, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 516-537

Post-merger cultural integration from a social network perspective: a computational modeling approach

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Abstract

Although cultural integration, or sharing a common corporate culture, is crucial for the success of mergers, previous studies have been limited to firm-level analyses. From a social network perspective, this study explores how cultural integration emerges from the patterns of social interactions among individuals. Using an agent-based model, we investigate the impact of network structures within and between two merging firms on post-merger cultural integration and organizational dysfunctions—individual turnover, interpersonal conflict and organizational communication ineffectiveness—that arise from insufficient cultural integration. The simulation results demonstrate that the highest level of cultural integration is achieved when social ties are more centralized within each merging firm and the social ties between the merging firms are less concentrated on central individuals. Additionally, the results show that within-firm and between-firm network structures significantly affect individual turnover, interpersonal conflict and organizational communication ineffectiveness, and that these three outcome measurements do not vary in tandem.