In a seven-year empirical research project in Germany and Switzerland on CEOs in international post-merger situations, the author uncovered some of the powerful learning inhibitors these executives face in their complex and challenging global post-merger integration endeavours. She identifies three generic types of executive behavioural patterns, and proposes a taxonomy of leadership behaviours that seem particularly propitious to post-merger performance.
Seven impressionist tales of typical post-merger situations – a bank, an airline company, a car manufacturer, an IT company, an industrial conglomerate, a life sciences group and a large public event – are described and discussed in a first ethnographic research loop. In the second part of the study the actors themselves, 20 CEOs and top executives of global companies speak up and candidly share with the reader how they go about solving problems, how they struggle between art and science in their thought processes. Their rich insights are a valuable contribution to the academic and practical discussion of the Chief Executives’ role in the management of international combinations.
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