Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Effects of Ingroup Development in a Post-Merger Joint-Brand Context

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posted on 2021-11-10, 01:17 authored by Newdick, Jay

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involve a complex relationship between two previously separate organisations. Social Identity Theory (SIT) has been applied to the study of M&As as a way to better understand this relationship. To date, SIT literature has focused on developing the relationship between the merging organisations, in turn relinquishing the identity of the pre-merger organisations in favour of the new organisational identity. This research examines the constructs of the pre-merger groups, focusing on the pre-merger ingroups as a significant contributor to success in the post-merger environment. In some M&As, both pre-merger brands continue to operate simultaneously in the post-merger environment, and it is in this context that the ingroup plays an important role in post-merger integration. This research looks at ingroup development within a post-merger joint-brand context in order to assess the significance of ingroup identification within the post-merger environment. Ingroup development involves generating member identification with the pre-merger ingroup, rather than building identification with the post-merger organisation as a whole. Although there is literature to support the continuation of pre-merger ingroup identity in the post-merger environment, ingroup identification has generally been seen as a hindrance to the merger integration process. A New Zealand based case study was examined to explore the significance of ingroup development in the post-merger context. The research looked into the effects of implementing an "ingroup development intervention" within the case study. The research design used forty semi-structured interviews to create a 'before' and 'after' assessment of the case study in order to gauge the effects of the ingroup development intervention. The findings of the research were analysed using thematic analysis, which was able to assess the change in participant perceptions over a period of time. The findings showed that the ingroup development intervention resulted in a perceived reduction in status differences between the pre-merger groups, as well as a reported improvement in both ingroup and intergroup relations. The findings suggest that in a specified context, ingroup development can have a positive effect on the post-merger environment. The results of the research hold implications for both theorists and practitioners. The research provides intergroup theory with a greater understanding of ingroup identification and the extent to which it is effective within the post-merger environment. For practitioners, the research exhibits the value in post-merger organisations committing to long-term identity development for staff.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Commerce and Administration

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Victoria Management School


Riad, Sally