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In a business, the decisions that the top management makes normally affect the way the company performs in the market. As such it is important that the people who make these decisions be well informed as well as be experienced in management. There are cases where a wrong decision by high-level management has led to the collapse of companies and therefore the choice of the people who should hold posts in the top management should be done in a very careful way (Araoz, 2007). Their experience, skills, as well as their perceptions should be put into considerations when choosing them. It is also very important to consider the track record of these people and the companies or any other places where they held positions as this would bring a clear picture on how qualified they are for the positions.
One of the risks that could come with the appointment of the wrong people to the high-level management team is that their competences may be below par and they may not be able to steer the company as expected. In the case of BioHealth and DeVaal, the decisions that the top management makes would highly affect the way the merged company performs both in Europe and the USA. It would also determine the way their new name would be received in the markets. As such, there are many underlying risks that can easily bring down the business if they are not well mitigated. Further, the right actions need to be taken at the right time, therefore the high-level management team needs to comprise of the best employees from both sides.(Araoz, 2007). The potential upside here is that if good decisions are made, then the company will pick up well in the market and generate more revenue, hence bring in more profits. Further, another upside would be that the right decisions would build good relationships between employees from both companies and create a better working relationship. This would further make each team appreciate each other teams culture.
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There are several psychological biases and emotional traps that Steve, Karspar and the rest of the team are going through. Starting with Steve, we see that he is already undergoing the psychological bias of framing. It is due to this bias that Steve seems to have had a narrow approach towards the key issues of the merger. He did not work out the situation as it should have been and this is why he fails to discuss on the future and the welfare of employees, prompting most of them to start looking for opportunities in other companies early enough because they have not been addressed.
There are potential consequences that could arise from this kind of bias. First, the employees already feel very insecure and this could make BioHealth loose the most talented members of staff who have been part of the company's success for a long time (Araoz, 2007). Secondly, we already see that the stock of BioHealth and going down due to all that is happening in the company; hence Steve needs to act in a way that assures his employees that they are still an important part of the team.
In Alison, we see the psychological trap of fundamental attribution error in which to her the welfare of her fellow employees seems to be of much more concern than the power that come with the situational influence of the merger. As much as the welfare of her fellow employees is very important, it is much more important for Steve to think of what other decisions could lead the company to. The situation at hand needs to be handled in a better way than just talking to the fearful employees and there if not well handled then the consequences could turn out to be very disastrous.
As per Kasper, he is seen to be in the psychological bias of self-serving. In most of his discussions with Steve, he seems to always want to claim more responsibility and more success, trying to bring out DeVaal as being more successful than BioHealth. In this bias, Kaspar is seen trying to want his members of staff take up key positions in most of the outside operations of both BioHealth and DeVaal. He also seems to want to decide on which plants need to be closed and which ones need to continue operating. Kasper needs to understand that what works in Europe may not necessarily work so well in the USA (Araoz, 2007). He needs to take his time and study the situation as well as put himself in Steve's shoes. This will help him understand the situation better. Further, he needs to understand that with DeVaal controlling much of the stake may not necessarily mean more profits. This could lead into a down turn in sales and drive the stock values further down.
There are also emotional traps that could affect the way the merger goes. Steve is seen with lots of tunnel vision which translates to so much stress for him. He has got so much in his own hands to the extent that he leaves some matters unattended. The solution to this is that he needs to find out what is going on and dedicate some of his duties. It should also have been much wiser for him to get lawyers to help with the merger.
Amongst the employees of BioHealth we see that there is an emotional trap of fear. Since Steve has not briefed them on what will happen to their jobs after the merger, the have began looking for other jobs in advance because they are not sure of what will happen. The solution to this is that the situation can be corrected by them getting to hold a meeting with Steve and airing their grievances (Araoz, 2007). Another emotional trap that can be observed with the employees is that of confusion. It is due to confusion that they are getting ready to get jobs in other places. Steve is also confused as he has discovered that his employees are just about to leave the company just because they do not know their fate. Karspar is seen to be stubborn as he insists on getting a major controlling role in the merger. He also wants to be a major decision maker on which plants need to be closed down and who should head the ones that will be left operational (Araoz, 2007). He finds it hard that members of DeVaal should go all the way and work from New York. The solution to this emotional trap is that Karspar should be more flexible and weigh out all the underlying options before putting his points through.
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If I were in Steve's and Kaspars's shoes I would first have started by hiring a professional team that would asses both companies and propose a step by step way of merging the two companies. This team would also comprise of lawyers who would advise on the best way through which the two companies would share the proceeds from the merger. First, it would be important to ensure that I have a list of goals and objectives that need to be achieved. One of the most important goals would be to understand the power of the success of the merger and who should have it, as well as how it should be shared. Secondly, the selection of the members of the top management should be done in waves such that each chosen team chooses the one below it, creating a good rapport and a working relationship. In these selections, it would be important for leaders from both sides to rise above cultural differences in order to ensure fairness in their decisions. In doing all these, it would have been much better if the services of professionals had been used.