“Culture” has become a critical factor for success in today's international business environment. In particular, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are known to suffer from a high failure rate, due to culture differences. Studies on M&As suggest different and often controversial relationships between culture, integration and performance. The purpose of this paper is to identify major sources of inconsistent results, thereby providing promising directions for future research.
Findings are based on an extensive literature review including 58 papers from 20 learned international journals. Main selection criteria were keywords (merger/acquisitions and integration/culture) applied to the database “EBSCO Business Source Premier” and the h‐index calculated with the help of Harzing's Publish or Perish. Each article was coded and categorized.
The analyzed articles reveal three major reasons for the inconsistent findings in M&A research: first, most scholars refer to “integration” as an umbrella term for different and distinctive acculturation strategies, e.g. integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization; second, some studies mix different levels of analysis with respect to culture constructs, e.g. national vs organizational culture; and finally, there exist various definitions of “M&A success”, which become manifest in a plethora of measurement techniques.
The paper identifies and discusses potential reasons why the culture‐performance debate in M&A research has not yet provided a consistent conclusion. This article helps to better understand the current perception of culture in radical change processes within organizations. Promising future research directions are outlined, which should help to extend and specify current knowledge about culture as well as its impact on M&A success.
Dauber, D. (2012), "Opposing positions in M&A research: culture, integration and performance", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 375-398. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527601211247107Download as .RIS
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