Employee Experiences of Acquisition Processes

Risberg, Anette
March 2001
Journal of World Business;Spring2001, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p58
Academic Journal
This paper addresses multiple employee interpretations during acquisition processes. The overall purpose of the paper is to use an ambiguity approach to further the understanding of how employees interpret the postacquisition process. Unlike much of the present research, which relies on stereotypical experiences gleaned from management, this study examines acquisitions largely from an employee viewpoint. Rather than denying inconsistencies and confusion through more or less simplified stereotypical interpretations, an ambiguity approach is used as a conceptual lens to bring these inconsistencies to the surface and examine them as potential key characteristics for a more subtle understanding of the human side of acquisitions. An ambiguity approach can thus help managers during acquisitions by raising the awareness of the existence of ambiguity and multiple interpretations of the acquisition process. For example, it can help to avoid illusions of familiarity that nearby cultures and acquisitions within the industry may bring about. Such illusions could add to ambiguous interpretations. Awareness of ambiguity can also bring managers to focus on issues that may risk losing key people in the acquired company.


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