q

Part one:

From the case study on the pdf attach answer the following question in one paragraph.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
q
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

What is the difference in corporate culture between Dynamic and RNS?

Part 2:

For each paragraph bellow write a comment (1 to 2 sentences)

1) the difference between Dynamic and RNS is that dynamic corporate culture is all about keeping up with the times. in a dynamic corporate culture any new ideas are good ones and valued highly. in RNS sometimes change can be viewed as a bad thing. With RNS, the corporate culture has already been established. with Dynamic the culture changes and the company needs to do their best to change with the surrounding cultures of the employees.

Comment:

2) I think the difference between Dynamic and RNS are mainly due to the exclusive. Dynamic’s management was accountable to the exclusive at Atlas, they use innovative high speed survey respond to fulfill their weakness in market shares compares to other company. The Dynamic culture is more about improving, employees intergating on one project. Compare to Dynamic, RNS are very decentralized, people respond for different part of a single project, have fewer interaction than Dynamic.

Comment:

 

©2012 by Victor Davidson, Jodi Detjen and The CASE Journal. Contact the author at vdavidson@suffolk.edu

 
[Volume
 #],
 [Issue
 #],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

[Author
 Name,
 Author
 Affiliation]
 

 

 
Mark sat in his office overlooking the bustling floor of Dynamic Research’s new office building.
He was exceptionally proud of the growth the company had experienced in the past few years
since founding it in 2001. Under his leadership as CEO, Dynamic had become a key player in the
industry of marketing research.

He was also concerned. Dynamic’s parent company, Atlas Group, had entered into a hostile
takeover in 2009 which merged Dynamic with their largest competitor, RNS. It was Mark’s
responsibility to make sure this merger went smoothly. The integration of the two companies
was widely viewed as the most important strategic initiative that Dynamic had undertaken since
its inception. Some aspects of the integration had gone very well, but the company had also
failed to hit some of its key financial benchmarks. Atlas Group management had recently put
additional pressure on Mark to hit the outlined objectives prior to the upcoming board meeting.

The continued success of Dynamic’s business, as well as Mark’s career, would likely be
determined by the outcome of this integration. It had been just under a year since the acquisition
and Mark was due to present an update of the integration’s progress at an upcoming executive
board meeting.

Dynamic
 Research
 Background
 

 
Dynamic Research was founded in 2001 as one of the first online marketing research panel
companies. Before then, if a company wanted to perform research on their customers, the most
common solution was to design a survey asking the pertinent questions and mail it out to a list of
names. For example, a clothing retailer could design a survey that asked customers how satisfied
they were with the level of service they received. This survey would then be mailed out to their
internal database of customers. This method of conducting primary research could be time
consuming and very expensive. Dynamic was able to solve this problem by creating a panel, or
collection of people, who would be willing to take these surveys online. In exchange for taking a
survey these panelists received coupons, gift certificates or some other form of incentive (See
Exhibit 1 for a sample survey). In 2008, Dynamic had just under a 15 percent share of the
market. After the acquisition of RNS, Atlas Group management expected Dynamic to have a
market share greater than 35percent.

Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
How
 Corporate
 Culture
 &
 Structure
 Impact
 
Change
 Management
 
Victor
 Davidson,
 MBA
 Suffolk
 University
 
Jodi
 Detjen,
 Instructor
 of
 Management
 and
 
Entrepreneurship
 Suffolk
 University
 

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 

Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

In addition to its unique business model, Dynamic also had a different organizational structure
than most other marketing research companies. Dynamic existed as a subsidiary of the Atlas
Group, a global holding company, that also included advertising, public relations and consulting
companies. Although it operated mostly as a stand-alone entity, Dynamic’s management was
accountable to the executives at Atlas. Dynamic was founded as a way for Atlas Group
companies to conduct primary research without needing to go through third party panel
companies.

Dynamic started with 20 employees based in Saddlebrook, New Jersey. Although it was part of a
much larger organization, from the start Dynamic was run as a small start-up company. The
primary goal of the company was to provide quality marketing research in a profitable manner.
Although the company was started in the wake of the dotcom bust and ensuing recession, online
research was on its way to becoming the industry standard, and after the first two years Dynamic
was operating at a profit. Over the next few years, Dynamic’s profit and organization continued
to grow at a steady pace (Exhibit 2 has the historical pro forma income statements).

