Making Mergers Work Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Preparation for post-merger integration usually focuses on operational problems, including determining which workers are retained and which ones are let go, and harmonizing product lines and fiscal and human resource information systems. Attention is also paid to the identity of the merged business in a superficial sense. A fresh symbol might be created, or the name of the acquirer could be kept or a new name found. But for organizations to achieve the mental synergies required to realize economic synergies from acquisitions and mergers, the authors assert that executives have to attend to a more complicated, deeper set of identity problems.

The next question captures what outside audiences believe is the essence of the organization. Left unattended, these identity issues that are more profound will decrease involvement and will necessarily impact the efficiency of the combined entity. Operational integration post-merger is a necessary but not sufficient condition for successful performance. Careful attention to identity integration is, in addition, crucial for success. The writers assert that there is no "one best method"and that in fact there are four distinct paths that may be followed to attain identity integration: assimilation, federation, confederation and metamorphosis. All these courses represents a certain combination of the replies to two questions that managers must confront in anticipation of a merger or acquisition: What should be done with the individualities that the parties to the amalgamation carried with them (in other words, their past identities)? And how must a common individuality for the prospect be built?

PUBLICATION DATE: October 01, 2012 PRODUCT #: SMR434-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about STRATEGY & EXECUTION

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