The role of occupational identification during post-merger integration

David P. Kroon*, Niels G. Noorderhaven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Integration processes after mergers are fraught with difficulties, and constitute a main cause of merger failure. This study focuses on the human aspect of post-merger integration, and in particular, on the role of occupational identification. We theorize and empirically demonstrate by means of a survey design that employees' identification with their occupation is positively related to their willingness to cooperate in the post-merger integration process, over and above the effect of organization members' organizational identification. This positive effect of occupational identification is stronger for uniformed personnel but attenuates in the course of the integration process. Qualitative interviews further explore and interpret the results from our statistical analysis. Together, these findings have important practical implications and suggest future research directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-244
JournalGroup & Organization Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • occupational identification
  • post-merger integration
  • willingness to cooperate
  • organizational identification


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