When consultants and client clash: Problem Essay
Statlers have failed to get their clients to acknowledge the differences in thinking about the merger. The rationale behind every merger is that the sum is greater than the parts. Typically, clients identify synergies for the merger and from then on consultants suggest the decisions necessary for attaining them. The synergy cited in this case, economies of scale, is only possible if the two firms worked together as a single unit. Susan Barlow¶s lack of experience in conducting with clients and failure to understand the need for merger coupled with Kellogg¶s ineptness in handling sticky situations has led to the current state.
Susan, in her initial briefing with Mr. Kellogg, started off on a wrong note. First, she patronized the entrepreneur-turned-CEO, accepted his list of interviewees and even agreed to his deadlines. If she was any experienced, she would have been more pro-active, played the role of a devil¶s advocate to explore other views about merger and understand its need. More importantly, as John Rau suggests, she would have done independent fact finding which would give her an idea about who to talk to. Another important task she missed out was talking to Mr. Carpenter and exploring his views about the merger. If she had any knowledge about mergers she would have replied to Mr. Kellogg¶s remarks on mergers and explained to him that acquisitions have far higher success rates than µmergers of equals¶. All these point to her lack of expertise in mergers and inexperience with conducting with clients.
Royce Kellogg acknowledges how he always relied on Mort Meyer to deal with people problems. Further, his naïve view of the merger, which is so far only an agreement between two heads, reinforces his skewed understanding of the problem. In response to numerous calls from employees, who had already been given heads-up, Kellogg was quick in drawing conclusion that consultants are stirring up trouble rather...
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