10. M&A outcomes 10.1 EMPLOYEES’ IDENTIFICATION AND COMMITMENT In theory, identiﬁcation and commitment can be considered as two separate concepts. In the interviews, however, commitment implied identiﬁcation. Most of the time, identiﬁcation was expressed through commitment. Here, in the empirical part of the work, the two concepts identiﬁcation and commitment will therefore be presented together. The interviews revealed that in many cases organization members identify with their pre-merger company. It takes a long time until the employees of the two companies really feel committed to the newly merged company, and until they develop a ‘we’ feeling: ‘We have a working colleague – it took her more than two years to say, “I am a Sportler-member”, in the sense of having internalized it. Superﬁcially she had already tried to say this earlier’ (I–9, §31). Most of the interviewees did not express ‘we’ identiﬁcations when talking about the whole merged organization. Zumtobel and Staﬀ are an exception. Two interviewees estimated that more then 80 per cent of the members would identify with Zumtobel Staﬀ as a whole. However it took them ten years to come to this common identity, and there are still a few members in both organizations who diﬀerentiate between ‘we’ and ‘them’. Respondents also claimed that the process could have happened much faster. The dramatic interventions and the changes only happened ﬁve years after the announcement. Five years for undertaking the ﬁrst big steps towards integration was considered far too long....
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