Expectations for Organizational Combinations

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Rentsch, Joan
Schneider, Benjamin
This study is an attempt to learn more about the expectations that people hold for organizational combinations (mergers and acquisitions). A measure of organizational combination expectations was developed to test hypotheses regarding the power, autonomy, identity, job security, and morale expectations that people hold for combinations. It was hypothesized that one's expectations would depend on the individual's perspective in the combination, that is, whether one is in an acquired, merged, or acquiring organization. Expectations were also hypothesized to differ depending on the motive for the combination (e.g. organizational survival or organizational growth). It was expected that perspective would also influence perceived uncertainty. The relationship between perceived uncertainty and motive, and the influence of perspective, and motive on expected satisfaction were also explored. 252 MRA students were presented with scenarios of combinations in which perspective and motive were manipulated. They then responded to the survey of combination expectations, a measure of perceived uncertainty and a satisfaction scale. Results indicated that motive and perspective did have significant effects on expectations, but they did not influence expected satisfaction. The influence of perspective on uncertainty was not significant. Uncertainty was influenced by motive, such that there was less uncertainty when growth was the motive than when survival was the motive. Exploratory analysis indicated that expectations are better predictors of expected satisfaction than is uncertainty, Implications of the results and the limitations of the study are discussed.