Why do cross-border M&A fail so often? The role of cultural differences in the case study of the DaimlerChrysler AG

An exploration of cross-border M&A activities in the automotive industry

Master's Thesis, 2008

82 Pages, Grade: 71 % - A


Table of contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Nature and scope of the study
1.2 The chronicles of the DaimlerChrysler AG
1.3 Research question and objectives
1.4 Research overview

2 Literature Review
2.1 The generic rational for a deliberate mergers and acquisitions strategy
2.1.1 The history of mergers and acquisitions waves
2.1.2 Reasons for mergers and acquisitions
2.1.3 Sustainability and competitive advantage
2.1.4 Gain human assets
2.1.5 Core competence
2.1.6 Capability creating
2.2 Post-merger problems in cross-border mergers and acquisitions
2.2.1 Integration approaches
2.2.2 Cultural differences
2.3 Choice of right partner for a successful mergers and acquisitions process

3 Methodology
3.1 Research philosophy
3.2 Research approach
3.3 Research strategy
3.4 Research choice and data collection methods
3.5 Analysis of qualitative data
3.6 Ethical issues
3.7 Limitations

4 Key Findings & Data Analysis
4.1 Analysis of interviews associated with key factors from literature

5 Conclusion and recommendations
5.1 Limitations

6 Bibliography


Appendix A

Appendix B

1 Introduction

In the following chapter, the researcher provides the reader with the most relevant background information in order to understand the nature of this research. Therefore, a brief overview of the term mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will be given, followed by the actual area of interest – the merger and acquisition of Mercedes-Benz AG and Chrysler Corporation, respectively - will be outlined leading into the establishment of the research question, as well as the aims and objectives. Finally, the author provides the reader with an overall structure of the research paper.

1.1 Nature and scope of the study

The term M&A refers to different business strategies a company might consider in order to sustain in an industry (Barney, 1992; Sudarsanam, 1995). There are three types of M&A. A merger can be seen as two or more companies willingly coming together whereby only one company survives and the other goes out of existence or a totally new business entity is formed (Gaughan, 2002; Morrison, 2007). Merging companies are usually of the same size unless it is a consolidation then the joining companies differ significantly by size (Gaughan, 2002). An acquisition refers to a bigger and stronger company buying a smaller and weaker one (Gaughan, 2002, Morrison, 2007; Stonehouse et al., 2004). The third type of M&A is called leveraged buyout (LBO), where usually a group of managers of the firm arrange to buy out the company’s equity through venture capital finance or a loan (Gaughan, 2002; Morrison, 2007).

Whether a corporation chooses to merge or acquire another firm, it always results in a larger and financially more powerful organisation (Stonehouse et al., 2004). The key for M&A is a company’s growth strategy, also in terms of enhanced shareholder value, bringing savings and efficiencies in today’s competitive and globalised world (Doyle, 1996; Firstbrook, 2007;). Figure 1 illustrates further reasons for cross-border M&A along with opportunities and risks on a timescale, which companies might face.

Figure 1: Reasons for cross-border M&A

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Adapted from: UN, World Investment Report 2000: Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions and Development, figure V.1, p.154.

The author observed during the first round of literature review that there is evidence of a high failure rate between cross-border M&A, especially in relation to integrating one business into the other and synergy seeking between them due to cultural differences. Giving the divorce or failure of the DaimlerChrysler AG merger last year, it was observed, that there is controversial evidence in the literature if many cross-border M&A fail due to cultural differences between two companies.

Therefore, the following work is, amongst others, an attempt to fill the gap in the literature, whereby a special focus lies on cultural differences in cross-border M&A among operational as well as strategic dimensions.

Based on the facts mentioned above the purpose of the following research project is to establish the effects of cross-border M&A and whether different cultural backgrounds of joining companies are related to the high failure rate. Therefore, the author has decided to use DaimlerChrysler AG as a case study approach. This decision is based on the fact that DaimlerChrysler announced to spin-off Chrysler for $7.4 billion to the private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management on 14th May 2007 and on August 3rd, Cerberus Capital Management formally took over 80.1% of Chrysler (Economist, 2007). A company profile will be given in the following chapter.

