HR key to successful M&A?

HR management of employee integration in cross-border mergers is vital according to CIPD research.

By News Desk
27th March 2008 at 11:48

According to the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) research HR can make a significant contribution to cross-border company mergers, particularly on the issue of employee integration.

The new report, International Mergers & Acquisitions: How can HR play a Strategic Role?, reveals that 60% of overseas owned organisations growing through acquisition have made deliberate attempts to ensure knowledge transfer between personnel receives the focus it deserves.

Frances Wilson of the CIPD said:

If time is taken to understand and engage with an acquired firms’ employee practices, organisations will be able to effectively share ideas and gain their new employees’ cooperation. This requires an acquisition strategy from HR to make sure that the mechanisms for learning are in place.

The report written by Dr Tony Edwards of King’s College London, identifies five key steps to consider:

  • ensure a commitment at the top of the organisation and an openness to learning from those at the centre of the company to welcome input from the acquired firm;
  • integrate key staff involved in the acquisitions into common processes in such a way as to give them a voice in the new firm
  • ensure an incremental approach so that the acquired organisations keep intact positive practices, which led to them being purchased in the first place, so that learning can take place.
  • allow time to make sure the process of identifying, digesting, reproducing and sharing knowledge is fully absorbed.

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