Weakened Agents of Strategic Change: Negative Effects of M&A Processeson Integration Managers

  •  Svante Schriber    


Traditional accounts of M&A emphasize employees as victims of unintended negative effects of integration,
resulting in poor motivation and productivity. In response, managers are seen as responsible for conducting
integration while at the same time considering the well-being of employees. However, little research attention
has been given the ability of integration managers to do so if they, too, suffer from low motivation and
productivity. This study therefore asks how managers are affected by acquisition processes. Taking a structured
approach to analyzing in-depth data from a Nordic acquisition it is shown that middle managers experience
several negative effects of M&A, however with some distinct features. Interpreted through the commonly
applied theoretical lens, the negative effects on integration managers should reduce their ability to successfully
lead integration, in turn contributing to explain the often poor performance of M&A.

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