THE IMPACT OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS – CORPORATE CULTURE AND EMPLOYEES
The effect of mergers and acquisitions on employees culture is particularly by studying the recent merger between Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air. This research gathered data from the employees of these two companies. A questionnaire was distributed and qualitative analysis was conducted in order to determin the above. The sample of the study consists of 112 respondents. The collection of necessary data for the implementation of the research objectives was done by using a structured questionnaire with few items, which was sent via e-mail to all employees of the two companies. The results showed that the cause of a merger by employees opinion is to enhance share holder value, then the need for dominance and finally the need to achieve synergies. Moreover , employees consider that merger was necessary, but in moderate degree.
Organizations in order to survive, they have to change. Change can occur for a lot of different situations, from the challenges of growth, changing global markets, changes in strategy, technological change, customer pressures or shifting markets, competitive processes until the process of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A).
Moreover, in practice Mergers and acquisitions often have a negative impact on employee behavior resulting in counterproductive practices, absenteeism, low morale and job dissatisfaction, which finally resulted on low employee well being.
In order to develop and gain more profits, companies never stop searching for sources of profitable growth, whether through developing new products, efficiency, hiring and training competent sales people as well as through mergers and acquisition (M&A). A merger is a mutually agreed decision for joint ownership between two or more companies; an acquisition is when a company takes ownership of another company.
The goals of M&A among others are: to provide a stimulus to growth, provide opportunities for enhancing the bottom line through better synergies and reduced overhead , enlarge market and finally resulted in greater profits. However, in practice these expectations have not fulfilled effectively, as research shows that the failure reported rate of M&A is dismally high, estimated to be more than 70.5%.
Testing of this hypothesis has been demonstrated that the main cause on the recent merger, which is based to employees opinion, is to uplift the shareholder value, then the need for dominance and then finally need to achieve synergies. According with many theories, the main reason for merger was the need to achieve synergies and for market dominance through scale of economies. However, these employees in Aegean believe that the primary reason for merger was to increase and uplift their shareholder value, a fact which applies in the case of employees on Olympic Air Company as well. The second most important reason for the employees is , in Aegean Company ,is the change of corporate identity and the spread of different risks. These reasons are consistent with the merger reports, but the information which is provided by employees is also very important.
Also, it is very crucial for any new company to recruit the professionals who have extensive knowledge, experience and take care of every factor such as employee morale. Also, employees participation is very important and through corporate communication the two cultures of these companies will understand how they should work together. Companies have to estimate value creation and must apply the orderly knowledge integration work after the M&A process
Change Management Dynamics and the impact to Psychological State during M&A
Mergers & Acquisitions are instruments of major change which often triggered by external forces. As a result, they cause major environmental shift and disruption. In this regard, Galpin & Herndon, (2007.p.59) after their extensive studies on M&A, mentions that organizations undertake the M&A for their organizational development interventions, are usually facing these conditions, namely:
1. Aggressive financial targets
2. Short timelines
3. Intense public scrutiny
4. Culture clashes
5. Politics & Positioning
6. Communication related issues
7. Growth related issues
10. Questions where about to downsize
11.Problems with retention of personnel
12. Issues related to employee motivation.
Employee Workplace Well-being
Occupational health as a definition concentrates purely on the physiological and psychological aspects of health within organizational context. Here physical health refers to employees’ physical wellbeing, i.e. non – existence of negative effects, and psychological health.
Referring to individual overall experience in life, the employee wellbeing , will be thus taking a broader viewpoint towards corporate wellness. In this regard, employee wellbeing is seen as constructed by physical, psychological, spiritual and social aspects. Here spiritual health refers to a process of individual growth and nourishment at workplace by highlighting the importance of finding individual purpose for work and having a meaning in day to day works, and social health to the quality of an individual’s network of professional and personal relationships.
Negative reactions and poor morale can be reduced by careful planning, involving members of every organization early, communicating effectively, providing effective training, support, and socialization, and respecting each other’s differences . Moreover, some other sources of problems, such as blending of different organizational identities as well as cultures, are relatively unique to M;As. This implies, that M;A related organizational change is perhaps more complex than any other type of large-scale organizational change because it needs to simultaneously address both the intra organizational dynamics of leading a large-scale organizational change and the inter organizational dynamics of blending two or more distinctive organizational identities and cultures into one. In conclusion, it can be said that M;A is an important strategic choice for organizations to survive and prosper. However, advancement in managing M;A processes cannot be accomplished without enhancing the understanding of the human side of M;A. In this regard, the focus on the human side of M;A promises to provide important insights into understanding the challenges faced by M;A.