Multiple organizational identities and change in ambivalence: The case of a chinese acquisition in Europe
Purpose. Building on social identity theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine how European managers construct their multiple identities after being acquired by a Chinese firm, and to determine the key factors contributing to the changing dynamics of multiple organizational identities.
Methodology. The paper presents a qualitative, single case study of a Chinese acquisition of a European manufacturing firm at two points in time.
Findings. We find that multiple identities initially trigger ambivalence towards the acquisition, but over time, the ambivalence diminishes. The reduction of ambivalence results from concurrent integration and separation: ambivalent boundary spanning identity separates positive identities from negative ones, and integration interventions foster the development of a new, shared identity.
Research implications. We shed light on how ambivalence towards the acquisition changes overtime through dynamic interactions between multiple identities.
Originality/value. The findings reveal that organizational identity change is facilitated by the aligning of a post-merger identity with the acquired organization’s historical identity, and by creating an ambivalent boundary spanning identity.
Liang, S., Lupina-Wegener, A., Ullrich, J., & van Dick, R. (in press). Multiple organizational identities and change in ambivalence: The case of a chinese acquisition in Europe. Journal of Organizational Change Management.