تفکیک جنسیتی در ساخت یک ادغام
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|35975||2000||34 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||17034 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Scandinavian Journal of Management, Volume 16, Issue 2, June 2000, Pages 111–144
Although recent literature on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has looked exhaustively at a variety of issues embracing organizational systems, practices and people, it has ignored the gendered nature of merging. The aim in this article is twofold. First, to demonstrate how segregation according to gender is determined in the merger process by the organizational histories of the two merger partners. Second, to specify how gender operates in connection with certain integrative mechanisms developed by top management to coordinate and control the merger as it unfolds. A longitudinal, in-depth analysis of the making of the Merita Bank in Finland suggests that mergers represent a particularly well-defined arena for the reproduction of gender segregation, due to a complicated weave of intended and unintended consequences of managerial actions during its formulation and implementation. It is suggested that the gendered career implications of mergers represent a particularly timely theme for further research.
Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly popular ways of facilitating transformations within and between business firms in volatile environments. Mergers were a distinctive feature of the 1980s, and the `merger mania’ has intensified in the 1990s (see e.g. Greenwood, Hinings & Brown, 1994; Holmes, 1995). Mergers are essentially dramatic events of reform that upset the organizational lives of a rapidly growing number of people (see e.g. Brunsson, 1989, on the concept of reform). This article focuses on a specific type of domestic merger: a horizontal, collaborative merger between two large established bureaucracies that are presented as equal partners in the arrangement (cf. Napier, 1989). The gendered nature of merging, a previously neglected aspect, is examined in detail. A theme that has recently reappeared in the specific literature of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is that mergers almost inevitably involve behavioural difficulties, and that this applies regardless of whether the mergers fulfil (or, more often, fail to fulfil) their objectives. Two intertwining sets of explanations for the success or failure of such undertakings are well covered. First, the problems that arise in harmonizing the systems, regulative mechanisms and organizational practices of the merging firms have been addressed (e.g. Shrivastava, 1986; Haspeslagh & Jemison, 1991; Greenwood et al., 1994). This can be described in terms of a central versus local dualism: a question of obtaining a dynamic balance between central control and local autonomy as the merger unfolds. The dark side of this dualism is manifest in obstacles and hindrances to the creation of structural synergies as the merger is implemented. Second, discussion has turned on the problem of inspiring groups of people from different organizational backgrounds to make a joint effort to fulfil the goals of the new organization (e.g. Buono, Bowditch & Lewis, 1985; Marks & Mirvis, 1986; Larsson, 1993; Ashkanasy & Holmes, 1995). This can be described in terms of an us versus them dualism, often presented as a question of organizational cultures. The dark side of this dualism is manifest in a mosaic of resistant, confused and demoralized employee attitudes and behaviours. It is contended that successful mergers require integration (e.g. Haspeslagh & Jemison, 1991) or blending (e.g. Greenwood et al., 1994) between the merging parties, not only on the physical and procedural levels, but — most problematically — on the socio-cultural level as well ( Shrivastava, 1986). Managerial action is needed to moderate, coordinate or counteract the negative effects of the two dualisms. The typical normative advice given to managers is to attempt to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible (cf. De Noble, Gustafson & Hergert, 1988). Despite this, organizational issues in mergers frequently appear to have been undermanaged ( Greenwood et al., 1994). Other fundamental elements in the merging of business firms, however, have been noticeably neglected in the growing body of research on mergers and acquisitions. Mergers are made in a process of action and interaction. The silencing of gender in most of the literature does not indicate that mergers are gender neutral. The findings in other branches of organizational research suggest that this is unlikely. For some time now the long-standing taken-for-grantedness of the gender neutrality of organizing has been exposed and criticized within several diverse feminist approaches to organization studies (for a review and categorization, see e.g. Calas & Smircich, 1996). In the present article the notion of gender is conceived in terms of patterned, socially produced distinctions between male and female, masculine and feminine, often signifying unequal relationships of power (cf. Scott, 1986; Connell, 1987; Acker, 1992). Segregation according to gender refers to the distribution of males and females over different tasks and positions in particular social units at particular times, and to the production and reproduction of this distribution (e.g. Acker, 1994). I argue here that mergers represent a particularly well-defined arena for the reproduction of gender segregation. Two issues are addressed in detail: first, how segregation according to gender is determined in the merger process by the organizational histories of the two merging partners, and, second, how gender operates in connection with certain integrative mechanisms developed by top management to coordinate and control the two dualisms — us vs. them and central vs. local — in implementing the merger. Section 2 outlines a theoretical framework for gender that is both complementary to existing texts on mergers and acquisitions and an invitation to theorize about mergers in novel ways. Section 3 discusses the methodology of the study. The empirical part of the article consists of a longitudinal, in-depth analysis of top and middle management engaged in a domestic Finnish merger between two large, established banks (the Kansallis Banking Group and the Union Bank of Finland). Finally, some conclusions from the analysis are offered.