Advanced

Ambiguities Thereafter - An Interpretive Approach to Acquisitions

Risberg, Anette LU (1999) In Lund studies in economics and management 46.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen beskriver och analyserar hur människor som arbetar i ett företag som blir uppköpt upplever uppköpsprocessen. Författaren lyfter fram de många olika tolkningar och upplevelser som finns av uppköpet istället för att ge en homogen återgivning. Författaren hävdar att för att kunna förstå vad som händer i ett företag under en uppköpsprocess så måste man beakta de olika verkligheter och upplevelser som finns. Istället för att beskriva uppköpet i termer av kultur krockar, mostånd från de anställda och andra förenklade beskriviningar kan man förstå det i termer av mångtydigheter.
Abstract
While the human side of mergers and acquisitions is increasingly focused in both research and practice, it still suffers from several forms of oversimplifications. This study addresses the problem of how various employees interpret objectives, corporate identity and other meanings associated with the post-acquisition process, and what roles these multiple interpretations play during this critical process.



The overall purpose of the study is to contribute to the acquisition literature by using an ambi-guity approach to further the understanding of how employees interpret the post-acquisition process. This ambiguity approach is intended to highlight previously neglected aspects of mul-tiple interpretations in the... (More)
While the human side of mergers and acquisitions is increasingly focused in both research and practice, it still suffers from several forms of oversimplifications. This study addresses the problem of how various employees interpret objectives, corporate identity and other meanings associated with the post-acquisition process, and what roles these multiple interpretations play during this critical process.



The overall purpose of the study is to contribute to the acquisition literature by using an ambi-guity approach to further the understanding of how employees interpret the post-acquisition process. This ambiguity approach is intended to highlight previously neglected aspects of mul-tiple interpretations in the post-acquisition process--interpretations that are more or less incon-sistent and confusing. The concept of ambiguity is introduced here as a means to grasp the mul-tiple interpretations that occur in acquisitions. Unlike much present research which relies on stereotypical experiences gleaned from management, this study examines these ambiguities largely from an employee viewpoint. Rather than denying such inconsistencies and confusion through more or less simplified stereotypical interpretations (e.g., culture clashes), an ambigu-ity approach is used as a conceptual lens to bring these inconsistencies to the surface and ex-amine them as potential key characteristics for a more nuanced understanding of the human side of acquisitions.



Two acquisitions have been used as cases to illustrate ambiguities in acquisition processes. These cases turned out to be good examples of how previous acquisition research was insuffi-cient to understand the difficulties of this particular post-acquisition process. Interviews were conducted with people from both the acquiring as well as the acquired companies, with a focus on the acquired companies.



Case studies of these two acquisitions show the additional understanding that an ambiguity ap-proach can provide by embracing contradictory, confusing, and inconsistent employee inter-pretations instead of only capturing the employees’ shared experiences. Ambiguities of purpose and communication were particularly prevalent throughout the two post-acquisition processes. Moreover, the study found that the acquisition process is experienced very differently depend-ing on the person’s background, present situation, position, and other external factors. Some interpretations are unique to individuals, while others are shared in and between groups. The recognition of such ambiguities can shed new light and add important nuances to the under-standing of employee reactions to acquisitions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Prof. Napier, Nancy, Boise State University
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mergers, employee experiences, communication, Acquisitions, ambiguity, Organizational science, Organisationsteori
in
Lund studies in economics and management
volume
46
pages
262 pages
publisher
Lund University Press
defense location
Ekonomicentrum 3, sal 211
defense date
1999-02-18 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUSADG/SAEK--99/1046--SE
ISSN
0284-5075
ISBN
91-7966-554-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0722d702-e5e9-42e5-99cf-c9dd1ed4cba2 (old id 19042)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 07:44:39
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:53
@phdthesis{0722d702-e5e9-42e5-99cf-c9dd1ed4cba2,
  abstract     = {While the human side of mergers and acquisitions is increasingly focused in both research and practice, it still suffers from several forms of oversimplifications. This study addresses the problem of how various employees interpret objectives, corporate identity and other meanings associated with the post-acquisition process, and what roles these multiple interpretations play during this critical process.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The overall purpose of the study is to contribute to the acquisition literature by using an ambi-guity approach to further the understanding of how employees interpret the post-acquisition process. This ambiguity approach is intended to highlight previously neglected aspects of mul-tiple interpretations in the post-acquisition process--interpretations that are more or less incon-sistent and confusing. The concept of ambiguity is introduced here as a means to grasp the mul-tiple interpretations that occur in acquisitions. Unlike much present research which relies on stereotypical experiences gleaned from management, this study examines these ambiguities largely from an employee viewpoint. Rather than denying such inconsistencies and confusion through more or less simplified stereotypical interpretations (e.g., culture clashes), an ambigu-ity approach is used as a conceptual lens to bring these inconsistencies to the surface and ex-amine them as potential key characteristics for a more nuanced understanding of the human side of acquisitions.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Two acquisitions have been used as cases to illustrate ambiguities in acquisition processes. These cases turned out to be good examples of how previous acquisition research was insuffi-cient to understand the difficulties of this particular post-acquisition process. Interviews were conducted with people from both the acquiring as well as the acquired companies, with a focus on the acquired companies.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Case studies of these two acquisitions show the additional understanding that an ambiguity ap-proach can provide by embracing contradictory, confusing, and inconsistent employee inter-pretations instead of only capturing the employees’ shared experiences. Ambiguities of purpose and communication were particularly prevalent throughout the two post-acquisition processes. Moreover, the study found that the acquisition process is experienced very differently depend-ing on the person’s background, present situation, position, and other external factors. Some interpretations are unique to individuals, while others are shared in and between groups. The recognition of such ambiguities can shed new light and add important nuances to the under-standing of employee reactions to acquisitions.},
  author       = {Risberg, Anette},
  isbn         = {91-7966-554-3},
  issn         = {0284-5075},
  keyword      = {mergers,employee experiences,communication,Acquisitions,ambiguity,Organizational science,Organisationsteori},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {262},
  publisher    = {Lund University Press},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund studies in economics and management},
  title        = {Ambiguities Thereafter - An Interpretive Approach to Acquisitions},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {1999},
}