This phenomenological study focuses on the human toll of stress on acquired managers and how they mitigated this stress through merger stages commencing with pre-merger rumors to the assimilation phase. Existing research indicated that managers from the company acquired versus managers of the acquiring company undergo greater stress (Buono & Bowditch, 1989, The human side of mergers and acquisitions. Washington, DC: BeardBooks). Unlike executives and blue-collar workers who have insulating layers of hierarchy, managers are often placed in a position of cognitive dissonance during these transactions. The research question, "How do managers cope with stress during a merger of acquisition?" is applied to dueling elements of interest including leadership versus followership and teamwork versus individualism. The research captures how these elements surface during each of the merger stages as well as how an acquired manager experiences such stress. An interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA) using purposive sampling was used with 12 product support, sales, distribution, and engineer managers from one acquired construction equipment commercial office that closed soon after the merger announcement. In-depth interviews were conducted using the asynchronous communication medium of Skype. Thematic analysis was conducted using NVivo 10. The results indicated that although acquiring organizations have made great strides in addressing the inevitable toll mergers have on humans, additional stress peaks have been created in the process as well.
|Subjects||Social research; Occupational safety; Management|
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