South-Western - Management  
Long Island Accounting Firm Nixes Merger with Manhattan Firm Due to Differing Corporate Culture
Topic Internal Environment and Culture
InfoTrac Reference A140596624
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Key Words Corporate culture, mergers, corporate culture shock
News Story

A successful Long Island accounting firm, Nussbaum Yates & Wolpow, was about to merge with a successful Manhattan firm. The deal would have given the suburban firm an immediate foothold within the city boundaries. However, as the firms negotiated, executives at Nussbaum Yates realized that a culture gap made the two companies incompatible and a merger would have resulted in corporate culture shock. Nussbaum Yates has a culture that focuses on quality of life for its partners and is defined as very family-friendly. At the firm they were considering merging with, the key concern was how hard employees worked and how many hours they put in.

At Nussbaum Yates, the focus on a family-friendly culture has resulted in low turnover in a very competitive field. Their mission statement even includes reference to a “family-friendly” approach to employees. Steven Wolpow, managing partner at the firm, says that the needs of the employees and their families have always come first. Employees point to flexible scheduling and the option to do work at home as two tangible examples of the firm’s culture. Even their annual holiday party is a family affair, with a magic show and presents for the children who are invited along with their parents.

Nussabum Yates decided that the merger was a bad idea for their company, and instead, decided to enter the Manhattan market on their own. With a focus on growth in this new market, they have also made it a priority to keep the firm’s family-friendly culture intact in Manhattan.

Being true to one’s corporate culture can mean embracing change when it is time, as well. Small firms, especially, face a challenge as they grow to hold on to their way of doing things, yet to be able to shift to an environment where responsibility is shared. Companies can even have more than one culture at their different locations. However, an employee-centric culture is always good not only for workers, but for recruitment and retention purposes as well.


How are corporate cultures created and maintained?


Read about successful organizational cultures in your textbook. Name four attributes of a successful corporate culture.


Is it possible to change a corporate culture? Name at least three ways in which cultural change can be made evident at a company. Be prepared to discus your ideas in class.

Source “Long Island Accounting Firm Nixes Merger with Manhattan Firm Due to Differing Corporate Culture,” Long Island Business News, January 6, 2006, pNA.
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