IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION Regardless of their position within the organization, interviewee partners unanimously acknowledged the overarching importance of communication. Managers and employees pointed to the signiﬁcance of top-down information even before communication was explicitly raised as a topic in the interviews. Employees who were not actively involved in M&A decision-making processes but inﬂuenced by these decisions (thus including many middle managers) expected detailed and regular information updates from their superiors. If no such information was available, implicit and non-verbal cues were used to decode information. They felt that ‘something is going on’, but often they were not able to exactly deﬁne what it was: If you are sensitive, you realize that something is seething there. Signals come from diﬀerent sides. (I–14, §39)1 It was simply not foreseeable for employees. The upper elite, the upper management, is of course informed, but the normal worker has no information. He only feels something. Therefore, some big talks and rumours start to circulate. (I–11, §223) 8.2 THE ANNOUNCEMENT According to the chosen categorization of the M&A stages, the postmerger phase only starts after the oﬃcial announcement. Although this book mainly focuses on the post-merger stage, this section is devoted to the announcement. The reason is that the announcement was revealed to be one of the most important events. We found that the way the announcement was perceived by those aﬀected inﬂuences all the succeeding steps in the post-merger integration process. At the...
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