1.2 The chronicles of the DaimlerChrysler AG

The merger of Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corporation combined two different types of automobile companies. The German car manufacturer stands for quality and luxury cars with a strict and bureaucratic management style whereas the American counterpart manufactures cheap, petrol consumption cars for the American mass-market and is known for its lean and open management style (Ghauri & Cateory, 2006; Stonehouse et al., 2002 ).

The merger of Chrysler Corporation and Daimler- Benz AG was announced on 17th November 1998 by former Daimler-Benz CEO Jürgen Schrempp as a merger among equals costing Daimler-Benz US $40.5 billion (Abrams, 2007; Lawler & Seddighi, 2001; Nguyen & Kleiner, 2003).

Only two years after the merger, Chrysler was losing ground and was running at a loss. Therefore, Mr Schrempp put a restructure plan in place and ordered on 17th November 2000 Dieter Zetsche to the American headquarters at Auburn Hills Zetsche’s first step of his restructuring plan was the announcement of 30,000 dismissals at Chrysler but in February 2002, Chrysler had a loss of US $ five billion due to fierce price cuttings in the US market. However, Mr Zetsche’s restructuring plan was bearing fruits and new car models helped Chrysler to make a profit in 2004.

In April 2005, Mr Schrempp left DaimlerChrysler after the withdrawal by Mitsubishi Motors and problems with the core brand Mercedes. Mr Zetsche becomes his successor. In 2006 Chrysler was again running at a loss and the DaimlerChrysler AG had to announce a loss of one billion US Dollar.

By now, the Germans had paid US $4.6 billion Dollars for the restructuring of its US daughter Chrysler and the supervisory board of Daimler decided to proof all option for its adverse daughter Chrysler after nine troubleshooting years in an announcement on 14th February 2007 (Abrams, 2007). Exactly two months later, CEO Zetsche announces the spin-off of Chrysler. Cerberus Capital Management gets the acceptance of bid for Chrysler and will hold 80.1 % of the Chrysler’s shares. Daimler will keep a 19.9 % minority stake.

1.3 Research question and objectives

From the previously discussed evidence the author has identified the following research questions:

1. What are the main reasons to pursue cross-border M&A strategies?

2. What are the risks and failures of cross-border M&A using DaimlerChrysler as a case study approach?

To underline the research topic, the researcher set up the following objectives:

1. Strategic implication of pursuing a cross-border M&A like capability creating, to gain human assets, competitive advantage and sustainability, and core competences,
2. Post-merger problems including cultural differences, synergies seeking and integration approaches in order to a right partner choice in M&A,
3. To establish to what extent it is possible to generalize the results to other cross-border M&A

The following section will provide an overview of the research topic.

1.4 Research overview

In order to meet the requirements of this research, the researcher begins with giving an overview of the different M&A cycles so far. Furthermore, it will be explained why the current M&A boom is likely to continue in the next few years. Following this, a comprehensive literature review regarding the strategic and operational as well as cultural dimension of cross-border M&A and the problems encountered by those companies undergoing it will be covered. In the following chapter the researcher discusses how the research should be undertaken and identifies the appropriate research methods, which explain in detail the adopted research strategy. Afterwards the findings of the implemented research will be presented and analysed. Primary as well as secondary and internal data will be used in order to come to appropriate conclusions. Finally an overall summary will be given and the researcher will examine and discuss if and how he has met the aim and objectives of this study. Moreover, limitations to the conducted research will be outlined, next to recommendations for future research.

2 Literature Review

According to Denscombe (2003, p. 293), a literature review is “a review of material that already exists on the topic in question. It should demonstrate how the research being reported relates to previous research and, if possible, how it gives rise to particular issues, problems and ideas that the current research addresses.”

