Culture usually is a soft concept; it is a set of implicit influences that people cannot account for completely or
accurately. Premerger due diligence will ferret out things that are measurable, with an emphasis on financial data.
Culture surveys and assessment tools can be used to measure culture, but these can be time consuming to
complete, and the heat of deal-making usually precludes the luxury of an extended effort to assess soft variables. Even if a culture assessment is performed during due diligence, it is difficult to imagine a joint venture or merger being called off because due diligence revealed that the cultures of the two legacy companies were incompatible.
Given that culture will seldom stop a proposed transaction, it becomes the responsibility of the people managing
the deal to stop culture from undermining their desired goals.
The most widely used approach to managing the cultural issues is to define a set of desirable cultural
attributes (a typical set being: customer-focused, innovative, entrepreneurial, decisive, team-oriented, respectful of
others) and then to exhort employees to adopt these attributes in their daily behavior. Companies are replete
with posters, screen savers, coffee mugs, and mouse pads that remind employees of desirable attributes. This method
is not supported by many "success" stories. The attributes are usually generic and employees struggle to bridge the
gap between broad principles that are easy to agree with and the specific, culture-driven ways that things get done in
1st August 2012 From India, Indore