Authors: Asst. Prof. Dr. Funda Yalım
Abstract: Today establishments prefer to merge for different reasons in the global competitive medium. In this merging process, the financial, technical and legal studies are mostly focused on and the changes of the event in terms of in-house communication, organizational culture and employees are ignored. As a result of a merger, a new configuration occurs in the establishment and employees who have been to different working media before, who have different working styles, who do not know each other and even who mostly approach each other with prejudice come together because when these mergers take place between the companies belonging to the cultures of different countries, there occurs another factor which should be evaluated meticulously - the cultural differences. With its material and moral elements, culture affects the individuals of a society in many aspects. Culture closely influences many elements such as the lifestyles of individuals living in a society, their values, their perspectives of the job and their ways of communication. One of the scientists who make studies on cultural differences is Geert Hofstede of the Netherlands. Hofstede examines national cultural differences in five different dimensions because these dimensions are each an essential source of reference at the point of explaining cultural differences. Thus, the dimensions of the culture of employees closely influence the new configuration in the mergers belonging to the cultures of different countries. One of the most important responsibilities in achieving success in company mergers falls to the public relations unit. Especially the activities to be carried out towards employees, the target of in-house public relations studies, eliminate the prejudices, worries and negative cases that might occur regarding mergers and enhance motivation and job efficiency in attaining organizational goals. The holding of events where employees are enabled to come together and get to know each other more closely are very advantageous at the point of creating interaction among the employees from different cultures, establishing empathy and reducing prejudices. The more formal knowledge the employees have about the purposes, strategies, applications and system of the new formation in mergers, the faster and the more successful the integration and adaptation processes are. The new organizational culture to emerge in the mergers of the cultures of different countries will be affected by these differences and it is again the in-house public relations unit which will make studies in conveying this new organizational culture to employees, in internalizing it and in ensuring the sense of belonging. The in-house public relations unit also begins to work at the point of eliminating the problems that might occur due to cultural differences during communication and coordination between employees and managers after the merger and at the point of choosing the appropriate means of communication. In this study, the cultural differences that will affect the in-house public relations studies to be conducted in the new configuration taking place in the company mergers of different cultures and the factors which must be considered for successful in-house public relations studies in company mergers of different cultures will be revealed by taking Hofstede’s cultural dimensions into consideration.
Keywords: Mergers, cultural differences, in-house public relations, Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions