Cultural Impact on Organizational Change in Mergers

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    Dana Hoernke

    How do cultural differences influence the successful implementation of organizational changes during mergers between US-based and international companies? Share examples from your own experiences, and discuss whether you think these situations could have been handled differently.

    Trevor Cassaberry

    The US-based utility I work with was acquired by a holding company based out of Europe. Some common cultural challenges include:

    1. Work-life balance…we have much less of a balance in the US and we depend on emergency response to utility malfunctions. The urgency around administrative tasks is NOT there for the parent company. I learned that the temperature in Spain is very high is August and allows for many employees to take the month off. This caused MAJOR delays to administrative tasks that needed to be cleared by employees in Spain.

    2. Employee Loyalty…we seem to have much less loyalty to employers in the US. Often I am looking through data to find answers to future questions and I find that the last person to know the answer has left the company. This is RARELY an issue with the Europe-based employees, as they have less competition and more loyalty to their employer. When I have met that issue, often time the Europe-based employee had retired.

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