Post-acquisition Integration as Sensemaking: Glimpses of Ambiguity, Confusion, Hypocrisy, and Politicization
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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Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
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