HR must take the lead when businesses are involved in international mergers
and acquisitions (M&As), according to research.
A new guide by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
said 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.
The report, International Mergers and Acquisitions, said that success in
international M&As is often hampered by a workforce that is not committed
to a future with the new business, and poorly informed management decisions and
The loss of key talent, high levels of internal conflict and an inability to
attract new talent are also problems that HR can be key in solving, claims the
CIPD international manager, Frances Wilson, said the active involvement of
HR throughout the process is critical, and companies should beware of
misunderstandings brought about by local stakeholder influences and cultural
and legal differences.
"The 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."