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Merger Integration & Change Management Report for Paper Converters Limited

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This report tries to analyse the problems the Paper Converters Limited met in the post-merger integration and management. It aim to review the organsational change and management and talent management of PMI, create a new corporate culture and high-performance project teams, successful communication strategies and make recommendations for the Paper Converters Limited. From the case, culture plays a crucial part in post-merger integration and management. Organsational culture and international culture are very important to a high-performance project teams for the organisation. The use of PMI is also effective. The manager should put the emphasis on culture, including organisational cultures and international cultures, which will make the success of the organisation. The purpose of this report is to analyse the situation of Paper Converter in organsational culture and international culture to find out why the company failed and how to overcome this situation.

1. Introduction

Paper Converters Limited was established from the merger of the two companies: Dyson Paper Ltd and Jones Sales Agents Ltd. With the growth of sales volume in West and Middle-east Africa, the company confronted the problem of production capacity but it overcame the hard issue. Then they had a joint venture in Zambia. However, it cannot get expected results. When they have used some procedures, which were used in the UK before, and they found procedures cannot work in Zambia. It is found that the clash of cultures is relevant with post-merger and expansion. The purpose of this report are to review the organsational change and management, understand ways of creating a new corporate culture and high-performance project teams, review the importance of talent management in PMI, provide some successful communication strategies, make recommendations and conclusion.

2. Organsational Culture and Change Management

Organisational culture means the shared values, traditions, customs, philosophy, and policies of a corporation; also, the professional atmosphere that grows from this and affects behavior and performance (Rugman and Collinson, 2009). The culture of an organisation is the typical way of doing things in the organisation. It particularly relates to behaviour patterns and relationships (Hofstede G.H., 1980). It is also exemplified itself through the perceived characteristic of the organisation. It consists of a set of basic assumptions and beliefs which has been proved to successfully suit the operation of organisation on a daily basis and which also function as a yardstick by which the problem and probable solution can be distinguished and analysed (Johnson, 1992).

Alan Dyson, the founder of Dyson Paper, instils a culture in which every employee knows what their job is, and each individual job forms part of the greater whole. It seems reasonable and scientific, but it means all works are around individuals, not like a team. He believes that the operational efficiency is the result of structure and control. Obviously, he just focuses on high productivity and neglected the morale of employees and team sprits. However, Barry Jones, who founded Jones Sales Agents, he claimed flexible management. He believes that everyone was prepared to accept responsibility for their own work and the team. In other word, Barry trust and lax control of his employees. Thus it can be seen that the culture of these two firms is totally different, and the differences was continue existing after merged. The Paper Converters Limited ran as two companies.

Cultural differences are one of the important concerns for the manager. Companies have different cultures. The Paper Converters Limited has its own inner organsational culture. Countries have their own national culture. Behavior, values, beliefs and attitudes are different as the differences of location, history, politics and economy. Cross-cultural management issues arise in a range of business activities (Rugman and Collinson, 2009). In the new international expansion of Paper Converters Limited, they faced a cross-culture problem between the UK and Zambia. Zambian staff ignored the reporting and control system advocated by the company, which is successful in the UK and the British employees is comply with it. But the managers could not understand what the reasons are.

Management is the process of making the job done effectively. Different managers do different tasks in different organisations. In order to achieve the goals of the organisation, the manager should plan first, including make sure what the goal is, establish some strategies and make some sub-plans to make the activities coordinated. Second, the manager should organize the whole company, including what to do, how to do and who to do. Then, the manager plays its leading role. He should direct and motivate members involved in the organisations and resolve the conflicts. At last, the manager have the control of the organisation, including supervising activities so that members can achieve the planned goal (Deresky, 2011).

When the managers in Paper Converters Limited meet some changing situations, he should use some different approaches. The manager should analyse the situation. First, the manager calculates the organisation size. The number of members can affect what and how the manager should do. If the number of the people increases and strategies are not changed, the organisation structure is obliviously inappropriate (Mark and Chitru, 2008). Second, the routine task technology is important, which is relevant with structure of the organisation, styles of leader, etc.. Third, the environmental uncertainty influences the manager a lot. The uncertainty may be caused by economic crisis, political strategies, technological revolution and so on. If the manager uses the stable strategy in this uncertain environment, it is not suitable. The manager should properly assess the uncertain influence. At last, individual differences cannot be overlooked. Every person is different in desire and expectation, etc.. Different traits make the manager choose different designs and styles (Jones and George, 2009 ).

