Marriage for better or for worse? Towards an analytical framework to manage post-merger integration process

  • Osarenkhoe A
  • Hyder A
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Purpose – A review of extant literatures shows that most mergers fail during the integration process. Little is known about how the realization of operating synergies and dissemination of available know-how in the merged firm are managed in the post-merger phase. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights on the process of integrating operating synergies by focusing on the critical success factors that facilitate integration of the skills of merged banks. Design/methodology/approach – The authors draw on three research traditions in merger literature and reconcile them with three dimensions of integration. In-depth interviews were conducted with Nordea managers from four Nordic countries. Findings – Having learned from the mistakes of previous mergers, Nordea’s “guiding star” for managing its post-merger integration process was expressed as focus, speed and performance from top management. A hands-on leadership style, vision-led thinking, a bias for action, involvement of the entire staff, continuous focus on customers, open and honest communication with employees are critical to success. Practical implications – The motive for a merger has an important impact on the degree of interaction and degree of integration. The authors expand on previous findings by, among other things, synthesizing three theoretical lenses into an integrative model, and addresses post-merger issues with a sharp eye towards clear managerial relevance. Originality/value – The authors respond to the call to expand inter-firm relationships study beyond the narrow dyadic relationship focus and not solely conceptualize mergers as one of companies’ entry modes to implement mechanistic growth strategy. The three dimensions of integration imbued with three research traditions in merger literature provides us with a conceptual lens to conceive mergers also as engines for change emerging from the merged firms to enhance a bespoke performance of their business process. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alliances
  • Best practice
  • Business process re-engineering
  • Change management
  • Cross-functional integration
  • Performance

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  • Aihie Osarenkhoe

  • Akmal Hyder

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