Teaching & Learning Guide for: Social Identity and Corporate Mergers

Steffen Giessner, J Ullrich, R van Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Corporate mergers require proper human resources management to reach their financial and strategic objectives and minimize negative consequences for employee well-being. Understanding the antecedents of employees' identification with the merged organization during the corporate merger is crucial, because stronger post-merger identification results in less conflict and higher levels of motivation. Unfortunately, employees often identify more strongly with their pre-merger organizations than with the merged organization. One influential approach to understanding the processes underlying organizational identification is the social identity approach (Tajfel & Turner, 1986; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987). Research applying this perspective to organizational mergers shows that levels of identification with the merged organization are partly explained by status and dominance differences of the involved organizations, by motivational threats and uncertainties during the merger, and by the representation of the post-merger identity. Leaders and managers of corporate mergers are able to influence these processes and, thus, to provide a path for successful merger integration. © 2011 The Authors. Social and Personality Psychology Compass
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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