Managing Change in Merger or Acquisition.

Essay by pauaUniversity, Master's July 2003

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There are a lot of issues that the organization will be facing during an acquisition. To ensure the success of the acquisition, the human elements that will arise out of this acquisition must be addressed. Appelbaum, Belisle, Hoeven, Gandell, and Shapiro (2000) stated that these human elements can be categorized into four categories. They are communications, corporate culture, change, and stress. In this paper, we shall take a look at the change category and the strategy for dealing this issue.

Levinson (1976) points out that according to psychoanalytic theory, our identities stem from those people, places, and things that we feel are important in our lives. It follows, then, that the interactions and relationships we form with these people, places, and things are an integral part of our personal growth and development. When change occurs, and these ties are forcibly broken, the result is a sense of helplessness, loss of control over the situation, and a lowered self-image.

Employees build expectations that the organization usually fulfills. In turn, the organization expects certain behaviors from the employee based on the way the individual works. The process is called reciprocation (Levinson, 1976). . These expectations are called psychological contracts. Psychological contracts have been described in various ways throughout the literature: unstable/dynamic, subjective, unconscious, implicit/unspoken, lived, link between organizations and employees, and employees do not know they are there until they are broken (Baker, 1985; Guzzo et al., 1994; Makin et al., 1997; Morrison, 1994; Robinson and Rousseau, 1994). As Schein comments: "Though it remains unwritten, the psychological contract, is a powerful determiner of behavior in organizations" (Makin et al., 1997). When one party breaches this contract the other reacts with the intensity of betrayal. The psychoanalytic view and reciprocation described above may be applied to what employees feel when the organization they...