HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

Acquisition d'une PME par un groupe : le choc des cultures

Gianfreda, Jesse ULiège
Promotor(s) : Loverius, Frédéric ULiège
Date of defense : 22-Jun-2017/27-Jun-2017 • Permalink :
Title : Acquisition d'une PME par un groupe : le choc des cultures
Author : Gianfreda, Jesse ULiège
Date of defense  : 22-Jun-2017/27-Jun-2017
Advisor(s) : Loverius, Frédéric ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Lisein, Olivier ULiège
Schmetz, Christian ULiège
Language : French
Keywords : [en] SME acquisition
[en] M&A
[en] Mergers & Acquisitions
[en] Culture shock
[en] Corporate culture
[en] change management
[fr] Choc des cultures
[fr] Fusion-Acquisition
[fr] Culture d'entreprise
[fr] gestion du changement
[fr] acquisition de PME
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > General management & organizational theory
Target public : Student
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en Financial Analysis and Audit
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] Everyday bankers and investors are dealing with Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in order to develop their businesses. Those operations are lead across every market sector and geographical area, involving companies abroad. As a result, this globalization and the desire to explore new opportunities bind multiple companies and different cultures to bridge together.

Differences in organizational cultures have made the process very complex and challenging for managers. Every structure is managed in a different way because of the corporate culture which is influenced by many components such as national, market, or people’s culture. Several influences make a unique combination and companies are therefore different from each other. An additional component is to be taken into consideration when a group decides to acquire a SME managed by a single leader who decides to sell and then is expected to leave the company.

The differences between those enterprises can cause an organizational culture shock as the group acquires the smaller company, leading to a bridging of corporate cultures. This shock can drive employees away and end up in very bad results. Experts indeed recognize that the difficulty to bridge two different corporate cultures is the first cause for an acquisition failure as groups are mainly focused on the financial aspect of an acquisition in spite of cultural and human aspects.

Such an operation therefore requires a well-thought change management plan .This research attempts to come up with several recommendations when dealing with an acquisition of a SME by a group. Every case is different and is to be analyzed as such - this paper is obviously not the ultimate guideline. However, thanks to the theory analysis and interviews with experts, this research lists mistakes to avoid and points of attention to carefully take into account.



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  • Gianfreda, Jesse ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gest., à fin.


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