The literature review is a vital part for any research and provides the context for the research by taking in consideration work which has already been done in this area. This has as a result to make researchers understand whether or not further investigation needs to be conducted.

The present study will try to give answers for the research questions. The following part is aiming to introduce the reader a theoretical background of M&A area, by providing a more holistic view of the subject area. Thus, the author will try to identify any gaps that might exist, and attempt to find solutions that could fill them. The factors discussed in the literature review are based on empirical findings, and on literature that proved to confirm these findings.

In order to analyse the research topic, it is important to firstly outline the M&A cycles from the past till today. Examples about growth strategy, access to new markets and reduced competition through a deliberate M&A strategy will be provided.

The second part of the literature review provides the reader views of important theorists like for instance Porter and Barney regarding competitive advantage and sustainability. Moreover, a variety of factors about M&A strategies will be given, as well as information about the right partner choice in a M&A process.

Due to the limited scope of this work, the author cannot go further in detail but presents a brief overview of the relevant theory and the areas particular interesting to the study. Nevertheless, the chosen literature will put the research topic in a conceptual and theoretical context which helps the reader to gain a more holistic view of the subject area.

2.1 The generic rational for a deliberate mergers and acquisitions strategy

Before the author provides deeper information of the following chapters, it is important to understand what ‘globalisation’ means. Organizations are constantly searching for new international markets across borders. Thus, they have to face various macro and micro environmental factors.

According to Patel & Paritt (1991), globalisation defined as “the process of international expansion on a worldwide scale – a spatial or scope dimension such as a geographical location of operations”. Porter (1986) defined globalisation as “the process of increasing international interconnectedness or integration – a linkage dimension relating to how worldwide operations are managed”. Finally, Levitt (1983) defined globalisation as “the process of increasing international homogeneity or declining international variety – a variance dimension like similarity of product characteristics”.

Therefore, it can be said that a real globalised company exceeds its countries boarders and is becoming really international, meaning it operates at least in half of the world and earns more than half of its revenues outside its domestic market.

As mentioned before, globalisation can be divided into the macro, meso, and micro level. Talking about the macro-level, means the shift towards a more integrated and independent world economy where national economies are merging into global economic system (Firstbook, 2007; IMF, 2006; OECD, 2008). A good example is the current EU enlargement and organizations like the WTO, agreements like the NAFTA or ASEAN.

According to Levitt (1983) and Douglas & Wind (1987), meso-level deals with the merging of international markets into a global marketplace where consumer tastes and preferences are converging but national differences still exist. Basic examples of global markets are the oil and foreign currency markets, because those goods are traded at the same rate globally. Prahalad & Doz (1987) support globalisation of industries e.g. the automobile industry is quite global – in which the company chosen in this report originates – with a set of producers following each other globally. A good example is the merger of DaimlerChrysler described in this study and DaimlerChrysler itself is operating on every continent (DaimlerChrysler Annual Report, 2007).

The last level of globalisation is the micro-level. This means that individual organizations are globalising in form of if they have a global strategy, structure, culture, workforce, management team, resources, product range and mix, and so forth.

After having explained the term globalisation, the author would like to establish that DaimlerChrysler is a global organisation in all three levels of globalisation since the company has manufacturing sites on every continent; sells its products worldwide; and it has therefore a global workforce, strategy, structure resources, etc. (DaimlerChrysler Annual Report, 2007).

In the following chapter the author would like to give an overview of M&A waves.

2.1.1 The history of mergers and acquisitions waves

Due to Gaughan (2002) five significant M&A waves can be seen in the past. Currently, we have another M&A boom which can be seen as the sixth wave after an economic slowdown from 2000 to 2002. Figure 2 illustrates the M&A waves showing a cyclic activity and each wave’s peak time. All of these waves brought with them important changes in the structure of business.

