Scheduling cooperative postmerger decisions within a framework of uncertainty Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3t945t932

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  • A major problem confronting farmer cooperatives merging for the first time is the lack of valuable experience that a prior merger would have provided. This lack of experience results in a decision making environment of imperfect knowledge, both of the necessary postmerger activities to be performed and the timing of their performance. Thus, it was the purpose of this study to provide inexperienced cooperatives with a guide for scheduling uncertain postmerger decisions and activities. Such a guide will enable more rational postmerger decision making and more effective reorganization of merging businesses. The additional information was provided primarily from the historical records of an actual dairy cooperative case merger to which a technique known as PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) was applied to develop a prescriptive model of the postmerger activities and their scheduling for possible use in similar subsequent mergers. The major benefits from using a case study approach was pedagogical in the hope that the results would be more readily adopted in practical use than if a purely theoretical design were used. Furthermore, the results of the study are based on the supposition that the synergistic benefits are greatest when the length of the postmerger decision period is minimized. Uncertainty is alleviated through planning and PERT is a planning tool that can be used to minimize project completion time. However, by applying PERT to historical data much can be learned from the experience of a previous merger. The results of applying PERT to a posteriori case study data provided a prescriptive guide for scheduling postmerger decisions and activities. More specifically, PERT determined the key performance areas of marketing and personnel to be of critical significance following the decision to merge. These areas were determined to be critical with respect to their constituent activity completion times; that is, the sequential activity path determined to be the longest occurred within the marketing and personnel areas. Thus, the expected completion times of the activities within these areas must not be prolonged in order that the merger may be completed on schedule. As determined by PERT, all other key performance areas in the case merger were not likely to become bottleneck areas during the postmerger decision period; basically their integration responsibility was one of converting the premerger procedures of the "acquired" cooperatives to that of the acquiring cooperative. Merging cooperatives can realize substantial savings from adapting the methods and findings of this study to their particular situation. Such a course of action will enable a more rapid completion of the postmerger decisions and activities and hasten the realization of the potential synergistic benefits.
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