An
 Acquisition
 Opportunity
 

 
Starting in 2007, Atlas Group had been exploring several options for expanding into
international markets and growing their product offering within the US. The option favored most
by the management of Atlas Group was to acquire a competitor with a pre-existing global
presence. In September 2008, an opportunity presented itself. RNS, the global leader for
consulting and research services, had had several years of declining revenue and a depressed
stock price. In 2003 they held a nearly one-third share of the total US market research industry.
By 2008, their share had dropped to about one-fifth of the market. It was widely rumored within
the industry that RNS would make for an ideal acquisition target. RNS publicly denied these
rumors, but nevertheless, a race ensued among RNS’ major competitors to be the first to acquire
the ailing company. Within the research industry there were only a handful of major players;
whichever one managed to acquire RNS would become significantly larger than the others.
Although Atlas Group was one of the smaller competitors, it had a strong balance sheet and was
able to pull together financing faster than any of the other companies. With its financing secure,
Atlas Group entered into a transaction to buy RNS.

The acquisition was expected to add value to both Atlas Group as a whole, and to Dynamic. It
would allow Atlas Group to offer significantly more consulting services across several business
units, and in part would complement Dynamic’s panel operations. In addition to providing
additional panel participants in the US, a merger with RNS would allow Dynamic to offer
services in several new international markets. However, the RNS management was not at all
enthusiastic about being purchased by a smaller competitor. They suspected that an acquisition
would bring layoffs in upper management, and were unwilling to admit that they needed help to
restart the growth of their company. This led the RNS management team to strongly oppose any
acquisition attempts, and required Atlas to acquire the company through a hostile takeover.

Competitive
 Advantage
 At
 Dynamic
 

 

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Primary research in the form of online surveys made up the vast majority of Dynamic’s business.
The process by which Dynamic executed these surveys was a key component of its strategy, and
an ongoing point of differentiation from competitors. In 2009, Dynamic had 20 project managers
on staff. Each of these project managers would oversee a project from survey design through the
results phase. The business was designed this way to allow for maximum flexibility and process
speed. Dynamic’s primary objective was to be profitable and keep clients happy while doing it.
There were several other options for potential clients aside from an online panel: phone
interviews, in person interviews and mail surveys to name a few. A big point of differentiation
for Dynamic was the speed at which they could field a survey and return the results. In order to
compete with larger, more established companies Dynamic had to ensure they were faster than
the other options.

Broadly speaking, all marketing research projects, including online surveys, consisted of five
steps: project sale, survey design, sampling, fielding and results. Most companies in the research
industry used all, or a combination of, these five steps.

Average
 Process
 Time
 Per
 Project:
 this
 chart
 describes
 the
 average
 amount
 of
 time
 each
 step
 of
 

the
 panel
 operations
 process
 takes
 for
 each
 project.
 

 
Panel Operations Process Dynamic Research RNS
Survey Design 3 hours 4 hours
Sampling 5 hours 8 hours
Fielding 4 hours 7 hours (fielding and results)
Results 2 hours
Total 14 hours 19 hours

Source: Dynamic Research Company Document

Dynamic saved these five hours across their business process:
1. Sale of the project – this part of the process was driven by either a Dynamic business

development associate or by a client. Business development was a separate division within
Dynamic Research which was responsible for bringing in new business. Most of the
interaction between the business development group and the panel operations group occurred
in this step.

2. Survey design – After a client signed a formal proposal with the business development group,
the business development person would pass the project on to a project manager to set up a
kickoff call to discuss the client’s objectives and to design a survey that would meet those
objectives. This was a very important step. If the project manager didn’t fully understand the
client’s objectives, the survey would not provide the necessary insights. An additional part of
this step was to pass the survey on to the programming department who would set up the
survey on a website and design the email invitation.

3. Sampling – In this step, the project manager would use Dynamic’s proprietary software to
create a list of the panelists who would be sent the survey invitation. Careful consideration
needed to be made so the survey was sent to the right type of panelists. For example, a survey

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

may be designed for only people under the age of 25. In this case, it was the project
manager’s job to make sure this restriction was enforced.

4. Fielding – This step involved sending the invitations out to the appropriate panelists and
monitoring the results as they came in. Most studies were designed so the client paid for a
specific number of completed survey results. The project manager was responsible for
sending out enough invitations to get the right number of completed responses.

