Managing Emotions in Mergers and Acquisitions

Managing Emotions in Mergers and Acquisitions

New Horizons in Management series

Verena Kusstatscher and Cary L. Cooper

This fascinating book explains how managerial behaviour and communication styles influence the emotions of employees and affect their readiness to contribute to a successful post-merger integration. It combines emotion theories from other disciplines with recent M & A findings, and offers practical implications through illustrative case studies.

Chapter 4: Emotions in Post-Merger Integration

Verena Kusstatscher and Cary L. Cooper

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


We have already mentioned in the context of the merger syndrome that the announcement of a merger or an acquisition can elicit deep emotions. M&As can be considered as a change of social identity. We also explained that the perception of one’s identity has an emotional component. The creation or change of identity is therefore always connected with emotions. However both M&A research and research on social identity theory are still largely ignoring the emotional component. Only very recent literature in both fields considers emotions. In order to contribute to the closing of this gap, it seems necessary to discuss first some theoretical bases of emotions (section 4.1). The few noticeable exceptions of M&A studies that explicitly focus on emotions will be summarized in section 4.2. The two subsequent sections present M&As as a cause of emotions (4.3) and emotions as a reason for certain M&A outcomes (4.4). In section 4.5 a comprehensive conceptual framework will be developed which incorporates emotions. The framework is built on cognitive appraisal theory and social identity theory as well as the merger syndrome. 4.1 THEORETICAL BASES The terms ‘emotion’, ‘feeling’, ‘mood’ and ‘affect’ are widely used in daily conversations as well as in research. It would seem fair to assume that everybody knows what these phenomena are about. However a first attempt to define these terms showed that this is not the case (Wenger et al., 1962). Currently there is no unanimously accepted definition, for emotions...

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