M&a Case

1 January 2017

Operations and management were not successfully integrated as “equals” because of the entirely different ways in which the Germans and Americans operated: while Daimler-Benz’s culture stressed a more formal and structured management style, Chrysler favored a more relaxed, freewheeling style (to which it owed a large part of its premerger ? nancial success). In addition, the two units traditionally held entirely different views on important things like pay scales and travel expenses. As a result of these differences and the German unit’s increasing dominance, performance and employee satisfaction at Chrysler took a steep downturn.

There were large numbers of departures among key Chrysler executives and engineers, while the German unit became increasingly dissatis? ed with the performance of the Chrysler division. Chrysler employees, meanwhile, became extremely dissatis? ed with what they perceived as the source of their division’s problems: Daimler’s attempts to take over the entire organization and impose their culture on the whole ? rm. 3 While cultural con? ict often plays a large role in producing merger failure, it is often neglected when the bene? ts of a potential merger are examined.

M&a Case Essay Example

For instance, following the announcement of the AOLTimeWarner deal, a front-page Wall Street Journal article (Murray et al. 2000) discussed possible determinants of success or failure for the merger (such as synergies, costs, competitor reaction, and so forth). The only clear discussion of possible cultural con? ict is a single paragraph (out of a 60-column-inch article) revealing how the “different personalities” of AOL’s For instance, one joke told at Chrysler is: “How do you pronounce DaimlerChrysler? ‘Daimler’ the ‘Chrysler’ is silent. ”

Steve Case and TimeWarner’s Gerald Levin re? ect cultural differences between the two ? rms. A similar article (Jubak 2000) included a single paragraph entitled “What could go wrong with the synergy strategy. ” Moreover, in these sorts of short, cursory, obligatory discussions of possible cultural con? ict, there is rarely discussion of what steps might be taken if there is dramatic con? ict. While culture may seem like a “small thing” when evaluating mergers, compared to product-market and resource synergies, we think the opposite is true because culture is pervasive.

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