On any merger or acquisition transaction, the due diligence checklist can be a long and daunting document. From checking on material contracts and inventory, to reviewing IP and financials, the diligence process helps a buyer get a firm grasp on the tangible assets being bought and the contingent liabilities that may be lurking.

But aside from the operational, financial and legal aspects of due diligence, there's another critical area that sometimes gets short shrift:  culture.

The notion of doing "cultural due diligence" on a merger was one of the interesting topics discussed earlier this week at the annual M&A, Deals & Dealmakers Awards event in downtown Grand Rapids. The event is hosted by local business publication MiBiz and the Western Michigan chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. Peter Mogk, a senior partner at Detroit-based private equity firm Huron Capital told the audience that understanding the culture of an acquisition target is " very important part of what we do and, really, it's one of the fundamental things we assess." Each of the other 5 panelists also offered his take on cultural due diligence and how to actually go about it.

The MiBiz story is here.  And if you're up for a laugh, watch this humorous video that was shown at the event.