M&A studies, but seldom both.