January 14, 2013
Change and Culture Case Study
In tough economic times, companies are looking for ways to continue to provide services and products to the public without compromising quality and efficiency. When it comes to smaller businesses, or businesses that provide the same product or service, it is often wise to merge the companies together to form a stronger, more stable structure. This will take place when Frithsen Physical Therapy merges with Select Physical Therapy. Select Physical Therapy is a national corporation that provides physical therapy as well as aquatic therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training outreach and long-term care services. For the past decade Frithsen Physical Therapy has seen Select Physical Therapy as a fierce competitor that provides less than quality care to its patients. Frithsen Physical Therapy has been well known in the community for providing care in a professional and personal way. Many employees are afraid that merging with a large corporation will change the way they work, causing the quality of patient care to decrease. Middle managers will become essential before, during, and after the merge to ensure that every employee from each company understands the vision for the new corporation and is willing to compromise to make it a reality. The combining of two companies is no easy task and will change the shape and culture of both companies, until a new one is born. Processes such as communication, hiring, patient care and record keeping will change to accommodate the growing corporation, in hopes it will become more effective than either company was on its own. Merging two companies is a delicate procedure, requiring compromise and patience. Each company has built a certain culture over its existence, and each one believes that their culture is best. In reality, each company has certain services or tasks that they perform better than the other. In the instance of Select Physical Therapy merging with Frithsen Physical Therapy, the culture of the new, combined company will be similar to the cultures put in place by each company separately. However, it is important to create a new culture, differing from the previous ones, to promote a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. If this step does not occur, everyone will continue to work in his or her own culture, which becomes divisive, causing the company to be pulled in different directions (Sherrill, 2001). In the first phases of combining the companies, the culture may be fragmented, with each company holding on to what they know. Many of the employees will be wary of the changes occurring around them on a daily basis and may resist certain adjustments (Stanwick, 2000). A new atmosphere of open-mindedness and compromise needs to emerge for the blended company to be successful. When two companies are combined, there are bound to be differences of opinions between practitioners and administrators regarding polices and procedures. It is important to understand that each company brings something valuable to the table, and all ideas and opinions should be considered and discussed Avoiding a competitive stance will help employees from both sides see the positives of blending ideals and values, and ultimately encourage the birth of a stronger, more successful new culture (Stanwick, 2000).
To successfully combine two companies involves cooperation from all levels of management. As a middle manager in a merging corporation, there are different strategies and skills that will be necessary to ensure a smooth transition. The most important strategy will be communication. Before the merger occurs, it is important for middle managers to understand the new beliefs and values that upper management desires (Bolton & Lewis, 1998). Once middle managers...