Trajectories and antecedents of integration in mergers and acquisitions: A comparison of two longitudinal studies

Martin R Edwards*, Jukka Lipponen, Tony Edwards, Marko Hakonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Despite existing research examining snapshots of employee reactions to organizational mergers and acquisitions (M&A), there is a complete absence of work theorizing or exploring rates of change in employees’ organizational identification with the merged entity. We address this gap using two three-wave longitudinal panel samples from different M&A settings, tracking change in identification through a two-year period. Theorizing trajectories of change in identification across the organizations in both settings, we make predictions linked to expected antecedents of change in identification. Our research context (M&A-1) involves a merger of three Finish universities tracking 938 employees from each organization in three waves (nine months pre-merger to 24 months post-merger). Our second context (M&A-2) involves a multinational acquisition tracking 346 employees from both the acquired and acquiring organization in three waves (from two to 26 months post-acquisition). Using Latent Growth Modelling, we confirm predicted trajectories of change in identification. Across both samples, a linear increase (across Time 1, Time 2 and Time 3) in justice and linear decrease in threat perceptions were found to significantly predict a linear increase in identification across the post-M&A period. We discuss organizational identification development trajectories and how changes in these two antecedents account for changes in identification across M&A contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalHuman Relations
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1258–1290
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • employee intergration
  • identity
  • longitudinal research
  • M&A
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • organisational identification
  • organisational psychology


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