Figure 2: Mergers and acquisitions cycles from the past till now

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: research by The Economist (2007); Euromonitor International, 2007; Gaughan (2002); Lawler & Seddighi (2001); Stonehouse et al. (2004); UN: The World Investment Report 2000; 2006

Additionally, it can be outlined, that M&A waves tend to affect certain sectors or industries more than others. The fifth wave for example was had by far less domestic takeovers than in former waves.

According to Lawer and Seddighi (2001) more strategic mergers occurred where firms were seeking to expand rapidly and efficiently overseas in order to sustain competitive in the global environment. The mergers during the fifth wave were a global phenomenon and were financed through the use of equity, whereas the fourth wave was rather debt-financed.(Gaughan, 2002).

The deals were motivated by a certain strategy of the acquirer to expand into new international markets or to take advantage of perceived synergies. Lawler and Seddighi (2001, p. 354) argue, that high value deals take place in capital-intensive sectors, such as “oil, automobile, pharmaceuticals, electric, gas and water utilities, banking and telecommunications, to name but a few.

Since mid 2003, the global economy is experiencing a new M&A boom with soaring stock markets, economic growth and increased corporate profits, which the author would like to call the sixth M&A wave (Kambayshi, 2007; UN, Wir 2006). The new M&A boom is shows a significant increase in cross-border M&A activities both in value and number of deals (UN, Wir 2006).

In addition, it can be said, that the current M&A wave is driven by global trends, such as the globalisation of capital markets, demand for commodities, policy liberalisation and the rise of budding multinationals in developing countries (Kambayshi, 2007).

Lucks (2005, p. 258) argues, that “size competition and multinational presence continue to set the pace for major mergers”. Nevertheless, with globalisation comes also great pressure and competition on multinationals like e.g. continuing high oil prices, rising interest rates and increased inflationary pressures, which may restrain economic growth (UN, Wir 2006).

The strategic drivers for M&A strategy will be given in the following sections.

2.1.2 Reasons for mergers and acquisitions

Nowadays a basic reason for the current M&A boom is globalisation. Companies want to operate global in different countries due to the high competition in many industries. Moreover, cross-border M&A are a leading type of foreign direct investment (FDI) in development countries (UN, WIR 2000).

The current M&A wave is trying to follow certain strategic corporate objectives, such as the search for access to new markets (Ghauri & Cateora, 2006). The search for new markets has as a goal to increase the market power of each company as well as the company’s dominance (Barney, 1992; Firstbook, 2007, Ghauri & Cateora,2006;). Furthermore, another reason is innovations, which usually leads to better performance and growth ( Ettlie, 2007; Gratton, 2007). Moreover, companies want to achieve greater size (Porter, 1985, 1990; Sudarsanam, 1995). By achieving greater size, they have an advantage of spreading the risks among the different countries (Ghauri & Cateora,2006;). Another strategic corporate objective is customer demand (Barney, 1992; Ghauri & Cateora, 2006). Additionally we can say that companies are trying to increase sales through M&A.

Since there are many reasons for M&A in today’s global environment, the author would like to analyse in detail some of them in the following chapter due to this time constrained and word limited small-scale research because otherwise not sufficient time is given to look at each factor in depth.

In addition, comparing M&A to greenfield investments, M&A are cheaper, offer a reduced risks and are faster in their process, whereas building a new factory takes a lot of effort time (Plender, 2007). Hence, M&A strategy is most likely an alternative means for companies to grow by internal or organic capital investment (Sundarsanam, 1995).

The McKinsey consultancy group complied a survey about why acquisitions are successful and fail in the US in July 2007 interviewing CEO’s at the most acquisitive US companies representing more than half of the relevant population of the largest US firms. Those companies’ different approaches towards M&A activity have been compared in their performance in the capital markets. As a result they found out, that those companies seeking long-term rewards and adding M&A to support their corporate strategy and value rather benefit from it compared to those companies that use M&A as a strategy in itself.

Figure 3 illustrates the critical drivers of those companies as why to use M&A strategy and which companies are more successful in doing it using M&A to support the corporate strategy (rewarded acquirers) compared to those, only looking for short-term results, using M&A as a strategy in itself (unrewarded acquirers).