As unfamiliar with the change strategically planned, it is reported accusingly that employees will become cynic, and hold resistance attitude towards change, and lack commitment to the procedures. Managers are also blamed for unwillingly changing their set of mind with regard to the new direction of organisation and their reconstructed position with it, than thus inadequately execute the leadership and fail to communicate the new version of the corporation to employees at lower level (Westenholz 1993).

Base to the case study, the production of Paper Converters was stretched to its limits after mergered. In order to improve production capacity to increase market share, managers decided to acquire larger premises and machinery. And relocate sales office staff and production staff in a same building. They have never worked quite close each other before. The relationships among staff were getting worse. But the managers did not identify the cause. The tensions among staff were still there. The relocation of staff was irrational. Employees may keep resistance attitude towards change. It is certain that the company would step into a vicious circle.

Management steps over the domestic boundary (DuBrin, 2009). For example, McDonald’s in the United States had successfully sell hamburgers on the land of China. The world is no longer isolated itself, but the companies with various languages and cultures interact with others within the world. In this global market, the Paper Converters Limited meets opportunities and challenges. Selling products to the world is a direct way to go international. The managers of Paper Converters Limited go to work overseas, they found the environment is totally different from domestic, which should be a new challenge.

The legal-political, economic and cultural environment affects the management. The manager should know something about the laws in foreign countries which they cooperate with. Some developed countries have stable government, but some underdeveloped countries have more than one government, which can make the manager feel uncertain. The manager should know the differences of laws between domestic and foreign counties to avoid unnecessary troubles and financial loss. Economic concerns should be rates of currency exchange, inflation and taxation. The devaluation of the currency can influence the profit of an organisation. As the UK is a developed country and Zambia is a developing country, there is a large difference between two countries. By coincidence, Zambia have met a economic decline. Inflation affects materials and labors. Also, tax policies are a concern for the manager. The manager should learn accurate and exact information to make sure they can reduce the tax(Rajiv et al. 2007). All these above show that Paper Converters Limited should adopt different management and make some change.

3. Creating a New Corporate Culture

Creating a new corporate culture is a complex and important step to international management. Before creating it, the analysis of the cultural attitude and tendency is inevitable. The manager in Paper Converters Limited should deal with internal culture and external culture. The culture of the organisation affects the way it acts. The culture of the organisation also has some taboos, rules and regulations, where members should behave themselves well. Members in the organisation should know what they can do what they cannot do. They should think, analyse and solve issues before they do a task. The culture contains three things. First, each member can observe what he can see and hear in the company. Second, each member may be from different backgrounds, have different professional skill and in different levels. They always feel and describe the culture in the organisation in similar terms, which is the common culture. Third, no matter if members like the company or not, they just describe it (Luthans, 2009).

Different cultures have different impacts on behaviors and actions of members in the organisation. The more members accept culture of the organisation, the more they can make commitment to the organisation. Several factors can affect whether members believe and accept the culture, including the size, history and turnover of the organisation. Therefore, the Paper Converters Limited should make clear the emphasis. The organisation always put emphasis on what employee can bring for it, but it does not attach importance to the culture. If the organisation has strong culture, it can uses some practices to establish the commitment of members. It is found that strong cultures are relevant with good performance. The manager can learn management from culture. Where does the culture come from? The mode of doing tasks currently is always from how tasks had been done before and what achievement they get from before. The origin of the culture can reflect the views and visions of the founder of the organisation. The founder can be mild or aggressive, which can affect how the organisation works. This is the image of the organisation (Mullins, 2009).

Employees in Paper Converters Limited can learn culture from several ways. First, stories can be used. The stories of the company may contain heritage, origin, founder, successful event, obstacle and goal, which can help it establish a future for employees. When the human resource department recruits a new one, they always tell some stories of the company to the interviewee. From stories, the people can learn a lot from the past. The people can learn the culture and understand what they should do in the near future. Second, rituals are inevitable. Rituals encourage people to do job. The award ritual can cheer and encourage members to achieve goals. They are the acknowledgment to what employee had done. Third, material symbols are important. When a person go into a company, he can feel the atmosphere of the company. He can observe how employee dress, what kind of the place like and what kind of the people here. An advertisement company is always more casual than a law company. Last, the language of the company is a way to learn the culture. If you work in a software company, you can learn some computer slang in it. The culture affects the manager a lot. Culture has some rules and regulations, members should obey it, including the manager. For example, some rules and regulations of the culture are not typed or written but you should obey. If you want to get promoted, you should be a good team player first.

