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Intercultural Collaboration after Mergers & Acquisitions – a cross-cultural analysis using the example of Japanese and Slovene acquisitions at MAHLE Mechatronics

  • Creating successful teams after an M&A is challenging enough when employees share the same location and the same cultural background, but when the team consists of people coming from different cultures and is working in different locations, social distance can cause misunderstandings, distrust and miscommunication which makes successful M&As even more challenging. After the acquisition of Letrika in Slovenia and Kokusan Denki in Japan, the workforce within MAHLEs mechatronic division became highly diverse. On the one hand, this diversification is regarded as added value, but on the other hand it bears numerous challenges in day-to day business. This thesis aims to outline cultural differences between Japan, Slovenia and Germany that affect collaboration within this division. Using literature research and an online questionnaire, the author intends to compare theoretical concepts with actual data collected at MAHLE Mechatronics. The questionnaire also includes multiple open questions that allow examining the current situation and supports the findings with real-life examples. The first part focuses on the theoretical framework for this thesis. In chapter two an understanding for the concept of culture is given. Different models and explanations provide fundamental knowledge to grasp the construct of culture. Chapter 2.1. depicts the Lewis model, a model developed in 1996 categorizing cultures into three groups. In chapter 2.2., the paper continues with the GLOBE model which forms the basis of the empirical research conducted at MAHLE. Afterwards, culture specific characteristics of Japan, Germany and Slovenia are portrayed and compared in order to predict possible clashes that might emerge in work-related encounters (chapter 3). The illustration of the concept of intercultural competence, a skill to manage, understand, decode and interpret behaviors and mindsets of people from different cultures, will conclude the first part of this thesis (chapter 4). Chapter five describes the methodology used in this paper. The findings of this study are presented in chapter six and are followed by the discussion and reflection (chapter 7). The paper concludes with an analysis and interpretation (chapter 7.1.), recommendations for future action (chapter 7.2.) and limitations of the study (chapter 7.3.) highlighting the main findings of the study and emphasizing the development of intercultural competence at MAHLEs mechatronic division.

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Author:Franziska Schefold
Advisor:Nikola Hale
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2017
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2017/07/21
Release Date:2017/07/21
Tag:Cross-cultural Communication; Intercultural Collaboration; M&As
Page Number:122
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Andere/Other
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt