Country Cultural Differences in Acquisition Management<sup>1</sup>

David Faulkner, Robert Pitkethly and John Child

in The Handbook of Mergers and Acquisitions

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199601462
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743320 | DOI:
Country Cultural Differences in Acquisition Management1

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In the period 1985–94, US, Japanese, French, and German companies accounted for the largest amounts of foreign direct investment into the UK, the main vehicle for which was merger and acquisition. This chapter reports on a survey of 201 acquisitions by companies from these countries and from a control group of UK/UK acquisitions on the extent and nature of changes and the influence of the new parent. All the national acquirer groups reported a move toward performance-related payment systems, and the adoption of team-based work organization and continuous improvement systems. Such management practices are therefore no longer limited national practices, but now general “best practice” across nations. Many other changes, however, did vary by nationality of acquirer. Japanese acquirers were much more likely to adopt a long-term view than their equivalents from the USA—and German acquirers were very long term in outlook. The US acquirers absorbed their acquisitions completely. French acquirers tended to reduce hierarchical levels and simplify management structures, and were somewhat ‘colonialist’ in behavior. UK acquirers behaved like US acquirers, but less strongly so.

Keywords: performance-related payment; team-based work; continuous improvement; management practices; Japan; USA; UK; France; Germany

Chapter.  9781 words. 

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services

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