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Although recent literature on mergers and acquisitions has looked exhaustively at a variety of issues embracing organizational systems, practices and people, it has ignored the gendered nature of merging. In this article, the four-way framework whereby persistent structuring along gender lines is reproduced in organizations — through rules and procedures, symbols and ideologies, face-to-face interaction and the behaviour considered appropriate (Acker, 1990, Acker, 1992, Acker, 1994 and Acker, 1998) — has been applied to a horizontal, collaborative merger context characterized by downsizing. Earlier research suggests that gender segregation in business firms is an inherently rigid, self-fulfilling process, embedded in organizational reform (Tienari, 1999). A merger between `equal’ partners with overlapping organizations is a specific incident, an example of a reform during which the organizational order is renegotiated. The longitudinal in-depth empirical analysis described above suggests that mergers also provide a particularly well-defined arena for the reproduction of gender segregation, due to a complicated weave of intended and unintended consequences of managerial actions during its formulation and implementation (cf. Giddens, 1984). For the sake of clarity it is important to point out that segregation does not necessarily entail open discrimination. Rather, it is regarded here as a historical, structural phenomenon. Segregation according to gender is determined by organizational history. Although the Union Bank of Finland and the Kansallis Banking Group were popularly considered to diverge in terms of their `organizational culture', they also shared certain fundamental characteristics. One of the noticeable similarities was that over recent years the distribution of men and women into different tasks and positions had changed form, but the underlying bureaucratic career structure had maintained its gendered nature. In both the merging firms, women had recently taken over previously prestigious managerial positions that had now become `less desirable’ in terms of job content and potential vertical career prospects (see also e.g. Bird, 1990), while male domination was reinforced in most of the `newly desirable’ positions. Full-service branch banking is an example of the first of these developments; specialist functions in corporate banking exemplify the latter. Women were allowed to conquer new territories, at the same time that the business language that had the monopoly on paternalistic and competitive masculinities (cf. Kerfoot & Knights, 1993) retreated from those particular areas. Men followed the authority, the social influence and the status that was related primarily to the type of customer concerned, rather than the particular organizational position (see also Tienari, 1999). Managers’ decisions often initiate gender divisions and organizational practices maintain them, albeit in new forms (e.g. Acker, 1990, Acker, 1992 and Acker, 1994). The shifting differences in status between organizational positions, and the way these differences are produced and reproduced over time by way of (formal) procedures and (informal) interactions, need to be explicitly addressed. More attention should also be paid in the M&A literature to these often hidden and subtle differences in status, with particular reference to gender. In Finnish banks in the 1980s and 1990s the key seems to have been access particularly to management positions in corporate finance and investment banking. In other societies or sectors or firms at various times, the key may be something quite different. The essential point is that there always seems to be one or more `hard cores’ that are protected from any unwanted and stereotypically defined feminine influence. As they are protected from undesired influence, they are also in effect kept out of the reach of women. In a collaborative merger where overlapping operations (including the `hard cores') are being streamlined, a competitive platform for key positions is almost by definition being created. It is thus particularly unlikely that `outsiders’ are allowed to interfere in the process. Gender operates within integrative mechanisms in merging, reproducing segregation. Merita's top management recognized that the unfolding of the business logic in implementing the merger called for rapid action on its `human side'. They themselves signalled an authoritative, technocrat management philosophy. Two overlapping organizations were being compressed into one in a very short time, and decision making processes were being centralized. To secure a fair platform for managers from the two merging firms in the competition for a reduced number of positions, the evaluation and selection procedures were formalized down the line. When the organization was `remanned', different positions called for different managerial credentials (as discussed above, this differentiation was also gendered). During this rapid process it was difficult for individual people to cross internal organizational boundaries determined by function and competence connected with the type of customer. Gender was essentially linked to one in particular of the crucial integrative mechanisms in the merger process, namely the project aimed at engineering a new, unified and uniform organizational culture (cf. Buono et al., 1985; Marks & Mirvis, 1986). In achieving integration related to the `us versus them’ dualism, so-called feminine traits were exploited as a crucial organizational resource. A pool of female managers suitable for carrying out grassroots-level integration was available in both the merging firms. Thus the increasing feminization of a specific middle management position in the merger process should not be treated as evidence that established segregation lines were breaking down. Rather, it was the sequel to a development that had changed the form of the segregation. In Merita's domestic service network women continued to predominate in two kinds of managerial position in particular. First, they dominated in positions whose prestige and authority had vanished but whose social challenges remained (e.g. local branch management). Second, they often appeared in positions designed to include a task profile with similar characteristics under more of a generalist manager, typically male (e.g. sector management in large branches). After the initial rapid `remanning’ of the organization, positions became locked, and the opportunity structure for both vertical and horizontal career advancement became weaker for the majority of middle managers. Simultaneously, controls were being tightened, and managers down the line had limited latitude for independent decision-making. Putting it bluntly, women with practical experience of managing people conducted the local `building of a new culture', while men attended to the `tough business'. In this sense, the merger was managed by stereotypes. Two outcomes identified in the present study suggest that particular attention in future research should be paid to the gendered career implications of mergers: many women advance into the `dead-end’ branch-manager positions, and many women in top positions leave the organization. The first of these outcomes suggests that rather than being an indication of greater equality between the sexes, changes in the proportion of women in managerial positions may in fact be evidence of the opposite. The second outcome suggests that the nature of segregation according to gender is also multilayered. An examination of the gendered nature of mergers also provides food for thought for researchers and practitioners concerned with issues such as the exit of key individuals (i.e. brain drain) and/or internal competition, power struggles and politics. Further development of the arguments presented above would call for in-depth evidence from cross-national mergers between firms embedded in societies with significantly divergent gender orders (cf. Connell, 1987). Banking remains a rewarding sector for students of the gendered nature of merging: the ongoing concentration of financial services through mergers and acquisitions across national borders in Europe provides readily available raw material for analysis.