M&A people

While there are a few exotic exceptions, basically any merger or acquisition that requires integration will depend upon the people who execute it. People need to be aligned and motivated quickly to deliver the transaction and the integration. The success of this depends on the successful managing of three key aspects:

  • Organisational coordination, clarity and leadership.
  • Selecting and motivating staff.
  • Managing culture.

Some of these points have been already addressed. Previously we closely examined coordination in planning and control clarity of purpose and leadership. The other two aspects of people are examined in the remainder of this section.


Culture exists at many different levels. The most basic is national culture. If you are American and you visit China you immediately become aware of the different culture and how it manifests in different ways. But you also notice a different culture when you visit the UK – in fact even though you might be an ‘American’ with an ‘American’ culture you will experience cultural difference within and between individual states. Typically, we experience culture in the differences we are exposed to rather than the culture itself.

When one moves from one company to another there is also a different culture to experience. Does anyone believe the culture of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are the same, or IBM and Apple? Of course not. Norms and behaviours, values and history, combine to create the corporate ...

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