5. Results – The final step in the process was to gather the survey results and deliver them to the
client. Depending on the client’s preference the project manager might also be required to
present the survey findings and insights to the client. For many of Dynamic’s project
managers, this was the most exciting step. It allowed them to analyze the data and show the
value of Dynamic to the client.

In addition, Dynamic’s process was responsive to rapid change requests. By having a single
person, the project manager, oversee a project from start to finish, Dynamic was able to make
quick changes in the survey or sampling plan in mid-project. It was often the case that a client
would design a survey and have it fielded by Dynamic, but then would want to add a question to
the survey or increase the number of respondents from a certain demographic group. Because the
project managers were familiar with all steps in the process, they could make these changes
quickly. This client centric approach quickly earned Dynamic a reputation for delivering “rapid,
reliable results.”

One other area of competitive advantage for Dynamic’s business was the panel care group. This
was a small, but crucial, group within Dynamic and consisted of five employees. The purpose of
the group was to ensure that the Dynamic panelists were receiving their incentives in a timely
manner and to answer any questions that a panelist might have. Although the process of
delivering incentives was mostly automated, there were some instances where a panelist believed
they deserved more money or an additional gift certificate for taking a survey. It was the panel
care group’s responsibility to resolve these issues and make sure the panelists had a pleasant
experience completing surveys for Dynamic. Also, in cases where a panelist was taking a survey
and got disconnected from the Internet, or had issues accessing a specific survey, the panel care
team would help them figure out what was wrong. The effective administration of these duties
was a key component in panelist retention, which in turn affected the company’s profitability.

The
 Integration
 Plan
 

 
From Atlas Group’s perspective, the panel integration was only a small piece of the overall
acquisition. In addition to acquiring RNS’ panel business, Atlas Group was also adding RNS’
consulting services, marketing agencies and a global infrastructure. Each of these additions
would make Atlas Group more competitive in the global markets. All of the communications that
Mark had received from Atlas Group management suggested that the Dynamic and RNS
integration should be the easiest and most readily profitable component of the overall
acquisition. In light of this, the goals that were set for Mark in terms of timing were very
aggressive. Mark had asked at several meetings if the one-year deadline was fixed, and was told
yes, and that the deadlines had been thoroughly considered and agreed upon by higher
management.

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Because the acquisition was a hostile takeover, and not approved by the RNS management,
Dynamic had to rely mostly on intuition with regard to how the panels were organized and how
they actually operated. Although Mark had a good sense of the general operations of the RNS
business, he didn’t have any information other than what was publicly available. This made it
especially hard to develop a meaningful integration plan. As they would later find out, the
corporate structures of the two organizations were radically different. As Mark put it, “when it
came to designing an integration plan, we were totally in the dark. Many of our plans amounted
to assumptions and informed guesses.” Mark began by creating a formal plan for the integration
with a timeline and goals for everyone involved. However, this proved particularly difficult
without prior access to RNS’ management or operations staff. In the end, he decided to approach
the integration from two perspectives: operations and human resources. He put Greg Burnell, the
Senior Vice President of project managers at Dynamic in charge of integrating the two
companies operationally and tasked Kelly Whalen, the Senior Human Resources (HR) manager
with handling the HR related issues (See Exhibit 3 for complete bios of the key players
involved).

The lack of information was compounded by the tight timeline in which Atlas Group expected
the integration to take place. They knew beforehand that RNS’ panel operations were run as a
cost center. This meant that the panel group did not deal with clients directly and was concerned
with minimizing costs rather than generating revenue. The general assumption of Atlas Group
management was that moving RNS’ panel under Dynamic would almost immediately provide the
resources to generate additional revenue. After all, Dynamic would have access to all of RNS’
US panelists and international panels. In theory, Dynamic would be able to double the number of
projects it could perform overnight. The increased size of the panel would also enable surveying
smaller segments of the population like the Hispanic market or young professionals which are
more difficult to get responses from. For example, the Hispanic population traditionally has low
panel participation rates. Having access to a larger percentage of Hispanics would provide
Dynamic with a larger sample resulting in more rigorous research among this population.
Given the perceived ease with which Atlas Group expected Dynamic to be able to integrate the
two panel companies, a deadline for a complete merger was set for the end of 2010. Despite
Greg’s ten years of experience, he had never overseen a merger, let alone one of this scale,
before. In one of their first meetings, Greg presented some of his concerns to Mark.

