Rebuilt to Last An Organizational Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Whether or not prior to the merger Meritor inculcated the notion of built-to-last effectively is not clear. Then again, creating insecurity to employees (senior management) when the merger was endorsed deals a hard blow on the employees. With the merger, the senior management staffs were sent on early retirement Clerkin, 2009.

These were the same people that hunt had given a role to inculcate the notion of Built-to-last in the organization. What this implies is that those left in the organization would not easily carry on the legacy since no one is present to enforce or oversee it.

Need for understanding mergers

As was earlier mention, the merger between Arvin industries and Meritor was based on the similarity of ideology. The business case was not considered and more so part of profitability and market capture. The need to access not just the reason behind the merger but also the possible impact of the merger was missed out. The two principles were overwhelmed by the desire to build entities that would last inconsiderate of short-term and long-term result.

Assessments and tests

For the success of a merger, solid and practical planning process prior to a merger is necessary. The case presented by Arvin and Meritor is hugely different since the planning stage though undertaken independently did not seem cohesive Kusewitt, 1985.

The case for Arvin going for the Built-to-last culture seemed to yielding result and was embraced across the board. Incorporating Meritor without sufficient assessment of their embrace on the matter inadequate.

A merger where the drive is a culture requires that both sides to have a complete embrace of the same culture. The assessment of the impact that the merger would have is also necessary since adjustment will need to be made Kusewitt, 1985.

Undertaking mergers is expected to distort running of things in an organization whose impact need to be evaluated. Taking a plan on how to undertake the merger guided by the likely effects expected will give the merger an opportunity to contribute to success rather that draw backs Lubatkin et al., 2001()


Demsetz (1983) brings in the aspect of self-interest arguing that manager actions are driven by their own concern. This argument also known as the agency theory Demsetz (1983) is to a large extent seen in the merger of the two companies. The Two CEOs are seen to have brought in their ideology with an understanding and conviction to build an organization that will last. However, disregard to the potential impact the culture would have on the organization is not given. The CEOs seem to be blind to the potential impact on market control and profitability of their organizations. Their perspectives on the issue seem to be the merging of ideas to a culture will lead to sustainable growth.


Mergers seem to be a one-time opportunity towards success or failure. Lack of proper planning and management will lead to losing out on an opportunity to embrace success. The case at for Arvin and Meritor exemplifies what lack of planning and misconceived ideas on mergers can lead to. Entering a merger is a continuous process one that requires an initiation process long before the deal is made. Drawing agreements on the terms of the merger is not enough; the assessments of each company and its potential are required. At the stage of assessment, the necessary measures that will see to the success of the merger need to be rolled out. The companies need to access the changes they will have to undergo and where necessary provide measure to counter negative impacts of the merger. Thorough check on the need for reorientation of the companies resources to accommodate the merger and pending changes is necessary Balmer et al., 1999()

Duties need to be assigned to independent managers who will oversee the merger and communicate every measure taken to the management of the two companies. This will avoid sidelining the obligation to run one side of the organization all because a priority is given to the merger. The appointed managers to the merger will have a distinct function that will not interfere with the smooth running of the existing firms. This ensures that once the firms are integrated no position will be lost and business will be carried out without distortion.

Preparation of the workforce for the pending merger needs to be done prior to - or immediately after - the merger. The argument behind this is to have a workforce that is not anxious to see how things play out and demoralize them. Once the employees are prepared to face the impending merger management, they can bring into focus the need for training to those who remain. Preparation consideration for those who will be leaving the organization needs to be made. Planning is needed so that the newly merged company dosen't have to deal with disgruntle employees while it struggling to see the success of the merger.

The most valuable lesson picked from the merger of Arvin and Meritor is that planning is necessary. In the planning, considerations on the benefits that such mergers will bring are necessary. Also. probable negative costs should be assessed considering the long-term goals.

In summary Balmer et al., 1999()

, give the key measure to ensure success of a merger in 6 distinct points.

1. The human resource must be closely involved

2. The organization capacity building need o be considered

3. Determine the goals and objectives the merger is intended to achieve

4. Carefully planning and allocation of resources towards the merger imitative

5. Communication to stakeholder on the merger and steps involved. This is especially beneficial for employees and customers

6. Making sure the integrating procedure does not take too much time as to compromise on the organizations' productivity.


Opinions on the precise measures to take in order to guarantee success of a merger are many. However, the key point to consider is to plan and cover all angles of the mergers. The human resource factor has in most cases stood out as key to successfully implementation of any structural change in an organization Clerkin, 2009.

The need to consider incorporation of the human resource in to the transition has greater weight above all. The planning of the merger need to be undertaken with goals set in mind and consideration of negative impact likely to be encountered.

A decision to carry out a merger should not be driven by personal interest. This has been seen to bring about failure more so, when the aspect is not embraced by all stakeholders. In the case of Arvin and Meritor, the problem came from having the desired goal that is not aligned to successful pursuant of the core values of an organization.


Balmer, John M.T., & Dinnie, K. (1999). "Corporate identity and corporate communications: the antidote to merger madness," Corporate Communications: . An International Journal,, 4, 68-86.

Clerkin, T.A. (2009). Rebuilt to Last: An Organizational Change Initiative. Journal of Applied Case Research, 8(1), 51-61.

Kusewitt. (1985). An exploratory study of acquisition factors re-lating to performance Strategic Management Journal 6(2), 151-169.

Lane, P.J., Cannella, a.A., Jr., & Lubatkin, M.H. (1998). Agency Problems as Antecedents to Unrelated Mergers and Diversification: Amihud and Lev Reconsidered. Strategic Management Journal, 19(6), 555-578.

Larsson, R., & Finkelstein, S. (1999). Integrating Strategic, Organizational, and Human Resource Perspectives on Mergers and Acquisitions: A Case Survey of Synergy Realization. Organization Science, 10(1), 1-26.

Lubatkin, M., Schulze, W.S., Mainkar, a., & Cotterill, R.W. (2001). Ecological Investigation of Firm…

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