What, when, and who: Manager involvement in predicting employee resistance to acquisition integration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • David R. King
  • Florian Bauer
  • Qingxiong Weng
  • Svante Schriber
  • Shlomo Tarba

External organisations

  • Florida State University
  • Lancaster University
  • University of Science and Technology of China
  • Stockholm Business School
  • Department of Strategy and International Business


Applying sensemaking research to acquisition integration, we outline factors that influence employee resistance to acquisitions. While integration is widely viewed as important to acquisition outcomes, there is limited systematic study of how employees react to the integration process. Using survey data from Chinese acquirers and applying partial least squares structural equation modeling, we examine what changes with human and task integration with the speed of when changes are made to explore relationships with employee resistance. Consistent with a temporal perspective of acquisition processes and sensemaking we find slower task integration may mitigate employee resistance to acquisition integration. However, employee resistance to the speed that changes are made likely varies for who is involved, suggesting different roles for top and middle managers. Specifically, middle management involvement with slow human integration and top management involvement with fast task integration reduces employee resistance following an acquisition.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020