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A Study of Cultural Integration between South Korean and Chinese Companies after Mergers and Acquisitions

Author: SunShunYi
Tutor: YangJingKuan
School: Shanghai International Studies University
Course: International Trade
Keywords: Cross-border M&A Cultural Differences between South Korea and China Cultural Integration
CLC: F271
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 85
Quote: 0
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As the primary mode of foreign direct investment (FDI), cross-border mergers andacquisitions (M&A) have witnessed rapid development since the1990s. Although thenumber and the scale of cross-border M&A has continued climbing recently, theperformance is not quite satisfactory. Researches demonstrate that only less than60percent of cross-border M&A cases are successful. According to the study done byCoopers&Lybrand Company, cultural differences are the uppermost factors that lead tofailure of cross-border M&A and successful cultural integration is the third key factorcontributing to the success of cross-border M&A.With high-speed economic development and deepening reform and opening-up,Chinese companies have become increasingly active in cross-border M&A. However, mostof cross-border M&A that Chinese companies engaged in did not reach expected goals, andmany companies even suffered great losses because of the unsuccessful operation afterM&A. Frequent bilateral trade and economic cooperation between South Korea and Chinahas made them important trade and investment partners. The value of FDI from China toSouth Korea has exceeded that to Japan. In November2010, South Korea, Japan and Chinatogether established Asian M&A Association, which will promote M&A among companiesin the three counties. Chinese companies may face both national and corporate culturaldifferences, when they merge with and acquire South Korean companies, which willcertainly bring new troubles during the cultural integration process. Thus, how toeffectively conduct cultural integration after M&A is the problem for the Chinesecompanies to solve.This thesis begins with a study of theories of cross-culture management and culturalintegration of cross-border M&A as well as a comparison of national cultures andcorporate cultures between South Korea and China. The thesis points out that theintegration mode is suitable for cultural integration according to the characters andapplicable conditions of each mode, and suggests that cultural integration should be carriedout in the four layers of corporate culture and specific measures should be taken indifferent integration phases. Then the thesis analyzes the first oversea M&A case in the Chinese automobile industry----SAIC’s acquisition of SSANGYONG, with a focus on thecultural differences between South Korea and China, causes of failures in culturalintegration and lessons learnt from SAIC. The thesis finally states the problems thatChinese companies faced during the cultural integration and provide some suggestions, inthe hope that this paper will be useful for Chinese companies’ future involvement incross-border M&A with South Korean companies or other Asian companies with similarcultural characteristics.

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