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Post-acquisition Integration as Sensemaking: Glimpses of Ambiguity, Confusion, Hypocrisy, and Politicization

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  • Eero Vaara
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    Abstract

    Though many studies have examined post-acquisition integration challenges, they have mainly focused on rationalistic explanations for the difficulties encountered in post-acquisition integration. There remains little knowledge of how the 'irrational' features of post-acquisition decision-making may impede organizational integration. This study attempts to bridge that gap by examining post-acquisition decision-making from a sensemaking perspective. The paper presents an in-depth analysis of a merger between a large Finnish furniture manufacturer and three smaller Swedish furniture companies. By focusing on the sensemaking processes surrounding integration issues, we uncover four interrelated tendencies that illuminate why the frequent problem of slow progress during post-acquisition integration occurs: inherent ambiguity concerning integration issues; cultural confusion in social interaction and communication; organizational hypocrisy in integration decision-making; and the politicization of integration issues. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2003.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (06)
    Pages: 859-894

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:4:p:859-894

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380

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    Cited by:
    1. Loréa Hireche Baiada & Lionel Garreau, 2014. "The dynamics of ethical judgment: an essay of modelization," Post-Print halshs-01009718, HAL.
    2. Bjursell, Cecilia, 2011. "Cultural divergence in merging family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 69-77, June.
    3. Loréa Hireche Baiada & Lionel Garreau, 2014. "Exploring the dynamics of ethical judgment: The Sensemaking-Based Evolution Model," Post-Print halshs-01009708, HAL.
    4. Albert Banal-Estañol & Jo Seldeslachts, 2009. "Merger failures," Economics Working Papers 1192, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
      • Albert Banal-Estañol & Jo Seldeslachts, 2005. "Merger Failures," CIG Working Papers SP II 2005-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).

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