Managing Emotions in Mergers and Acquisitions
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Managing Emotions in Mergers and Acquisitions

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.
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Chapter 9: Managerial Behaviour

Verena Kusstatscher and Cary L. Cooper


Many statements in the interviews confirmed that the behaviour of leading people had a considerable impact on employees’ emotions. And since emotions are the driving force for actions (according to the definition of emotion), employees’ emotional states influence their readiness to contribute to merger or acquisition success. The case of Schwarzkopf provided especially clear evidence for these connections. One department of Austrian Schwarzkopf was closed down a few months after the takeover by Henkel. One of the remaining departments had a written promise from Henkel that they would not be closed down if they performed well. Two years later, although the department had put in extra efforts and achieved good financial results, they learned that they would be closed down as well. Interviewees reported that the atmosphere in the post-acquisition stage was completely different in two diverse departments with two different managers. These managers were considered equal in terms of their professional knowledge, but different in their personalities: the first had difficulties dealing with his co-workers during the challenging period of organizational ‘downsizing’. He was introverted, was perceived as ‘quiet’, ‘distant’ and difficult to approach. Employees reported that he used to show a ‘poker face’, and nobody really knew how to interpret it. His reserved behaviour increased employees’ uncertainties and speculations. They felt frustrated and demotivated, started to look for other jobs and to steal office properties such as paintings from the company. In the other case, the head of...

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