The problem under investigation in this study was the gap in knowledge on how changes in leader environments can affect organizational success during merger and acquisitions (M&As). Using a qualitative methodology, the research employed single open-ended interviews with 17 primary informants employed as executives in the U.S. healthcare industry. The participants included 15 males and two females. Nine participants were from acquired companies, two were from acquiring organizations, and six had experiences in both acquired and acquiring organizations. Positions represented by the sample included project manager, executive director, director, vice president, senior vice president, president, and chief executive officer (CEO). There were three founders and three co-founders in the sample. The research employed a phenomenological methodology (the modified van Kaam method) to review transcripts, develop individual and composite textural and structural descriptions, create a synthesis of meanings, and derive the essence of the experience. The study found that the essence of the group's M&A experience was excitement and satisfaction offset by apprehension, frustration, disappointment, and a sense of incapacity. Empowerment was the least reported emotion in the group's experience. Issues associated with transition and integration, leader's actions, and performance dominated the phenomenon. Initially there was excitement and anticipation with the processes associated with making M&A deals. The fulfillment and satisfaction that followed was offset by frustration and disappointment over performance, cultural, and financial issues. The actions of leaders and the requirements of transition and integration, for the most part, produced anger and fear. Anxiety was the common denominator. This study's findings have implications for the wider field of business and technology as well as the community of interest represented by U.S. healthcare executives. Although there were exceptions, most leaders perceived the strategy of M&A as critical to the strategic expansion of their organizations. The findings also indicate that although leaders considered themselves professionally capable, they all recalled points at which they felt insufficient to meet challenges associated with transition and integration, leader's actions, and performance. This implies that practicing business leaders continue to engage in a growth strategy for which they are poorly prepared.
|Adviser||Werner D. Gottwald|
|Subjects||Entrepreneurship; Management; Health care management|
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