HomeBlogHow?Merging company culture – How to manage two companies coming together

Merging company culture – How to manage two companies coming together

Often, companies will join forces. The marketplace today lends itself to this, because some companies are finding the only way they can survive is by adding value, and so executives are pursuing mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures at an increasingly popular pace. That said, companies have lost value for shareholders.

If you’re planning on merging two companies, you’re going to need glue strong enough to hold them together. Two companies coming together can cause many problems, especially during the process of the merger. The culture of two workplaces is colliding, and this can be a barrier in integration. If the merging company cultures do not align – or if they retract from each other – it can make it virtually impossible.

In order to make your merger successful, you’ll need to make quick, correct decisions, which will help you to continue operating, and resolve issues effectively and efficiently.

So, how do you move forward? Well, we need to analyse what the successful companies do.

What is company culture?

Companies that do this well base their mergers on the installation of a strong company culture, shared values, assumptions, and beliefs. These influence attitude, behaviour and meaning, which in turn shapes the company, and the way you function.


You might anticipate this will be easy, then find it’s difficult, or the other way around. The truth is, what happens largely depends on your people. You’ll likely have a lot of personalities to manage through your new shared culture. Mergers may fail based on unrest in their economic underpinnings.

You should focus a lot of time on the integration of your cultures and your people. The reality of your merger cannot be predetermined, even with rational calculation, and remains in the hands of the people involved in it.

This is where specialist input can help. There are experts out there who know how best to integrate to companies, and how to transform and shape your culture.

Company culture merger impacts:

A company culture merger can have a silly number of impacts. The main ones are:

  • A difference in styles of decision making may lead to slower decision making, and potential failure to make the decisions and to implement them in a way that is good for the organisation.
  • Losing top talent – who often become disillusioned – could quickly undermine the integration value. They could take their marketing contacts with them, for example.
  • Change in leadership and the style of leadership might encourage a mass exodus, in which you lose talent and experience.
  • Staff who are not willing to work through difficulties or rise to the challenge can seriously impact your work.
  • You might have new strategies, and if staff are not willing to implement them, this can stall your merger or impact your revenue.
  • You’ll need to scrap old functions from your company’s embedded legacy and make new ones, in order to integrate people from both companies. These will need to be made clear.
  • If the legacies from both companies do not withhold consistency, many areas may break down – such as handoffs and processes.
  • Employees may turn on each other in frustration.
  • Differences might lead to work not being completed in the correct way.

Company culture is of great importance and – if transition is successful and a strong culture is built – it will add value by:

  • Creating economies of scale.
  • Establishing a wider brand presence.
  • Acquiring technologies, products and market access.
  • Strengthening relationships.


Managing company culture mergers can be extremely difficult, and your leadership team are very important. You must have everyone on board from the beginning.

Quite often, managers who take the lead in company culture mergers use and approach that defines a set of desirable cultural attributes. If you have people in leadership positions who have an interest in the company – including employees and stakeholders – to inhabit the decisions for the transition and adapt the desirable attributes daily to their behaviour. If they do that, the other employees will likely follow.

It might not be that easy, though. Your new chosen culture might be too generic, and so – even though they agree with them – your leadership team may struggle to foster the principles.

Time and pressure are other factors that might affect your corporate culture, especially within your leadership teams. You’ll need a focused and personable approach to make sure your leadership teams can adopt and steer your new company culture.


Managing company culture mergers is not something that can be held off until the deal has been finalised. This is a complex process, and it will be easier and more beneficial for the company if you bring in specialists with the right experience.

They’ll help you manage any potential cultural clashes you need to iron out before the merger, investigating and solving these issues before they grow and become toxic.

They’ll help to make your leadership team strong and provide you all with the information you need to make the best choices, as well as keeping your leadership teams strong, motivated and enthusiastic.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you

We’re all about working closely with our clients from day one and matching them to our best consultants. If you would like to find out how we can help you, or if you just want to find out a bit more about our approach or our current projects and clients, please contact us for a no obligations discussion. 

Get in Touch

Give us a Call or drop us an Email, we endeavour to answer all enquiries within 24 hours.