“Mark, I know this is a big priority for us, but I’m uncomfortable with the deadline. I’ve
reviewed the information we have regarding RNS’ business, but there’s no description of how
their actual business process works. We know their panel group conducts surveys just like ours
does, but we have no idea what software they use and if it’s compatible with ours.”
“I agree”, Mark conceded, “but there’s no way to change the integration timing. Atlas
management has been very clear with me. We have to get this done within a year. Let’s focus on
setting up a training manual for RNS employees so they have a sense of how we operate, and just
plan to have them adopt our software and process. They run their panel business as a cost center
so my guess is that their process will be less efficient and profit driven than ours.”
As both Greg and Mark were senior management, a sizeable part of their compensation was paid
in bonuses, and the progress of the integration would have a direct impact on this.

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

RNS:
 
 Welcome
 to
 Dynamic
 

 
In June of 2009 the Atlas Group/RNS deal was officially completed. The first step Mark took
after the acquisition was to fly to the RNS office in Buffalo, NY to meet with the management
team. Two of the key players on the RNS side were Kevin Lacy, SVP of Sampling and Evan
Malley, VP of Panel Care. Mark communicated to the management team that based on their
preliminary analysis the integration should be entirely constructive, that is, they didn’t expect to
downsize the Buffalo office. Additionally, Mark met with the full Buffalo group of 100
employees and provided his initial outline for the timing and process of integrating the two
companies. He also spent some time talking with individual employees, answering questions and
educating the RNS staff on Dynamic’s history and processes.

In his initial management meetings, Mark’s main focus was to learn more about the business
operations and processes of RNS. He also communicated the end goal of having the integration
completed within a year. He outlined three broad phases of the integration: information
gathering, transition and completion. The first phase would allow the managers of both groups to
share necessary information about their operations, the second phase would incorporate the best
practices of each organization, and the final phase would be the implementation of the combined
best practices. Other than the final deadline of one year, it wasn’t clear how long each of the three
phases would take. In his one-on-one meetings, Mark asked about the background and education
of the RNS staff, and offered to answer any questions they had about Dynamic (See Exhibit 3 for
detailed bios).

In an August 2009 meeting with Kevin, dramatic differences in structure became apparent (See
Exhibit 4 for a comparison of the organizational charts). The very flat, but centralized structure
of Dynamic had always contributed to fast information dissemination and allowed Mark and his
management team to make changes that were quickly implemented across Dynamic.

RNS on the other hand was very decentralized. Each of their international and industry-specific
panels was run independently, and in practice used different methods. This made multi-national
projects a painful process. The US operations, which were by far the largest, were run out of the
Buffalo office. In contrast to the Dynamic model, RNS had several layers of management due to
the way in which the panel process was designed. Unlike Dynamic, whose project managers
handled the entire process, RNS was set up in a more task oriented fashion. For each of the major
steps in the operations process, RNS had a task leader who managed a group of specialists. This
task leader reported to a more generalist manager who reported to a VP. The VP then reported to
a regional SVP and the SVP reported to the CEO.

The differences in the structure of the two groups forced Mark to add several extra steps to his
integration plan. The most important of these steps was to require RNS employees to adopt the
Dynamic Research business process. Mark had communicated in meetings that in order to keep
the flexibility and profitability that were core elements of Dynamic’s strategy, the RNS staff was
going to have to adjust. As part of the process by which RNS would adopt Dynamic’s business
process, Mark decided to set up a meeting with Kevin in September of 2009. The goal of this
meeting was to talk openly with Kevin and determine the areas where RNS employees would be
most likely to object.

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

As Kevin explained it to Mark, RNS employees were proud of their panel approach. They placed
a great deal of importance on managing the panel in the most efficient and high-quality way.
Some of their practices were in direct conflict with those at Dynamic. For example, each panel
company had to set a limit on the number of times each month that they would invite their
panelists to take a survey. Invite a panelist too often and they became overwhelmed with spam
email – invite them infrequently and they forgot about the panel and became inactive. RNS’
target for invitations per panelist was five per month. Dynamic’s target was closer to 15. At RNS
they would regularly tell a client that they were unable to perform a study because their panelists
were being overused. The concept of turning a client away was something that Dynamic had
rarely even considered. From RNS’ perspective, it was better to turn a project away than to
compromise the integrity of the panel. Either the client could wait a month to run the study or
they could take their business elsewhere and face questionable results.

