Role-bound actors in corporate combinations: a sociopolitical perspective on post-merger change processes

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/36913
Title: Role-bound actors in corporate combinations: a sociopolitical perspective on post-merger change processes
Author: Vaara, Eero
Abstract: Real-life experiences of corporate mergers often tell of disappointment in terms of the synergistic benefits that fail to appear, or the severe organisational problems that arise. Although many studies have provided empirical material on internal divisions among actors coming from the previously separate organisations, we still know little about the sociopolitical forces at work in the upper echelons of corporate hierarchies. It is suggested in this paper that an examination of the emergent role identities in the upper echelons of a new corporate hierarchy can help us to understand the nature of these sociopolitical forces. The empirical analysis concentrates on a revealing merger case where Finnish Ovako and Swedish SKF Steel first joined forces, but where their organisational marriage broke down five years later. This analysis illustrates how behaviour consistent with the enacted role identities can create contradictory sociopolitical forces, and how this can lead to increasing tension and severe open conflict. The analysis suggests that a favourable turn in the business cycle is a condition that can easily hide such divisions with dramatic consequences later on.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/36913
Date: 2012-09-25
Subject: merger
integration:organisational change
corporation
role
identity


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