Has anyone seen a cultural takeover approach go well? If so, what were the key factors that enabled this type of cultural integration to go well? I have only seen a cultural takeover approach go very badly. In my experience, this approach seemed to exacerbate the acquiring group’s feelings of superiority and the acquired group’s feelings of inferiority.
Definition of successful can take on very different perspectives. I was part of Mobil when it merged with Exxon. While it was technically a merger, it became a cultural takeover by a very corporate oriented Exxon. Many from heritage Mobil left the organization while many stayed and just kept their heads down. To Exxon it was a successful takeover that Mobil was assimilated into their culture, corporate structure and approach.
That’s a good point – successful by whose definition. In your example, Exxon considered the cultural integration a success because in the end Mobil was assimilated into their culture. However, it sounds like many Mobile people left because of it. I would consider the cultural takeover unsuccessful if: 1) Enough people left that there were additional unexpected costs from having to recruit a new talent and/or those that left took certain knowledge or skillsets with them that were critical to the achieving the expected synergies of the merger, or 2) Replacing the culture of the acquired company had a noticeable negative impact on outputs (e.g. product quality, service quality, process efficiencies, etc.) in such a way that the expected synergies/benefits of the merger were not realized.