Sources of Resistance to Mergers Between Groups

Sources of Resistance to Mergers Between Groups Workers involved in a business merger often display strong ingroup/outgroup biases that can threaten the merger's success. Social identity theory helps to explain why and when such problems will occur. Using that theory, strong cohesion and successful performance were identified as two characteristics of a workgroup that should increase its resistance to a merger. An experiment involving mergers between small task groups was conducted to test this claim. Each group's cohesion and performance was used to predict its enthusiasm for a merger before it occurred, and any ingroup/outgroup biases that it displayed afterwards. Cohesion was unrelated to either of these measures, but as we predicted, more successful groups were less enthusiastic and displayed stronger biases. Relative rather than absolute success was an especially good predictor of merger resistance. The results were discussed within the context of social identity theory, which generated several suggestions for further research on business mergers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Social Psychology Wiley

Sources of Resistance to Mergers Between Groups

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0021-9029
eISSN
1559-1816
DOI
10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb01549.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Workers involved in a business merger often display strong ingroup/outgroup biases that can threaten the merger's success. Social identity theory helps to explain why and when such problems will occur. Using that theory, strong cohesion and successful performance were identified as two characteristics of a workgroup that should increase its resistance to a merger. An experiment involving mergers between small task groups was conducted to test this claim. Each group's cohesion and performance was used to predict its enthusiasm for a merger before it occurred, and any ingroup/outgroup biases that it displayed afterwards. Cohesion was unrelated to either of these measures, but as we predicted, more successful groups were less enthusiastic and displayed stronger biases. Relative rather than absolute success was an especially good predictor of merger resistance. The results were discussed within the context of social identity theory, which generated several suggestions for further research on business mergers.

Journal

Journal of Applied Social PsychologyWiley

Published: Jul 1, 1994

References

  • Contextual‐effects models: Theoretical and methodological issues
    Blalock, Blalock
  • Social identification and permeability of group boundaries
    Ellemers, Ellemers; Knippenberg, Knippenberg; Vries, Vries; Wilke, Wilke
  • Expectations for postcombination organizational life: A study of responses to merger and acquisition scenarios
    Rentsch, Rentsch; Schneider, Schneider
  • Twenty major issues in remarriage families
    Walsh, Walsh
  • The effects of task and interpersonal cohesiveness on performance of a disjunctive group task
    Zaccaro, Zaccaro; McCoy, McCoy

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