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Societal and Organizational Culture's Influence in Cross-Border Acquisitions: A Case Study Approach to Assessing the Process of Acculturation Open Access

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ABSTRACT OF DISSERTATIONSocietal and Organizational Culture's Influence in Cross-Border Acquisitions: A Case Study Approach to Assessing the Process of AcculturationThis study examines how societal and organizational culture influences the acculturation process in cross-border acquisitions. The acquisition of a 30-year-old, well established family-owned business in India by a relatively new, ten year-old American firm provided the focus for the research. A qualitative approach was used incorporating on-site interviews and observations at locations in the United States and India, and analysis of archival data and documentation. The results of this research provide interesting findings that give insights into the role of both societal and organizational culture in the integration and blending of two organizations from different geographic regions of the world.Three findings expressed how the organizational culture of the acquiring firm influences acculturation. There were also three findings on how the organizational culture of the acquired firm influences the acculturation process. These findings from the acquiring firm reveal that standardizing processes, a willingness to change strategy, and investing in training and development of employees are key to successful acculturation. The study also found in the acquired organization that a strong identification with the organization, adaptability, and eagerness to learn aided the acculturation process, as did scenarios in which employees were accustomed to following directives of superiors.Two findings were identified relating to how the societal culture of the acquiring firm affects the acculturation process, along with an additional two findings to how the societal culture of the acquired firm affects the acculturation process. The findings regarding the role of the influence of societal culture affirm previous studies asserting that the culture of a society influences that of organizations nestled within it. The findings from this study support the conclusions that 1) societal culture has a direct influence on organizational culture; 2) organizations must embrace adaptability, and 3) both societal and organizational culture impact the timeframe of the acculturation process. These conclusions are significant, as they begin to close the gap in the literature related to the role of societal and organizational culture in the acculturation process in cross-border acquisitions. Implications for additional research and for practitioners are also identified.

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