HR must take the lead in managing mergers

must take the lead when choosing a top management team and dealing with
clashing management styles and egos when businesses are involved in
international mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

to a new guide released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
(CIPD), the early involvement of HR expertise – particularly in the appointment
of a post-merger integration manager and team – is key to minimising the risks
to post-merger business performance.

international manager Frances Wilson, said the active involvement of HR
throughout the process is critical, and companies should look out for
misunderstandings brought about by local stakeholder influences, and cultural
and legal differences.

result can be costly mistakes, corporate clashing and ultimately poor
integration," she said. "HR will bring a management focus to
potential problems that arise during a merger or acquisition, including
resistance to change, poor communication and declining employee morale."

report, International Mergers and Acquisitions, says that success in
international M&As is often hampered by:

A workforce that is not committed to a future with the new business

Poorly informed management decisions and behaviour

Loss of key talent

High levels of internal conflict

Focusing on internal issues and not on the strategy/marketplace/competition

Management time tied up on legal issues

Inability to attract new talent

Costs becoming out of control

aspects of management performance that minimise the risks include:

A purchase price that reflects the reality of likely post-merger costs and

A clear and realistic strategy for the combined business

Achievement of key objectives including cost, growth, cash flow, market and
product benefits

High workforce morale and productivity

Retention of investor confidence

Integration at the right speed

Early organisation and planning

Ensure HR is up to the job – success depends on it.

By Michael Millar

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