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 7: Emotions

Verena Kusstatscher and Cary L. Cooper

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


Research has shown that organizational changes are always connected with emotional experiences (for example, Antonacopoulou and Gabriel, 2001; Carr, 2001; Cartwright and Cooper, 1994; Huy, 2002; Kiefer, 2002b; Marks and Mirvis, 2001; Mossholder et al., 2000; Paterson and Cary, 2002). Most of these studies have either looked at change processes in general management contexts, focused on other dimensions than emotions, or simply analysed negative emotions. According to Kiefer (2002b), experiences are always interwoven with emotions, certain themes and related behaviour. These constitute the parts of her analysis when studying emotional experiences. Kiefer directly asked interviewees which emotions were predominant during the previous six months, what were the causes and what were the consequences of the emotions mentioned. In the present study, however, another approach was chosen. For individuals who are not very aware of their and others’ emotions and of the causes and effects of their emotions, Kiefer’s approach is considered too advanced. Awareness of one’s and others’ emotions constitutes an important part of the concept of emotional intelligence, according to several authors (for example, Bar-On and Parker, 2000; Goleman, 1995; Humber, 2002; Mayer and Salovey, 1993; Salovey and Mayer, 1990). It might be better to acknowledge that not every interview partner is highly emotionally intelligent on this specific dimension. The pre-test interviews further revealed that individuals do not easiliy recall emotions per se, but recall them in connection with certain events or themes. This is in line with prior research (Kiefer, 2002b; Rafaeli and Worline, 2001). Therefore...

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