ADP-GSI: The Integration Challenge (Expanded Version)

Published 01 Jul 2003
Reference 5118
Topic Strategy
Region Global

ADP signs its largest acquisition deal in history, to purchase GSI in August 1995. If the divergence of cultures in both companies isn’t enough -- ADP management being used to tight controls and double-digit growth and GSI management groomed to run their own show in spite of recent poor financial results -- there are tremendous differences in operations across functional areas to resolve. Both companies have developed and positioned their unique product offerings to serve different market segments in distinct geographies. Consequently, the Sales and Customer Service organizations are also very different, with scopes and profiles that correspond to their own markets. Financial reporting practices are also divergent, for the most part due to country legislation. Human Resource practices are polar opposites. The reader is asked to take the position of Philippe Gluntz, the new President of ADP Europe, straddling the ocean to manage the post-acquisition process. The Expanded Version includes an overview of GSI and ADP, allowing the reader to address the integration challenge without reading the previous cases in the series.

Teaching objectives

1. Understand integration trade-offs among scope, speed and style. 2. Disentangle acquisition and integration. 3. Resist temptation to impose ?our way of doing things?.

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Computer services
  • Leadership
  • Growth
  • Empowerment