This paper, drawing on literature in anthropology and positive organizational scholarship (POS), and using a case study of the acquisition of a British car company by a German multinational corporation, proposes that national culture, in contrast to its treatment as a source of ‘distance’ or ‘friction’ can also operate as an integrating agent, whereby participants shape the new reality of the merged organization through discourse and narrative, creating a collectively-agreed new culture while also allowing particular groups to retain a distinctive identity within it. The paper concludes by suggesting theoretical and epistemological ways forward which focus on integrating HR managers’, as well as researchers’, perspectives on mergers and acquisitions, and which move away from binary models of analysis which judge mergers and acquisitions in abstract terms of ‘success’ versus ‘failure’. This allows researchers instead to focus on how ‘success’ is defined by the participants in the merger, and considers mergers and acquisitions as dynamic, multifaceted processes which incorporate different forms of success and failure within themselves.
|Number of pages
|The International Journal of Human Resource Management
|Early online date
|23 Apr 2019
|E-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2019