Figure 3: Reasons for M&A activities

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Adapted from ‘The McKinsey Quarterly Chart Focus Newsletter’ (2007) % of respondents

Yellow = Rewarded acquirers (n = 11) 1

Orange = Unrewarded acquirers (n = 8) 1

1 Though small, this sample of 19 respondents makes up nearly two-thirds of the relevant population of the largest US companies (by market capitalization/revenues as of June 2005) with>30% of growth achieved through acquisitions.

Sudarsanam (1995) suggests that M&A should form part of the business and corporate strategies of the acquirer in order to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Rewarded acquirers seek acquisitions also to supplement their capabilities and pursue targets that would benefit from their capabilities and enlarge their scale (McKinsey, 2007). The CEO’s of the rewarded firms said, that acquisitions should not be made defensively, to block competitors. M&A strategy goes often hand in hand with the risk of lay-offs for employees and is quite often used to reduce competition and strengthen market power as well as enhance shareholder value (Stonehouse et al., 2004; Sudarsanam, 1995; UN, WIR 2000).

After a successful acquisition, sometimes parts of the acquired company are divided into individual parts in order to be divested (Sudarsanam, 1995; UN, WIR 2000), so that the acquiring firm can focus on its core competencies in return. (Stonehouse et al., 2004). Hence, M&A may raise concentration when companies consolidate in one industry.

Several companies use M&A as a strategy in itself most likely to increase shareholder value in the short-term, dating back to the neoclassical model that motivates M&A (McKinsey, 2007; Sudarsanam, 1995). M&A can be both, a problem and a solution to a firm’s corporate strategy and those deals reducing market value may be bad deals and good deals should have a positive impact on share values (Gaughan, 2004.)

In summary, it can be said that for many firms the major motivations for M&A are growth through access to new markets or to resources, competences and skills (Firstbrook, 2007; Rumelt, 2007). Therefore, synergy is needed to ease an enhancement in the value-adding capability of the business (Ghaugan, 2002; Porter, 1985). Through distinctive capabilities, strategic assets are exploited more effectively (Stonehouse et al., 2004). Failed integrations not enhancing the new company to produce higher profits or consolidate a stronger market position are usually deemed to have been relatively unsuccessful.

The next section will provide the reader a holistic overview on sustainability and competitive advantage of organisations in an industry. The following chapters after the next section will then deal with strategic M&A reasons.

2.1.3 Sustainability and competitive advantage

Porter (1985, cited by De Witt and Meyer, 2004, p.258) states that “competition is the core of success or failure of firms”. Therefore, a company must search for its most favourable position in order to sustain competitive advantage in their industry by considering the factors ‘where to compete’ and ‘how to compete’. Porter assumes that the factors determining industry competitiveness and attractiveness are driven by rather external than internal factors.

Porter (1980) conducted a theory of five competitive forces (Figure 4) which emphasises all elements that may drive competition in an industry. This model explains the attributes on how to gain competitive advantage in an attractive industry and thus states that opportunities will be higher and threats lower. Porter (1980) advises the analysis of the company’s opportunities and threats in its competitive environment, followed by the decision of the most appropriate strategies and the acquisition of the sources required to put the strategies into practice. This leads to the assumption that company’s operating within one industry possess identical resources and therefore are able to apply these strategies. (Porter 1980, cited by Barney, 1991, p.102)

However, most strategic theorists concentrated on analysing sustained competitive advantage on either a firm’s external or internal environment. Porter (1985) argues furthermore, that a competitive advantage is said to be sustainable if it cannot be copied, substituted or eroded by the actions of rival (competitive defend-ability), and is not made redundant by developments in the environment (environment consonance).

The next section discusses the importance of the human factor in M&A strategy.

2.1.4 Gain human assets

A different M&A strategy is to gain human assets from a competitor as an important resource for future success and competitive sustainability (Barney, 1991; Firstbrook, 2007; Gaughan, 2002; Palter & Srinivasan, 2006; Rumelt, 2007).

