Despite existing research examining snapshots of employee reactions to organizational mergers and acquisitions (M&A), there is a complete absence of work theorizing or exploring rates of change in employees’ organizational identification with the merged entity. We address this gap using two three-wave longitudinal panel samples from different M&A settings, tracking change in identification through a two-year period. Theorizing trajectories of change in identification across the organizations in both settings, we make predictions linked to expected antecedents of change in identification. Our research context (M&A-1) involves a merger of three Finish universities tracking 938 employees from each organization in three waves (nine months pre-merger to 24 months post-merger). Our second context (M&A-2) involves a multinational acquisition tracking 346 employees from both the acquired and acquiring organization in three waves (from two to 26 months post-acquisition). Using Latent Growth Modelling, we confirm predicted trajectories of change in identification. Across both samples, a linear increase (across Time 1, Time 2 and Time 3) in justice and linear decrease in threat perceptions were found to significantly predict a linear increase in identification across the post-M&A period. We discuss organizational identification development trajectories and how changes in these two antecedents account for changes in identification across M&A contexts.
- employee integration
- ongitudinal research
- mergers and acquisitions
- organisational identification
- organisational psychology