In order to best manage the transition from RNS’ task oriented operations to Dynamic’s project
based operations model, Mark and Kevin decided to hold a two-week intensive training session
for all RNS staff. This would be a basic intro to all aspects of the project manager
responsibilities. They also set up a formal mentoring program which would allow RNS
employees to shadow their Dynamic Research counterparts, and have a specific person to go to
with any questions or concerns that came up along the way. Kevin decided it would be best to
transition only a few of the more senior RNS people at a time so they could learn what the
biggest areas of difficulty were, and how to improve the training and transition process. They
initially took three people, one from each team in the RNS process so they would be able to tell
which RNS teams would have the easiest and most difficult process of transitioning. Kevin had
always had a great relationship with Sharon Kaplan the head of RNS’ sampling team and asked
her to be one of the first to transition.

Managing
 The
 New
 Organization
 

 
After the acquisition, Mark set up monthly check-in meetings with Kevin, Evan and Greg. This
way, he could get feedback on the integration from both the RNS side as well as from someone
originally at Dynamic. Some of the first issues that came up in these meetings were demographic
in nature. The RNS employees were, on average, ten years older than their Dynamic
counterparts. In part, this was driven by RNS’ history. RNS had been in the survey business for
over 20 years. Many of the employees had been conducting surveys when the only option was
either in-person or mail versions. These employees had stayed with RNS as it grew and changed.
Within each specific task group, the employees worked very closely together which resulted in a
strong sense of camaraderie and trust. On average, once an employee joined the RNS panel
group, they stayed with that group for seven years. There were a handful of current managers
who had started as entry level employees when the panel group was founded, and had worked
their way up the corporate ladder. However, the task based structure meant that people rarely
worked with employees from another group, so each task group had a unique sub-culture and
way of doing things.

Dynamic on the other hand had only been around since 2001. Many of its employees were recent
college grads who saw the Internet and online methodologies as the only way of conducting

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

business. In keeping with its flat organization structure, Dynamic was an up or out type
organization. Project managers typically stayed in that role for two to three years and then either
got promoted or left the company for another position, many times within the Atlas Group.
Dynamic’s offices were also run in a more casual manner. There was a very loose dress code,
nearly all employees worked in open cubicles and the offices typically closed early on Fridays
during the summer. People decorated their cubicles in unique ways and there was a lot of post-
work socializing.

Work hours were also a point of contention. Dynamic had always been run with a strong client-
oriented approach; which sometimes required employees to work longer than a 40 hour work
week. It wasn’t rare for a handful of project managers to be working past seven at night in order
to get a survey programmed or to finalize a presentation for a client that was due on a tight
timeline. The RNS office was used to a traditional nine to five work schedule and employees
were paid overtime for working over a 40 hour work week. At Dynamic most employees,
including the project managers, were salaried which meant that overtime wasn’t available. For
many of the RNS staff, the switch from hourly to salaried meant an increase in pay, but also an
increase in hours. For example, an RNS sampling employee might have earned $15 an hour
($31,200 annually) before the acquisition, but earn $20 per hour afterward ($41,600 annually).
Dynamic also offered performance based bonuses for employees that really went above and
beyond. Although the RNS employees stood to make a fair deal more under Dynamic, they no
longer had as much freedom with their schedule as they used to have.

A
 Confrontation
 
In January 2010, six months after the acquisition, Kevin was conducting a routine check-in
meeting with Greg and Sharon to see how the transition process was coming along.

“My people are being overworked and considerably more stressed
out than they should be,” Sharon complained. “They’re being
forced to take on new responsibilities, work longer hours, and
we’re not getting the type of support we need from the Dynamic
group. No one wants to have to work late just because a client says
they need something.”

“Hold on a minute”, Greg countered, “my people have made
themselves available to your team. It’s not our fault your team
doesn’t want to work hard.”

“We don’t mind working hard, but your people would rather rush
through a job to meet an arbitrary client deadline than take the time
to properly check the data we’re working with. Most of my team
has been working with survey data for over ten years. We know
what it takes to do the job right. You guys on the other hand, some
of you have only been doing this for two years! Even in the short
time I’ve been working with you, I’ve noticed project managers
leaving the company and new ones being hired. Your group

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

doesn’t show us the respect we deserve or even acknowledge that
there are some areas where we know more than they do.”

“Well I respect the fact that your people have more experience in
some areas but that doesn’t give them the right to talk down to my
people.”

