Cultural identity tensions in a post-acquisition organization

Gerald L. Pepper, Gregory S. Larson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    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
    Volume34
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2006

    Keywords

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

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