Everyone is watching to see whether sparks fly when people from the two different cultures start working together on a day to day basis.
Culture is both an outlook about the world and a set of rules. Together, they define what is acceptable and what is not. What are reasonable expectations? When do you have a right to get mad at someone? How should you deal with “violators?” Eventually it’s about raw power. Who defines what the new rules are? Who has the power to make someone conform to the culture?
Some mergers create synergies by cutting jobs, which improves the bottom line. Other mergers create synergies by making people more productive, which increases top line revenue.
Everyone prefers increasing productivity, but the problem is that takes longer to achieve than cost cutting. So, the temptation is to show Wall Street the synergies quickly by cutting jobs, which sometimes makes it more difficult to make people more productive.