Multi-National M&A Successes & Failures – a CSR (or ESG) Lens

Corporate Social Responsibility versus Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance
By:  Beth Howell On December 4, 2021

During this series, I will discuss Mergers and Acquisitions in a Global Marketplace and the Heightened Need for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Environmental – Social – Governance (ESG) Awareness.

I will cover numerous topics which impinge on M&A from a people-first perspective, some of which include:

  • The differences between CSR and ESG at a high level, and insights into why organizations migrate towards ESG.
  • Cultural issues such as mores, gender, diversity, equity, inclusion, unspoken nuances, holidays, religion, taboos, levels of formality, personal space, MeToo in a global context, and the concepts of castes and classes.
  • Size disparities of firms in the acquisition or merger. What is prominent in one country is small in another. Is it an acquisition? Is it a merger? What’s the difference? No matter the firm’s size, concepts such as name recognition or company colors and branding can be essential for continued success.
  • Larger firms acquiring smaller firms. Respect for stakeholder interests and preserving the best of the organization you are acquiring. Strategy goes beyond the initial acquisition. A strategic approach also includes researching what a smaller organization has to offer aside from the obvious. Maybe, they have a process, policy, or system that might work for the overall larger organization. Processes, policies, or systems can be applied in both directions. Look for the wins!
  • Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) being approached for acquisition and the pros and cons to consider. Can your culture be preserved, and what makes your organization special?
  • Dealing with redundancies. Planning reductions-in-force (RIFs) humanely and by law based on location. Notice periods, leave statuses, and numerous other factors may have an impact on the approach.
  • Compensation, benefits, and perks. There are variances by country and, often, by area within a country regarding pay structure, currency, benefits, leaves of absences, expected perks, and more. This topic is an ever-changing landscape.
  • Technology enablers and speedbumps. Technology is fantastic when it works as anticipated … and when people know how to use it. Some people are not tech-savvy, while others have not had the opportunity to hone their skills.
  • Terminology – exploring verbiage that can kill or build culture and relationships. Moving from “Us and Them” to “We” may be one of the most significant challenges with mergers and acquisitions. Getting to the “We” or “One Team” mentality as quickly as possible can reduce the friction between multiple organizations in the process of becoming one and, perhaps, align competing priorities.


Come along with me to explore Multi-National M&A Successes and Failures through a CSR / ESG lens. I’d love to have you participate by commenting below, mentioning your examples, asking questions, or adding insights.  Also, please follow, share on social media, and stay tuned for my next article.

Copyright 2021 B. Howell and SHERPA Institute. All rights reserved – please cite and link to this web page.








By Beth Howell

Beth Howell is a human resources, management, and administration professional with experience working in a broad range of global corporations, including over a decade with General Dynamics, a major US and global military vehicle manufacturer. She has experience in multi-national organizations delivering strategic operations, human resources, project management, DEI outreach, and business solutions.  Beth has partnered with diverse stakeholders around the world, in various cultures, as an effective leader in human capital, compliance, M&A, and technology. Howell has been highly successful in male-dominated industries and is active in supporting women in developing their careers. She specializes in building relationships down the hall or around the world. In the private sector, Beth is known for going where requested, when needed, and in whatever capacity required, often on short notice.  This reflects her adventurous spirit that also takes her skydiving, zip-lining, and marathon running. Beth holds certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility-Expert (SHERPA Institute - CISR Expert). She is a Team Co-Leader and Co-Author of the UN SDG8 Corporate Guidebook with SHERPA Institute. She is also a Co-Author for Complicated Alliances, a book about the military woman or military spouse experience, which achieved Amazon Best Seller in three categories. Beth earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL, USA, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM, USA. Howell has also held numerous leadership positions in military spouse, human resources, and equal opportunity organizations, serving in roles which require focus on areas including relationship building, regeneration, outreach, STEM, supporting women in business, and strategic philanthropy efforts. Beth supports the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club of Washington, DC (AFOSCDC) as the Special Activities Co-Chair, where she leads a diverse group of multinational volunteers in special programming activities to engage membership. She speaks and volunteers with the Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade (GCPIT), the Becoming Everything You Are (BEYA) STEM Conference, and the Women of Color Conference (WOC). Another adventure Beth has started is her series of articles - Multi-National M&A Successes and Failures Through an ESG-SDG Lens.  You are invited to join her on this expedition to gain insights and perhaps share your own story!          

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