Change in organizations is often accompanied by resistance from the employees. This can significantly impair the success of a transformational project, for example most mergers fail to reach their ambitious goals. We have accompanied many mergers conducting research on this process and were able to show that ignoring identity processes is mainly the reason for resistance. Employees, who were proud of being part of “their” organization for many years, react concerned when the organization is changing significantly due to transformational processes – e.g., by losing its name in a merger. Our research results help organizations recognize these identity relevant aspects and means they can implement change in a more successful way.
- Which aspects characterize an organization’s identity?
- How can these aspects be included in transformational processes?
- Should employees of the merger’s partners be treated differently than those of the merger company?
- When and how should the change process be communicated?
- Giessner, S.R., Ullrich, J., & Van Dick, R. (in press). Social identity and corporate mergers. Social and Personality Psychology Compass.
- Van Dijk, R.L., & Van Dick, R. (2009). Navigating organizational change: Change leaders, employee resistance and work-based identities. Journal of Change Management, 9, 143-163.