In the Aftermath of an Acquisition: Triggers and Effects on Perceived Organizational Identity

Sarah Kovoor-Misra and Marlene A. Smith
The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science Vol. 44, Issue 4, p. 422-444

This study examines how the POIs of members of an online retail organization were affected after an acquisition. The authors find that (a) POI is more complex than previously understood, and continuity, change and confusion in POI can coexist. (b) The organizational change reactivated previously unresolved POI issues. (c) The structure of POI includes cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions, and changes occurred in these dimensions. (d) Top managers and employees who have more interactions with outsiders in their jobs tend to be more confused and make less POI change than employees who primarily deal with internal operations. Finally, (e) the image of the acquired organization and the change strategies used are triggers of POI confusion and/or change in the acquiring organization. This article highlights the experience of individuals in the acquiring organization and suggests that POI is an important lens for understanding and managing organizational changes.