Organisational culture and history – a method of understanding mergers and acquisitions

Research Briefing

Organisational culture and history – a method of understanding mergers and acquisitions

Keywords: organisational culture, research methods, history, oral histories, uncertainty, mergers and acquisitions

Over the last 10-15 years the importance of understanding the organisational culture of merging organisations has come to the fore. Many failed mergers and acquisitions have been put down to cultural clashes and misunderstandings. Organisational culture is now a major component in the decision-making process of which organisations to merge with.

Whilst culture has become a standard part of the ‘fit’ matrix between organisations, the methods for distilling and understanding those cultures are far from standardised and agreed.

A really interesting study has been looking at the use of what is known as the ‘historical perspective’ to analyse organisational cultures. In essence, this means understanding and analysis of the histories and founding stories of the organisations involved, through oral histories and mapping uncertainty.

This briefing will be of extreme interest to anyone involved or interested in organisational culture, mergers and acquisitions, uncertainty and organisational development. This is a somewhat unique and fascinating study.


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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world's leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world's first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About David Wikipedia: David's Wikipedia Page