The environment plays a great role in management. The external environment includes specific and general environment. The specific environment affects goals of the company. It changes in different conditions. First, customers buy the products of the company. There are so many customers but they are hard to please. Preference of clients can change. They may like your products now but they dislike them the next time. The company should learn and understand the mind of customers. Second, suppliers who provide machines and materials to the company can decide the cost of products and effectiveness. Third, competitors are threats. If your clients are no longer buy your products, there are several reasons. Maybe they find some cheaper one; they find other products have more functions and technologies; it is more convenient to buy other products. Last, pressure groups can be threats. Your company establish a new plant in a foreign country, but the local people protest you are contaminating the local environment although your emission complies with the standard (Robbins and Coulter, 2009).

The general environment also plays an important part in management (Som, 2009). When the manager plan and control, he should consider several factors. First, economic conditions, including exchange currency rates, inflation and stock, etc.. Second, political and legal conditions should be considered. If you do business overseas, you should understand what you can do and what you cannot do according to the local law of foreign countries. Third, sociocultural conditions should be thought over. Last, the population, technology factors can be considered, too. To assess the environmental uncertainty is important. The environment is uncertain so how to assess the uncertainty is crucial for a manager (Mead and Andrews, 2009).

4. Creating High-performance Project Teams

How to create a high-performance project teams partly decide the success of the Paper Converters Limited. The group is a team, where all individuals work together to obtain goals. The group can be divided into two forms, the formal group and informal group. In the formal group, the manager should command the group and some employees report to the manager. Some tasks should be tackled by various departments, so they work together to find solutions, which is the cross-functional team. The human resource department is the self-managed team, because it interview, recruit and evaluate performances of the people. In informal group, members build friendships though social contact (Mario and Michael, 2012).

Members should play multiple parts in efficient team. In the team, they adjust their ways to do jobs. They learn form each other or from job descriptions. They can find some suggestions from the manager. They should establish norms to complish their goals. Members have different age, experience and skills, which affects the status of the member. Group size can affect performance of the organisation (Thomas, Dan and Craig, 2011).

Cooperation is important for the Paper Converters Limited, which is more effective. The criteria standard of effectiveness can be five factors(see appendix). First, the accuracy decides how accurate members can achieve. Groups may be more accurate than individuals in accuracy. Second, the speed can decide how fast members can do. Individuals seem faster than groups. Third, creativity can inspire imagination. Groups may be more creative than individuals, because members can be inspired by ideas of others when they form groups (Caterina, 2011). Fourth, the degree of acceptance in groups is much higher than in individuals. People are inclined to accept and take something quicker when in groups because the risk is shared by all members in groups. Last, individuals are more efficient than groups. People in groups have different experiences and levels but they should work together to coordinate with each other in groups.

Efficient work teams in Paper Converters Limited are popular because of several reasons. They can increase more performances, inspire spirits and increase flexibilities. The manager has more time to do strategic management. Teams can be divided into four parts, including purpose, structure, members and duration. The development and research department and after service department are functional purposes. In structure, the team can be supervised by manager or they can be self-managed. The team can be permanent or temporary according to their goals.

Then teams should be well developed and managed. It is the task of the manager of Paper Converters Limited. Clear goals make members understand what exactly they could do. If there is the goal, members can be encouraged to go for it together. Relevant skills make tasks easier. Some people are experts in technology. Some are good at communication. When they work together, they should coordinate with each other (Certo and Certo, 2009). Mutual trust is very important. To trust each members takes a long time and can be destroyed at once, so maintain the trust is crucial. First, to communicate with members, explain problems and tasks and collect feedback are important. Second, supporting members is to encourage members. Third, respecting members and listening to their ideas is helpful to establish team. Fourth, keeping fair makes members think you are authoritative and impartial. One of the most challenging activities is motivation, which can reward employees and encourage them work harder and more efficient.

