Organizational Identification at Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions: A Theoretical Concept

  • Ralf Bebenroth


This chapter proposes a theoretical framework for organizational identification of target employees at cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) on communication, training and consulting. Against the literature stating that all target employees will generally identify less with the new firm, it will be shown on Japan as a country of example that this is not automatically true. It depends on certain characteristics whether or not employees identify with their new bidder firm. For example it matters whether employees are in regularly employed positions. Possibly, non-regular employees might feel afraid of getting replaced. However, it is also thinkable that they may even stronger identify with their organization. Younger regular employees might see an acquisition more as a chance, to more fully use their talents effectively. This should count especially when taken over in a cross border deal where young talents may get more international exposure.


Organizational Identification Integration Period Target Firm Regular Employee Client Firm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aguilera RV, Dencker JC (2004) The role of human resource management in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Int J Hum Resour Manage 15(8):1355–1370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albert S, Whetten DA (1985) Organizational identity. In: Cummings LL, Staw MM (eds) Research in organizational behavior, vol 7. JAI, Greenwich, pp 263–295Google Scholar
  3. Ashforth BE, Mael FA (1989) Social identity theory and the organization. Acad Manage Rev 14:20–39Google Scholar
  4. Ashforth B, Harrison S, Corley K (2008) Identification in organizations: an examination of four fundamental questions. J Manage 34:325–74Google Scholar
  5. Bebenroth R (2003) Bewertung bei Akquisitionen japanischer Targetunternehmen—aus Sicht deutscher IndustrieunternehmenGoogle Scholar
  6. Bebenroth R (2009) Inbound M&A to Japan: cherry picking versus rescue mission? Kobe Econ Bus Rev 54:1–19Google Scholar
  7. Bresman H, Birkenshaw J, Nobel R (1999) Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions. J Int Bus Stud 30:439–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bryson J (2003) Managing HRM risk in a merger. Empl Relat 31:347–353Google Scholar
  9. Capron L (1999) The long-term performance of horizontal acquisitions. Strateg Manage J 20(11):987–1018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Child J, Faulkner D, Pitkethly R (2001) The management of international acquisitions. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Freud S (1955) The uncanny. In: Strachey J (ed) The standard edition of the complete psychological works of sigmund freud, 17, an infantile neurosis and other works. Vintage, London, pp 218–256Google Scholar
  12. Fukao K, Ito K, Kwon HU (2005) Do out-in M&As bring higher TFP to Japan? An empirical analysis based on micro-data on Japanese manufacturing firms. J Jpn Int Econ 19:272–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fukutani N, Dobashi M (2008) M&A tekitaiteki baishuu bouei kanzen manyuaru (Full manual against unfriendly acquisitions). Chuuo Keizai Sha, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  14. Gerpott TJ, Neubauer FB (2011) Integrationsgestaltung und Zusammenschlusserfolg nach einer Unternehmensakquisition—Eine empirische Studie aus Mitarbeitersicht. Z fuer Betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung (ZfBf) 63:118–154Google Scholar
  15. King DR, Dalton DR, Daily CM, Covin JG (2004) Meta-analyses of post-acquisition performance: indications of unidentified moderators. Strateg Manage J 25:187–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kirkmann BL, Lowe KB, Gibson CB (2006) A quarter century of culture’s consequences: a review of empirical research incorporating Hofstede’s cultural values framework. J Int Bus Stud 37:285–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kogut B, Zander U (1992) Knowledge of the firm, cominative capabilities and the replication of technology. Organ Sci 3:383–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Krug JA, Hegarty WH (2001) Research notes and commentaries: predicting who stays and leaves after an acquisition: a study of top managers in multinational firms. Strateg Manage J 22:185–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Larsson R, Finkelstein S (1999) Integrating strategic, organizational, and human resource perspectives on mergers and acquisitions: A case study of synergy realization, Organ Sci 10:1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Leroy F, Ramanantsoa B (1997) The cognitive and behavioral dimensions of organizational learning in a merger: an empirical study. J Manage Stud 34:871–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lubatkin M, Calori R, Very P, Veiga JF (1998) Managing mergers across borders: a two-nation exploration of a nationally bound administrative heritage. Organ Sci 9:670–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McBain R (1999) Human resource management. Manage Update 11(1):22–30Google Scholar
  23. Pease S, Paliwoda S, Slater J (2006) The erosion of stable shareholder practice in Japan (“Anteikabunushi Kosaku”). Int Bus Rev 15:618–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Penrose ET (1959) The theory of the growth of the firm. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Pratt MG (1998) To be or not to be: central questions in organizational identification. In: Whetten DA, Godfrey PC (eds) Identity in organizations: building theory through conversation. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 171–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Recof M&A Database, Print Issue, MARR, Febr. (2014) Mergers acquisition research report. Recof-data report (in Japanese language)Google Scholar
  27. Riketta M (2005) Organizational identification: a meta-analysis. J Vocat Behav 66:358–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schoenberg R (2006) Measuring the performance of corporate acquisitions: an empirical comparison of alternative metrics. Br J Manage 17:361–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stahl KG, Voight A (2008) Do cultural differences matter in mergers and acquisitions? A tentative model for examination. Organ Sci 19(1):160–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stahl KG, Mendenhall ME, Weber Y (2005) Research on sociocultural integration in mergers and acquisitions: points of agreement, paradoxes, and avenues for future research. In Stahl GK, Mendenhall ME (eds) Mergers and acquisitions: managing culture and human resources. Stanford Business Books, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  31. Styhre A, Boerjesson S, Wickenberg J (2006) Managed by the other: cultural anxieties in two Anglo-Americanized Swedish firms. Int J Hum Resour Manage 17(7):1293–1306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Szulansky G (1996) Exploring internal stickiness: impediments to the transfer of best practice within the firm. Strateg Manage J 17:27–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Weber Y, Tarba SY (2010) Human resource practices and performance of mergers and acquisitions in Israel. Hum Resour Manage Rev 20:203–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yeh T, Hoshino Y (2001) Productivity and operating performance of Japanese merging firms: keiretsu-related and independent mergers, Jpn World Econ 434:1–20Google Scholar
  35. Zhou J, Shin SJ, Canella AA (2008) Employee self-perceived creativity after mergers and acquisitions: Interactive effects of threat opportunity perception, access to resources, and support for creativity. J Appl Behav Sci 44(4):397–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zollo M, Meier D (2008) What is M&A performance? Acad Manage Perspect 22(3):55–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kobe University Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB)KobeJapan

Personalised recommendations