The Influence of Culture on Successful Cooperation
Edited by Jan Ulijn, Geert Duysters and Elise Meijer
Preface: Filling the Gap in Strategic Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions
Cary L. Cooper, CBE The growth of strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) during periods of growth has been monumental but, given the period of economic downturn that started in 2007 and will continue throughout 2010, it is likely to grow even faster, as more and more companies will need to develop strategic alliances, acquire or merge to survive. We have already seen this in the financial sector, the construction industry, pharmaceuticals, information and communication and technology companies. Before this period of recession, motivations were varied: to grow by acquisition, to fulfil the ambitions of larger market share, and so on, but now it is for survival, to reduce costs and to be stronger in order to compete in a declining market. There has been a great deal of research into strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, as can be seen for example by the annual Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions (Cooper and Finkelstein, 2008). What has been missing from much of this research, which has encompassed a range of disciplines from economics to finance to human resource management to legal issues, has been a systematic focus on the cultures of prospective allies (Kusstatscher and Cooper, 2005). Although a great deal has been done on the impact of strategic alliances and M&A on organizational performance and their impact on the individual, very little systematic work has been done on predicting their success based on the match between the different cultures involved. What cultures work in strategic alliances and M...