The business world is known for producing arch rivals, and by arch rivals we mean fierce business competitors. Everything in business revolves around accruing success. However, there are always some businesses that do exceptionally well than others.

Although, there isn’t a specific formula to success, but business merger and acquisitions seem to bridge the gap. In fact, mergers and acquisitions have become a commonplace in today’s business landscape. So common, that if you have not yet worked in a company that has gone through some sort of merger, possibility is that you soon, will.

But why to merge?

One rationale that business economists provide is that acquisitions fuel the potential growth of the business being acquired, by a substantial increment in the market share. However, the main reason turns out to be the plan of expansion into new territories. For instance, the $16 Billion acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, paved way for the American retail giant to use Flipkart’s expertise, and do business seamlessly on Indian soil. This acquisition is one of those rare successful ones.

We deemed it rare because every merger is initiated with a vision to optimise, and monetise the positive features of the partner organisation, and ultimately work in synergy to achieve a collective aim. This formula seems infallible isn’t it? However it might be deceiving.

The vision, and mission of both the companies might be common, however their working styles, and cultures might be miles apart.

Over-estimation of worth, poor product and resource synergy are some of the issues that are discussed when a merger comes down, however cultural differences between the merging organisations are often overlooked.

We will elaborate this with an example:


In the late 1990s, German car-maker giant, and the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, merged with Chrysler, another giant from America. Back then it was called as the “merger of equals”, however few years down the line and it was deemed as a “fiasco”.


Incongruous company cultures put the two divisions at war not long from the time they were merged. Level of formality, sobriety on major issues, and operation styles were all different, and created huge obstacles in everyday management.

Unfortunately, employee satisfaction levels dropped drastically at Chrysler, and in the end, Daimler had to sell its American counterpart to Cereberus Capital Management for $6 Billion.

The merger of Daimler-Chrysler failed to navigate through cultural differences, and failed miserably. This brings us to one question. Was it completely the fault of higher management, the merger failed due to employees succumbed to different working cultures?

In order to succeed in international business, you should be adept in manoeuvring your way in working across cultures. You cannot learn it impromptu, rather it is injected in your education, and this is what London School of Business is doing. Exposing you to different communities, and people from different nationalities to help you get accustomed to various working styles, so that if in the future you work inter-culturally, you will ace it like a pro.

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