Finnish management and HR views on corporate mergers
The overall aim of this study was to investigate the Finnish top management and HR views on corporate M&A in Finland. In Finland there are 400-500 mergers and acquisitions every year. There are also two supporting aims. The first one is to find out if HR is integrated in the merger process and a strategic partner in the merger process. The second supporting aim is to clarify problems resulting from organisational culture issues in a merger process. The focus is on how organisational culture affects M&A. This information could be valuable for many companies planning to do a merger or acquisition.
The empirical study is limited to M&A in Finland and is conducted from a Finnish perspective. A quantitative research was conducted i.e. a survey that was reached by the respondents through a webpage. The survey was sent to Finnish companies, to both top management and HR departments from which 53 eligible answers were received. The survey was mainly directed to firms with a turnover of a minimum of 10million euros.
The study was conducted in collaboration with Dot-Connect, Henkilöstöjohdon ryhmä- Henry ry, Mikander Consulting and Svenska Handelshögskolan. Anne Helenius, Johanna Mattila and Jenny Luoma were the students from Hanken implementing excellent project work in this study. In addition, SEFE provided some of their contacts.
More than 25% of the companies did not make any assessment of the corporate culture
The management style changed very much after the merger: leadership became more customer focused, increase in teamwork focused working, clear ethical guidelines, long term planning, corridor talk and importance on learning was to be seen.
Top management feel that the HR side is very important in maximising the total value of the merger yet 52.9% feel HR should not be more involved in all stages of the merger process.
Demand for HR involvement during the early stages of the process is high. Involvement increases during the merger and HR is most involved after the process. 62.9% of HR believe that HR-involvement in all stages of the merger process should increase.
Only 6% felt that management/leadership style was a great success, 11% felt that it was a flop but 40% opined that management style had changed greatly
Both top management and HR had similar thoughts about the lack of communication in all stages of the merger process.
Talent Management - keeping key persons in the company: 7.8% considered that a success, 52.9% felt that they had managed rather well, 27,5% satisfactorily while only 3,9% deemed this a failure.
10% of mergers lasted less than 3 months, 36% of mergers lasted from 7 months-one year while 25% of mergers lasted more than one year
34,6% respondents felt that the merger was successful, 35,5% felt that the merger was moderately successful while 13,5% felt the mergers to be a total failure. 60% of respondents would have handled the merger differently.
60% of respondents organised integration training during the merger process. 40% felt that these integration programmes worked, over 40% felt that they were somewhat successful. Less than 10% felt that they were excellent or total failures.
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