The importance of cultural factors as antecedents of post-acquisition integration has been recognized in previous research. Nevertheless, there are not many case studies on the post–merger and acquisition (M&A) integration process of USA-based multinational corporations (MNCs) acquiring Chinese companies. This article summarizes lessons in communication learned from the integration process between Duracell and Nanfu, the two battery giants from the US and China. In 2003, the Gillette Company, who owned Duracell, acquired Nanfu. In 2005, Gillette was acquired by Procter and Gamble (P&G), and the management of Nanfu remains to be coordinated by Duracell. This case embodies the interplay of two national cultures (China and the US) and four organizational cultures (P&G, Gillette, Duracell, and Nanfu). Data from interviews and participant observations with American and Chinese managers and engineers, and Chinese consumers indicate a complex post-acquisition integration process. The article proposes a six-tier American-Chinese communication gap to be overcome for any MNCs in their post-acquisition integration after cross-border transactions between the US and China: Directness vs. Subtleness; Aggressiveness vs. Modesty; Courtesy vs. Command; Different connotations of the same concepts; Competitive vs. Obliging Conflict Management Styles; “Rule-based” vs. “Good will-based” working atmosphere. The case study on the Duracell-Nanfu case demonstrates that MNCs need to provide comprehensive intercultural training for its multinational teams for more effective communication and higher productivity after M&As.
Gao, May Hongmei
"The Six-Tier Communication Gap for Multinational Corporations after Mergers and Acquisitions: Lessons Learned from the Case of Duracell and Nanfu,"
Global Business Languages:
Vol. 19, Article 7.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/gbl/vol19/iss1/7