5. Talent Management in PMI

Talent management is an integrated set of processes, programs, and cultural norms in an organisation designed and implemented to attract, develop, deploy, and retain talent to achieve strategic objectives and meet future business needs (Silzer and Dowell, 2010). In the processes of merge and acquisition, it is inevitable of the lost of talent. It is important to develop, keep and manage the talent after merge and acquisition. People who left the company might go to the competitor companies. However retraining employees is more difficult after talent lost. Therefore, it is important to develop and retain the talent is necessary to an organisation. The one of the main reasons of talent lost in Paper Converters Limited is lack of organsational culture. The employees may feel uncertain when company begin to merge and acquisition. It also can be another reasons like Motivation System is imperfect or dissatisfied with Compensation System. To Paper Converters Limited, the managers should strengthen the construction of corporate culture. To retain talent, you could create a good cultural atmosphere to respect, understand, trust and support staff.

6. Successful Communication Strategies

Communication skills make the team more efficient. Communication is a way to express and understand meaning(Guillermo and Luis, 2012 ). If you want to communicate successfully, you should express your ideas and let others understand what you mean. If a Chinese man, who does not understand English language, but does business with a Britain man, who does not understand Chinese language. That will be an unsuccessful communication. From the managerial perspective, communication can be divided into two aspects, including interpersonal and organsational communication. Interpersonal communication is between people, but organsational communication is in the organisation.

There are several points should be noticed when you communicate with others. The feedback of the people can be observed (Anne and Samuel, 2011). When you express a complex idea, if others can understand and how much they can understand are important. Body language can reflect the inner feelings of the people. This is something relevant with psychology. If a person say yes with a frown, it means that he cannot agree with you. Facial expressions, eye movement, some subtle gestures can express emotions. It is not recommended that all the people in the Paper Converters Limited learn some psychology, but the manager should know a little about it. As a leader, the manager communicate with members all day. The manager deal with a lot of things. If the manager can learn a little involving psychology, it will be useful for him to the whole management.

National culture affect communications especially when the organisations do some international business. There are so many languages and cultures in the world. If you do not understand the language of the countries, you can use your body language or hire a interpreter or translator. However, sometimes body language is totally not work. Nodding head does not always stand for yes. Therefore, commanding as much as information about the country you do business is important.

7. Recommendation

The recommendation for Paper Converters Limited is mainly based on culture. As mentioned before, culture is every important, including organsational culture and international culture. The clash of cultures is relevant with post-merger and expansion. For organsational cultures, there should be rules and regulations for the company, which tell members what they can do what they cannot do. When they do tasks, they should think a lot. Members come from different background, experience and skill, so do not treat them the same. The manager should try to make members accept the culture of the organisation so they can make their commitment. You can use various ways to let them take the concept and culture of the company. For example, you could tell them the stories, origin, history and turnover of the company, which may let them love the company. You can give some awards to employee with good performance, so they will feel honored. Meanwhile, the company could open some cross-cultural training lessons and language lessons for employees of both countries. The culture may get closer and reduce cultural conflict. The staff can communicate without language barriers.

For international cultures, especially Zambian culture, you should learn a lot involving the culture in Zambia. People in Zambia put emphasis on the kinship, which is considered as the identification. The kinship can affect business. More than half of the Zambian people belong to Christianity. Time for the Zambia is not so rigid. It is common that a meeting will be delayed for one or more hours.

8. Conclusion

To conclude, from the case of Paper Converters Limited, it is found that culture plays an crucial part in post-merger integration and change management. In the organsational change and management, organsational cultures and international cultures are important, which can lead to a high-performance project teams for the organisation. The use of PMI is also effective. The manager should put the emphasis on culture, including organsational cultures and international cultures, which will make the success of the organisation.

9. References

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Jones, G.R., and George, J.M.(2009). Contemporary Management, 6th ed., London : McGraw Hill Higher Education.

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Mario, S., and Michael, A. H.(2012). The vicarious wisdom of crowds: toward a behavioral perspective on investor reactions to acquisition announcements, Strategic Management, 33(11), 1247-1268.

Mead, R., and Andrews, T.G.(2009). International Management: culture and beyond, 4th ed., Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

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Rajiv, N., Donald, C. H., and Ming-Jer, Ch.(2007). What is strategic management, really? Inductive derivation of a consensus definition of the field. Strategic Management, 28 (9), 935-955.

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