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Post-Merger Intercultural Communication in Multinational Companies

A Linguistic Analysis


Christina Burek

In this book, the focus is on post-merger intercultural integration, effective communication between the relevant cultures and the different politeness strategies adopted by them. It is argued that cultural differences are a key issue in misunderstandings and miscommunication, which can affect a smooth post-merger integration, thereby focusing on differences between the Australians, US-Americans, Germans and the Swiss. The research contributes to bridge the gap between pragmatics, sociolinguistics and intercultural management studies. The empirical findings identify a company’s social dimensions and execution skills as strategic sources of competitive advantage in cross-border M&A activity.


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7 Conclusions


This book has emphasised cultural diversity in a multinational workplace. It has focussed on three main aspects: post-merger intercultural integration, effective communication between the cultures involved and the different politeness strat- egies adopted by them. The basic concept of cross-border mergers and acquisi- tions and its related challenges from an intercultural perspective were explained. It was claimed that cultural differences and intercultural communication aspects play a key role in the success or failure of many cross-border mergers and ac- quisitions, in particular in the post-merger integration phase. To understand the concept of intercultural communication, a definition of the term culture was de- rived. The various levels of culture, from underlying values to visible behaviour, were presented and discussed. This led to the roles of language, intercultural communication and pragmatics in cross-border M&A activity. Here, sources of intercultural misunderstandings and pragmatic failures that can have a signifi- cant effect on the business success were addressed. The work then centred on intercultural politeness and face-management strategies that vary across cultures. Various attempts to explain intercultural po- liteness aspects were presented, particularly the concepts developed by Ting- Toomey (2001), Leech (1983), Grice (1975) and Brown and Levinson (1978, 1987). The key component of the study concentrated on a multinational corpora- tion, starting with the methodology used for the research. In the study cultural differences in communication norms were investigated in a multinational corpo- ration that had undertaken a cross-border acquisition during the last decade. The focus was on cultural differences between German,...

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