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The number one semiconductor company in the world, Applied Materials, recently merged with the world’s number three semiconductor company, Tokyo Elecktron. The stock prices of both companies went up significantly after the merger was announced, which shows that investors welcome this move that may create synergies and help both companies battle declining revenues in the semiconductor industry. However, even though there are potential benefits to this merger in terms of operational synergies, the human side of a merger can often be difficult. Furthermore, Japanese and American cultures are widely perceived as being extremely different from each other, which may add to the difficulties in managing the human side of this merger.

For this assignment, review the following two articles and do some of your own research on these two companies:

McClatchy, S. (Sep 2013) Applied Materials to merge with Tokyo Electron, Tribune News Service, Washington [Available on ProQuest]

Negishi, M. (Sep 2013) Deal-shy Tokyo Electron chief pushed for sale to Applied Materials; Tetsuro Higashi’s decision was based on experience watching Japanese peers flounder, Wall Street Journal (Online), New York, N.Y

Once you’ve finished researching these companies and reviewing some of the key concepts of cross-cultural management in the background materials, write a 4-page paper answering the following questions:

  1. What do you think the biggest challenge in terms of cross-cultural management will be in the merger of these two companies? Remember to consider the issue of differences in national cultural values between Japan and the United States.
  2. What steps do you recommend be taken to help ease cultural differences between the two companies?

Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to general background materials.
  • List supporting references and cite sources in proper format.
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