“Hold on, hold on” Kevin said, “This is getting us nowhere, let’s
try to come up with a list of the top three issues that you’re both
experiencing and we’ll see what we can do about them.”

After taking a few minutes to cool down, Greg and Sharon were able to summarize their joint
concerns as follows:

Meeting
 Notes
 From
 Mark’s
 Discussion
 With
 Greg
 &
 Sharon
 

 

Greg’s List Sharon’s List
Lack of Client Skills. The RNS employees
were uncomfortable working directly with
clients. Some of the project managers had
pushed back too forcefully on clients with
regard to timelines. The ability to quickly turn
around a project was one of the reasons clients
chose to work with us.

Too Client Driven. Clients don’t always
understand that good research takes time. We
didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of our data
just to hit an arbitrary client deadline. In our
experience, clients would rather wait an
additional week for a request, and have it
done right, than have sub-par data delivered
quickly.

The salespeople complained that RNS project
managers didn’t have the “can-do” approach
to completing projects. Dynamic project
managers and salespeople often worked
together to outline the details of a project so
that human resources were distributed in a
way that meets all client needs. The RNS
project managers often struggled with this
collaborative approach.

The Dynamic salespeople were too pushy.
Our project managers have been working in
this industry a lot longer, and they know how
to execute a successful project. The
salespeople don’t need to babysit them.

Slow response time. The RNS employees took
longer to complete many of the general
process items like expense reports, timesheets
and invoices. Both the accounting and HR
departments have complained.

Lack of understanding of the Dynamic
processes. The few days of training that were
provided were not sufficient. Actually
incorporating this training into our daily
routine takes time. We also didn’t have the
same tools, like our old expense report
system, in place. Tasks that used to take us
only a few minutes might now take several
hours.

Kevin took note of each of these concerns and brought them to Mark. Mark had already set up
several training sessions with the RNS employees so they would have all the knowledge they

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

needed to perform their responsibilities. He had also set up a mentoring system in which each
new RNS project manager was matched with a Dynamic project manager so they could ask
questions and get suggestions. Mark tried to see what Greg thought of the situation.

“Greg, I don’t understand why the integration isn’t going better. We don’t have the luxury of
time for this to be taking so long. We’re on a deadline and we need people to work together to
get this done. We need to find a better way of engaging the new RNS project managers. I’d like
you to set up mandatory check-ins between the Dynamic and RNS staff. Since you’ve said that
only a couple of the RNS people have actually taken advantage of the optional mentoring
system, I’d like you to make it a requirement for anyone who can’t do it.”

In addition to the issues Kevin had raised, Mark also had to provide a solution for the combined
panel care group. Evan had recently brought to Mark’s attention that there were significant
redundancies between the Dynamic and RNS panel care groups. In keeping with his general
commitment of zero layoffs, Mark had expected that they would keep both the Dynamic and
RNS panel care divisions. However, as Evan explained, the RNS panel care group was run in a
more efficient manner, and it was significantly less expensive to hire call center workers in
Buffalo than in New Jersey.

Panel
 Care
 Comparison
 

 

Dynamic Research RNS
Number of Employees Five Seven
Incoming Calls/Emails per Day 800 850
Completed Calls/Emails per Day 738 850
Hours of Operation (less one hour for lunch) Eight am – Five pm Ten am – Five pm

Source: Dynamic Research Company Document

Evan suggested eliminating the Dynamic panel service group in an effort to cut costs.

“Mark, after spending a few weeks comparing the two panel care
groups it’s clear that RNS’ group works better. They handle more
calls per day, cost less and have similar satisfaction scores. We’d
have the capacity to handle the combined RNS and Dynamic call
volume by hiring a few more people, and it would certainly save
the company a significant amount of money.”

“This is some very compelling data, but I’m still not sure I want to
go down the path of layoffs. I know the Dynamic people work
really hard, and I’ve already committed to not laying anyone off.
Especially given that these are people I’ve worked with for a
while, I’m just afraid it will affect the office morale. People seem
to be on edge as it is. That said, I trust your opinion; why don’t you
make the decision.”

