Cultural identity tensions in a post-acquisition organization

Gerald L. Pepper, Gregory S. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study examines the problems associated with cultural integration in the aftermath of a corporate acquisition. Based on focus groups and one-on-one interviews with members of a post-acquisition organization (PAO), the results reveal three identity tensions used by organization members to reconcile conflicting pulls toward identification and disidentification: collaboration/competition, assimilation/autonomy, and consensus/command. Findings indicate that members across the four sites of the PAO reconcile these identity tensions differently, resulting in more evidence of disidentification at the two sites that had been acquired by the larger organization, than at the other two sites which had been long-standing locations of the acquiring organization. Implications are discussed relative to cultural and identity issues during periods of organization mergers and acquisitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-71
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Disidentification
  • Identification
  • Identity Tensions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Organizational Culture


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