In contrast to Porter (1980), Barney (1991, p. 99) recommends that companies gain competitive advantage by exploiting their “internal strength, through responding to environmental opportunities, while neutralizing external threats and avoiding internal weaknesses” (see Figure 5).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 5: SWOT Analysis

(Source: Lynch, 2006, p.450)

Barney (1999, p. 102) identified three key concepts, which build up sources of sustained competitive advantage; firm resources, competitive advantage and sustained competitive advantage. Firm resources incorporate all assets (physical capital, human capital and organisational capital) controlled by a firm and comprise the strength which they can utilise to implement their strategy. Even though, some of those attributes may not necessarily be suitable, others might “prevent a firm from conceiving of and implementing valuable strategies”, which again others “may lead a firm to conceive of and implement strategies that reduce its effectiveness and efficiency”. (Barney, 1986, cited by Barney, 1991, p.102) Competitive advantage is gained by a company when it is putting into practice a strategy which is not concurrently being implemented by any other competitor, whereas sustained competitive advantage means that the competitors additionally are not able to duplicate or imitate the benefits of the theory. However, Panzar and Willig (1982, cited by Barney, 1991, p.101) argue that competitive advantage is not only applied to the present market position in the industry but needs to be further analysed concerning future potential competitors. (Barney, 1991, p. 101)

For this research, the author would like to focus on the aspect of sustained competitive advantage through acquiring better management as a M&A strategy relating to knowledge creation and capabilities leading to superior performance (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990) which will be further explored in the next section by looking at a firm’s core competences.

2.1.5 Core competence

However, in order to sustain in a market, organisations nowadays need to focus on their core competencies, their distinctive competence they are good at and which is difficult to imitate by their competitors and accordingly optimises their portfolio through acquisitions and divestures, respectively (Gaughan, 2002; Ghauri & Cateora, 2006; Hedley, 1977; Stonehouse et al., 2004). According to Durand (1996) competence can be defined as an organisation’s fitness to perform is determined by its knowledge (insight, intelligence, experience), attitude (mindset, culture, paradigm) and capability (potential, quality). Capability refers to the potential to carry out value adding activities and the quality of combining and coordinating skills i.e. abilities in order to gain competitive advantage (De Wit & Meyer, 2004, p. 243).

All this relates to Prahalad and Hamel’s (1990) work about core competences such as knowledge, capabilities, attitude that are according to them the roots for competitiveness and therefore the sources of superior performance. Furthermore, a company should enter new markets to exploit and develop such core competences. In order to test core competences, they should provide a wide variety of markets, make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits, should be difficult to imitate for competitors and finally they should be a source of synergy. Moreover, Prahalad and Hamel (1990) argued that corporations should strategise around a core of shared competences and not portfolios of strategic business units (SBU) and that corporate strategy should be build on core competencies shared by semi-autonomous SBUs.

Daimler’s core competences are quality cars, packed with innovation and exclusivity whereas Chrysler’s core competences lay on size, rapid decision making and flexibility (Strach & Everett, 2006).

Through the merger with Chrysler, Daimler tried to grow externally by reducing its costs using economies of scale and leverage key competencies in technology in the belief that purchasing power would reduce overall operational costs (Harbour, 2000; Lucks, 2005; Strach & Everett, 2006). Retrospectively, the merger has been labelled a cultural fiasco (Strach & Everett, 2006) because in reality the hoped leveraging of key competences did not really happen to the desired degree since the different organisational cultures did not blend and trust between the employees of the two companies was not truly established to guarantee teamwork to run smooth (Ghauri & Cateora, 2006; Morrison, 2007; Stonehouse et al., 2004). The following section will explore how companies can despite their differences turn the different aspects of their combining businesses into opportunities and create capabilities.

