The Impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on the Sales Force

Bommaraju, R and Ahearne, M and Hall, Z R and Tirunillai, S and Lam, S K (2018) The Impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on the Sales Force. Journal of Marketing Research, 55 (2). pp. 254-264.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


This research draws from the psychodynamic perspective of social identity theory to examine the causal effect of mergers and acquisitions involving a mismatch of external images on the sales force. Study 1, a natural longitudinal experiment, shows that a merger with a poorer-image firm immediately dilutes salespeople's organizational identification (OI), which in turn impairs their performance. As sense makers, salespeople who are more tenured experience stronger OI dilution, whereas those who perceive a high level of social inclusion experience weaker OI dilution. As sense givers, managers who emphasize the firm's strategic intent in their communication buffer the OI-dilution effect, whereas those who emphasize the firm's organizational culture aggravate the effect. Study 2, a scenario-based experiment, further demonstrates that the OI-dilution effect is stronger than the OI-enhancement effect from merging with a better-image firm. Furthermore, both studies confirm that the adverse effect of mergers and acquisitions that involve a mismatch of external image stems from image uncertainty rather than job uncertainty.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
ISB Creiators:
ISB Creators
Bommaraju, R
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research paper was published by the author with the affiliation of Ivey College of Business.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions, Sales force management, Organizational image, Organizational identification, Natural experiment
Subjects: Marketing
Mergers and Acquisitions
Depositing User: Gurusrinivasan K
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 11:16
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 11:16
Publisher URL:
Publisher OA policy:
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Statistics for DESI ePrint 1285 Statistics for this ePrint Item