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Public Organization Review

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 143–161 | Cite as

The Integration of Two “Brotherhoods” into One Organizational Culture: A Psycho-social Perspective on Merging Police and Fire Services

  • Jeanne B. StinchcombEmail author
  • Francisco Ordaz
Article

Abstract

While organizational mergers may not yet be as commonplace in public enterprise as in private industry, they present similar challenges in terms of the complexities of seamlessly blending the multiple stakeholders involved. As a result, despite their often grandiose ambitions, mergers have not always met with unequivocal success. While the reasons involved can be as divergent as the agencies themselves, research has tended to implicate merger administrators for insufficient attention to organizational culture as a key explanatory factor. In an effort to more closely examine this potential linkage as it relates to public sector mergers, the case study described herein analyzes the role of organizational culture in the merger of two independent entities (a sheriff’s office and fire-rescue services) and describes techniques employed to enhance the compatibility of their unification. Through a combination of interviews with transition team members and analysis of relevant records, the merger process is explored from three theoretical perspectives—i.e., work-related identity, person–environment “fit” (individual–cultural alignment), and employer–employee reciprocity. Using this theoretical framework, insights are provided into the manner in which these two distinct workplace cultures have been organizationally integrated.

Keywords

organizational merger organizational culture psycho-social organizational theory work identity person–environment fit employer–employee reciprocity sheriff’s office fire-rescue services organizational change 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFlorida Atlantic UniversityFt. LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.Norfolk Human Services DepartmentNorfolkUSA

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