CULTURAL BARRIERS VODAFONE AND MANNESMANN
The hostile takeover of Mannesmann by Vodafone in 2000 was unusual, in that the regulatory environment means that successful hostile bids for German companies are very rare (although German companies are very adept at acquiring businesses in other countries). Accordingly, the very fact of the deal came as a culture shock to the employees of the long-established German company. During the initial period of ownership, Vodafone did the following: ● Sold off the prestigious Mannesmann fi ne art collection. ● Sold off the century-old wood panels in the board room. ● Stopped the practice of sending employees cards and wine on their birthdays. ● Promoted its charitable donations in order to benefit from the publicity (Mannesmann had always given anonymously). These actions, which would have been seen as reasonable in shareholder value-based Anglo American cultures, were totally alien to the German employees and caused deep resentment.