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The purpose of this paper is to advance micro-level theorising of sociocultural post-merger integration (PMI) by merging insights from international business and management research on the cognitive and affective dimensions of PMI.Design/methodology/approachThe paper follows a narrative approach to review the previously separate literatures on cognition and emotion in PMI situations. It draws on insights from management research beyond the PMI context to integrate these literatures and as a result, develops a process model of emotional sensemaking in PMI.FindingsAn emotional sensemaking approach to PMI helps to explain when and why events might or might not motivate individuals to revisit their interpretation of a PMI and illustrates how and why similar PMI events can lead to opposite individual reactions and, thus, obtain heterogeneous integration outcomes.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper discusses how an emotional sensemaking approach can be applied to sociocultural PMI and points to new directions for future studies based on this application. As the model concentrates on the individual level, theoretical implications for sociocultural PMI at the meso- and macro-levels remain limited.Originality/valueThis paper brings forward the dynamics that underlie the processes and outcomes of individuals’ behaviour and reactions to PMI events. The proposed process model of emotional sensemaking in PMI responds to recent calls by sociocultural PMI scholars to promote a processual rather than event-based view of PMI, with a focus on individual actors and an emphasis on the multifaceted dynamics and outcomes of PMI.
critical perspectives on international business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 12, 2021
Keywords: Cognition; Sensemaking; Emotion; Post-merger integration; Micro-level theorising
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