Case 4: Japanese Cross Border M&A and German Target Employee Alienation Issues
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) occur frequently all over the world and about 70% are categorized as cross-border deals with the aim of multinational firms to undertake investments in foreign countries (Peng 2008). There is evidence that cross border deals are more difficult to successfully realize than domestic deals because employees not only experience a different organizational culture but also have to interact with a different national culture (Chung et al. 2014). The rule of thumb is that integrations become increasingly difficult as cultural distance and differences increases between the bidder and the target in a M&A context. Most of the studies take it for granted that employees are heavily affected by direct involvement in a cross border acquisition (e.g. Chung et al. 2014; Nemanich and Keller 2007). Yet, indirect effects of social identification can also affect the lack of direct interaction between employees from both parties (the acquirer and the acquired). This case study deals about a Japanese steelmaker who overtook a German engineering firm specializing in waste disposal business. Challenges in the post-merger integration and especially between the expatriated Japanese managers to the German subsidiary and the German employees are discussed.
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