An outstanding feature of the recent post-crisis global economy has been a sharp increase in mergers and acquisitions. Over the last decade in particular, many larger businesses have adopted acquisitions strategies as a core aspect of their business approach.
The potential business benefits to a merger or acquisition include the expansion of product lines or markets, a means of gaining a competitive edge in the market, or the ability to secure access to scarce resources or expertise. However, this is also a high-risk business strategy, as evidenced by the extremely merger and acquisition failure rate which is reportedly between 40% and 60% of all deals. In the case of cross-border mergers, failure rates of up to 70% have been reported (Manas, 2011).
This article discusses an art and science approach to post-merger integration, which is recommended for ensuring a smooth transition to a single organization. The proposed strategy is grounded in a growing body of research evidence that it is the people-related or cultural aspects of change that most often lead to failed mergers. Addressing these factors along with the logistical aspects of the merger can help to ensure that the business value and positive outcomes that were expected of the merger are realized in practice.