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Conclusion
 

 
Despite these setbacks, Mark was pleased with some aspects of the integration. He had, after all,
managed to overcome some pretty big obstacles and had so far had kept his promise not to lay
off any of the RNS staff. He had met with all of the new RNS staff – in one-on-one meetings
with Kevin and Evan, and in group meetings with the rest of the employees. He allowed the
Buffalo office to have its own summer outing, just like the one that Dynamic had in
Saddlebrook. This amounted to a free paid holiday sponsored by Dynamic. He had also ensured
that the RNS staff was paid comparable wages to Dynamic staff. For many of the RNS
employees this was a significant increase from what they were making at RNS. In some cases,
employees received a performance based bonus where previously there had been none. He had
hoped that these steps would create a sense of appreciation, or at least be seen as a positive
gesture.

But, the combined Dynamic/RNS company was still short of its revenue, market share and
expense goals. He also still faced a general lack of motivation from the RNS employees. Evan
admitted to Mark that he was surprised that many of their initiatives had met with lukewarm
results: “Integrating two companies is a tough business; I’m not sure what else you could do.”
Mark’s meeting with Atlas Group was scheduled for next week and he was going to be held
accountable for the poor financial results. Mark needed to develop a convincing plan as to how
he was going to turn things around.

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Exhibit
 1:
 Dynamic
 Research
 Holiday
 Survey
 Example
 

 
1. For this holiday season, are you spending more or less than last year?
I am spending more than last year
I am spending less than last year
I am spending about the same

2. Are you shopping with sales and bargains in mind?
Yes, I always do
Yes, but it doesn’t influence my final purchase decision
Sometimes, only if it is convenient
No, if I want something I’ll buy it regardless of price

3. Which type of payment do you use most often?
Cash
Debit
Credit
Check
Other

4. In the past 12 months has your usage of cash:

Increased a lot
Increased a little
Stayed about the same
Decreased a little
Decreased a lot

5. In the past 12 months has the number of checks that you have written:
Increased a lot
Increased a little
Stayed about the same
Decreased a little
Decreased a lot

6. In the past 12 months has your usage of debit:
Increased a lot
Increased a little
Stayed about the same
Decreased a little
Decreased a lot

7. In the past 12 months has your usage of credit:
Increased a lot
Increased a little
Stayed about the same
Decreased a little

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Decreased a lot

8. How do you typically make a credit card payment?
I always pay the balance in full
I pay the full balance whenever possible
I always pay the minimum amount due
I make payments whenever I can in various amounts
Don’t know

9. What type of credit card rewards do you earn? (Select all that apply)
[ROTATE ORDER. KEEP “I DO NOT EARN REWARDS” AT BOTTOM]

Cash
Gift certificates
Airline tickets (domestic flight within US)
Airline tickets (international flight)
Merchandise
Restaurant coupon
Theater tickets
Other entertainment
Hotel stay
Car rentals
Electronics
Presents for family or friends
Points to charity
I do not earn rewards

[DO NOT ASK IF “I DO NOT EARN REWARDS’ IS SELECTED IN Q9]
10. How have you changed the way you redeem credit card rewards?

Redeem MORE often
Redeem LESS often
Has not changed

11. And lastly, how do you think the US economy is performing these days?

Very good
Good
Neither good nor poor
Poor
Very poor
Don’t know

 
Source: Dynamic Research Company Document

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Exhibit
 2:
 Historic
 Income
 Statements
 and
 2009
 Pro
 Forma
 Income
 Statement
 Post
 Acquisition
 

Dynamic Research (2005-2008)
Dynamic Research & RNS
(2009)
Consolidated Income
Statement
North America
Financial Data 2005-2009

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Revenue $60,000 $83,062 $104,873 $96,608 $160,933

Gross Margin $39,757 $45,181 $49,613 $49,451 $93,070

Staff Costs $13,219 $14,230 $15,813 $16,046 $20,041

Other Costs $12,304 $17,845 $16,923 $18,056 $37,149

Operating Costs $25,522 $32,074 $32,736 $34,102 $57,190

Operating Profit 14,234 13,106 16,877 15,349 35,880

Source: Dynamic Research Company Document

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Exhibit
 3:
 Personnel
 Biographies
 

 
Mark Thompson, Dynamic CEO
Mark started at Dynamic Research in 2001 after working for the US Navy and Honeywell. He
started his career at Dynamic as a senior financial analyst, working his way up to CFO and later
US CEO. Having been a founding member of Dynamic, he was incredibly proud of the progress
the company had made over the past 8 years. He recognized the incredible opportunity the RNS
acquisition represented to Dynamic’s business and wanted to make sure the integration goes
smoothly.

