Success and failure in managing foreign acquisitions in South Korea and Japan: Lessons from Renault, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler

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In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in foreign merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity in Japan and South Korea. Based on 23 interviews with Japanese, Korean, and foreign managers, this study investigates the reasons for success and failure in the management of the integration of foreign acquisitions in South Korea and Japan. Although the two implementations were independent of each other, Renault succeeded in both South Korea and Japan. On the other hand, General Motors struggled in Korea and DaimlerChrysler failed in Japan. Open communication, a participative leadership style, positive perspectives, and commitment were key factors for the success of Renault. While managers described plenty of similarities between integration processes in Korea and Japan, the reduced influence of conglomerates and the greater willingness of employees to accept changes may make Korea a more receptive environment. The article provides detailed background of the acquisitions and proposes recommendations as to how managers can successfully integrate Korean and Japanese target companies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Business and Organizational Excellence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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