Intercultural mergers and acquisitions as 'legitimacy crises' of models of capitalism: a UK-German case study.
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This article examines media discourse surrounding two UK-German intercultural business controversies: the takeover of the German company Mannesmann by the British company Vodafone in 1999, and the disposal of its British subsidiary Rover by its German parent company BMW in 2000. These controversies were framed in the media of both countries as part of a ‘clash of cultures of capitalism’, with the ‘Anglo- Saxon model’ on one side and the ‘German social model’ on the other, and can be seen as ‘legitimacy crises’ of the two models of capitalism involved. The article examines how cultural, economic and political discourses relating to globalization were used strategically by actors to deal with these crises, in order to legitimize a neoliberal transformation of the German model in the first case, and to legitimize a ‘rebranding’ of the UK model in line with a move from a concentration on manufacturing to a service economy in the second.