How to find the power networks of employees who make or break a merger/acquisition transaction, using Organization Network Analysis.
When “Global ABC” acquired “Alpha Inc.” in 2008 and “Beta Inc.” in 2009, each business initially operated independently (see Figure 1). But, senior executives from Global tasked the two acquired companies’ management teams with developing an integrated product-strategy plan to combine the organizations by mid-2011. Their process involved collaboration across business units to establish inter-organizational collaboration and to create solutions to integration-related problems.
You can see in Figure 2, mapped from the ONA findings, that both Alpha and Beta were discussing strategy actively, but working unilaterally on tasks within silos. Only two individuals linked the organizations: employee 181 at Beta and employee 52 at Alpha. These two executives spoke infrequently with one another about strategy, and only because Global management required them to do so.
The ONA map shown in Figure 2 identified employee 041 at Beta and 216 at Alpha acting as Hubs, and employee 045 for Beta and 223 for Alpha serving as Climate Monitors. These network positions are two of the most influential cultural roles.
Implementing the recommendations from the Organization Network Analysis results removed roadblocks, and allowed Global to complete its integration well within its planned mid-2011 time frame.
The organization conducted a second Organization Network Analysis to demonstrate progress over time. Comparing the Strategy Network, before and after implementing the ONA recommendations, illustrates the dramatic improvement in collaboration. Figure 3 shows the integration occurring, with people in both organizations communicating and developing a strategy together.
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