2.1.6 Capability creating

Capability creation is a strategy that relates to an organisation’s operational management in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the inside-out (Miller, Eisenstat & Foote, 2002) and responding to environmental changes in that industry. Miller, Eisenstat and Foote (2002) emphasize on the need to continually identify and build resources asymmetries e.g. knowledge, skills, relationships, processes that are unique and difficult for competitors to copy or acquire. First, there is the need to discover resources and their potentials, which then need to be developed into a cohesive set of capabilities and second, firms need to pursue market capabilities across two or more SBUs making it relevant to corporate level strategy (ibis, 2002).

Day (1994) argues that capabilities are inside-out and outside-in and describes them as: Inside-out capabilities are manufacturing, logistics, technology development, finance, HRM; outside-in capabilities are customer relationships, technology monitoring; and spanning capabilities are purchasing, new product development, strategy development link inside-out and outside-in capabilities (ibis, 1994).

Regarding the inside-out capabilities of DaimlerChrysler, it can be said that over the years the production costs, especially at the former Chrysler plants were too high and too few new products were introduced (Stonehouse et al., 2004), which resulted in the Chrysler arm performing badly. (Ghauri & Cateora, 2006).

Outside-in capabilities at DaimlerChrysler fluctuated a little as well. Especially, the brand Mercedes-Benz has a very loyal customer base because the brand stands for luxury, innovation, and high quality and engineering (Strach & Everett, 2006). Due to the quality problems at Mercedes-Benz vehicles, many customers were unsatisfied with the product (Euromonitor International, 2007) and switched to other luxury brands such as BMW.

2.2 Post-merger problems in cross-border mergers and acquisitions

The following part will discuss post-merger problems in cross-border M&A. A short overview of cross-border M&A success and failure will be given firstly, accompanied by integration approaches of the merged or acquired companies, synergy seeking and cultural difficulties encountered in cross-border M&A as one of the key themes the author is researching in this report.

The high failure rate of M&A suggests that pre-planning and post-implementation activities ought to be taking seriously to reduce the chances of failure. Scholars on the M&A domain suggest that about one third to every second M&A fail, mostly due to complex critical success factors in M&A activities such as cultural incompatibilities of the companies, neglecting the human factor and a bad integration approach (Bieshaar, Knight & van Wassenaer, 2001; HBR, 2001; Nguyen & Kleiner, 2003; Palter & Srinivasan, 2006; Schneider & Barsoux, 2001; McKinsey Quarterly2007; Sudarsanam, 1995).

During the integration phase, the focus should be on all stakeholders, especially customers and staff (Bekier, Bogardus & Oldham, 2001;Nguyen & Kleiner, 2003). Nevertheless, scholars suggest in order to make M&A a success, there ought to be good leadership skills and decision-making qualities at both companies, clear communication, compromise capability and a speedily integration to capture expected synergies accompanied by due diligence through the whole pre- and post-merger process (Albizzatti, Christofferson & Sias, 2005; De Smedt, Tortirici & van Ockenburg, 2005; HBR, 2001; Palter & Srinivasan, 2006; Rauscher, Rumelt, 2007; Sudarsanam, 1995). Otherwise, the deals will not last long and do not capture synergies (Christofferson, McNish & Sias, 2004; De Smedt, Tortirici & van Ockenburg, 2005; Dobbs, Goedhart & Suonio, 2007).


Excerpt out of 82 pages


Why do cross-border M&A fail so often? The role of cultural differences in the case study of the DaimlerChrysler AG
An exploration of cross-border M&A activities in the automotive industry
University of Newcastle
71 % - A
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1197 KB
Cross border, Daimler Chrysler AG, mergers and acquisitions, organisational culture, automobile industry, Five Forces Model, human assets, SWOT, Capability creating, Mercedes-Benz, Post-merger problems, Cultural differences, Hofstede, Choice of right partner
Quote paper
Miriam Mennen (Author), 2008, Why do cross-border M&A fail so often? The role of cultural differences in the case study of the DaimlerChrysler AG, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/145624


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