Greg Burnell, Dynamic VP of Project Managers
Greg has been with Dynamic for 5 years. He started his career in marketing research 10 years
ago as a VP at Forrester Research, a technology research company. Although he and Mark have
only worked together directly for 2 years, Greg was very impressed with all of the progress
Dynamic has shown under Mark’s leadership. Greg understood that there would be complications
throughout the RNS integration, but was very surprised at the specialized, but limited,
knowledge of most of the RNS staff. He respected that some of the employees, like Sharon, had
more subject matter expertise than he did, but found it increasingly frustrating that they were so
inflexible. To him, it was clear that the Dynamic business model made sense, but even after the
integration many of the RNS employees were unwilling to make significant changes in how they
worked.

Kevin Lacy, RNS, SVP North America
Kevin had worked for RNS nearly his whole career – almost 25 years. He had started in the
survey design group, but had been moved around over the years to several different groups. Ten
years ago he was placed in a management position for the sampling group. It was in this role that
he and Sharon first worked together directly. Since then, he and Sharon have kept a very strong
relationship although Kevin continued to be promoted into more senior positions. Just prior to
the acquisition, Kevin was promoted to the SVP in charge of all sampling within RNS. Because
of his knowledge of other areas of RNS’ operations outside of sampling, Mark appointed Kevin
to head up the acquired RNS group. Kevin was pleased with his new role, but knew that his
career path within RNS was somewhat unique. Most of his colleagues had experience with one,
maybe two, different groups within the organization and that would make the transition to the
Dynamic business model very challenging. He also knew that for many RNS employees, the
integrity and data quality of the panel were the primary source of job satisfaction. They were
used to being the best in the industry at managing a panel, and even though the company had
been having a few tough years financially, most people were still happy in their jobs because
they felt they were the best there was. It was quite a change to be part of an organization that
rather than prizing the way they operated, was actively trying to change it.

Evan Malley, RNS, VP of Panel Care
Evan was relatively new to the RNS organization having only been there for 8 years. He was
hired directly into a management position at RNS and had been responsible for their panel care
operations. Although he liked his role at RNS and respected the company, he was one of the few
employees that were openly excited about the Dynamic acquisition. He felt that RNS needed a
new direction in order to turn their business around, and although the Dynamic business model

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

represented a significant change, he thought it was worth a try. Over the past few years, business
at RNS had fallen off, and as the company’s revenue fell, so did his bonus. This was in spite of
the fact that he had been able to reduce costs and increase efficiency within the panel care group.
When he initially met with Mark, he was impressed with how he had managed the Dynamic
business, and looked forward to having a productive relationship with him. After managing the
joint Dynamic/RNS panel care group, he was sure that the RNS group was more efficient, but
was concerned how Mark might react to this finding. He knew it would be tough for a CEO to
lay off his own people in place of the newly acquired group.

Sharon Kaplan, RNS, Director of Sampling
Sharon started her career at RNS in 1986. She had spent the majority of her 20+ years working in
the sampling team, and knew more than most people how to conduct a sample plan and how
rigorous the process should be. Sharon has several senior sampling managers reporting directly
to her and several junior employees below them. She had always been happy doing her job and
slowly moving up within the organization. However, the recent events had made her very
cautious. She was particularly hesitant about the long term effects of the acquisition. She knew
that Dynamic offered a means of growing their panel and creating the premiere global panel
company, but worried that the values and processes that RNS prized were not the same as the
ones Dynamic did. Based on her experience, Sharon felt it was impossible for one person to
understand how to correctly design a survey, interact with the client, draw the sample and
monitor it in the field. It just wasn’t possible for one person to manage the entire process and still
do a good job. These concerns made it hard for her to focus on her job. It was especially
frustrating that Kevin, who she had always had a great working relationship with, seemed to be
siding with Greg over her on several issues.

Source: Dynamic Research Company Document

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Exhibit
 4:
 Organizational
 Charts
 

 
RNS
 Organizational
 Chart
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The
 CASE
 Journal
 
  Dynamic
 Research:
 The
 Challenge
 of
 Acquisition
 
Volume
 [#],
 Issue
 [#],
 [Issue
 Date]
 

Combined
 Dynamic
 &
 RNS
 Organizational
 Chart
 

 

 

Source: Dynamic Research Company Document

Calculator

Calculate the price of your paper

Total price:$26
Our features

We've got everything to become your favourite writing service

Need a better grade?
We've got you covered.

Order your paper