• Josefine Andrea Stokholm Jørgensen
4. semester, Sociologi (cand.scient.soc), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The socio-cultural element in integration processes has been identified as one of the main issues that may help explain the failure of many mergers and acquisitions. In spite of the fact that cultural and individual elements are highlighted as the key to successful integration, they most often appear as neglected and deprioritized aspects that receive little attention in practice.
In the context of an acquisition between two companies the initial phase of the integration of 87 consultants is analyzed through the concept of organizational identity. Focusing on the socio-cultural and individual aspects, organizational identity appears as the theoretical perspective in which it is possible to identify the main components that are (in)effective in terms of achieving a successful socio-cultural integration. This study attempts to examine the role played by the construction of a common organizational identity, through a realistic evaluation approach as a framework for enhancing the success of the integration. The realistic evaluation model offers a way of designing and evaluating inter-organizational changes by including context, mechanisms, and processes and generating knowledge about what works for whom, under what circumstances, and how. Combining local contextual factors such as three dimensions of management communication and the employees’ readiness for change as mechanisms, this study takes on a retrospective examination of the potentials and barriers of the integration process in terms of the development of a common organizational identity. The empirical foundation of the evaluation is a mixed method study, consisting of: 1) a questionnaire for all employees where the contextual factors and mechanisms were measured by validated scales using a healthy change process index (HCPI), 2) three focus group interviews utilized as a means to discover the employee experiences concerning the integration process and how this process creates either opportunities or constraints in the development of a common new organizational identity.
Overall, the realistic evaluation shows that the integration process has not led to the development of a common organizational identity. The empirical analysis shows that the crucial barrier, which has limited the formation of a common organizational identity, is in fact the employees’ lack of physical contact and professional affiliation to other employees because of organizational isolation. Additional barriers appear in the sense of employee dissatisfaction with management communication, which, as a consequence of lack of visible leadership, lack of information and lack of involvement has resulted in increased job insecurity.
In spite of this, the empirical evidence shows that these factors have not triggered the resistance to integration which was expected according to theory and in fact the employees continue to express great interest and hope to become an integrated part of the new company. This surprising result can be explained based on the employee characteristic of high readiness for change, which has been enhanced throughout the integration process and has been even further strengthened by contextual factors such as the prior poor working conditions at the former company. This evaluation thus substantiates the need for evaluations of organizational change to include process and contextual relations and not be limited by the fact that expected results would appear or not.
Udgivelsesdato7 aug. 2014
Antal sider142
ID: 204034849