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Title: An Investigation of Academic Employees' Post Merger Mental Models and Perceptions in a Higher Education Environment
Author: Lawlor, Jennifer E.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3605 8843
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis seeks to investigate the post-merger integration in the Faculty of Business at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the largest third-level educational institution in the Republic of Ireland, and specifically to focus on the mental models and perceptions of employees in this Faculty regarding post-merger integration. The literature review draws upon a number of disciplinary stands, namely corporate strategy, change management, organisational culture and the higher education merger literature. From the exta,nt literature, it was evident that a number of research gaps existed, in relation to the 'post-merger' or 'post-integration' stage, and specifically regarding the human and 'soft' issues of a merger. A further gap in the merger literature pertains to the role and importance of a new physical environment in the post-merger stage. A related, but under-researched issue is the concept of territoriality, which in tum may result in a 'them' and 'us' mentality, amongst merging entities. A further research consideration was the extent to which there was a singular Faculty culture. ''-''' For the purpose of this thesis, forty-one in-depth interviews were conducted with participants from the Faculty of Business at the Dublin Institute of Technology. A phenomenological approach was identified as best capturing the focus of this research which was to gain insights into DIT employees' mental models of the post-integration phase. The key findings emanating from this thesis were that employees were very au fait with the rationale for the merger and perceived it in a very pragmatic fashion. The study also found that the new physical environment was overwhelmingly a source of motivation and job satisfaction to the participants. However, at another level, the vastness and layout of the physical environment was seen to be an inhibitor to social integration; Another key theme which arose was that of territoriality which was also related again to a 'them' and 'us' mentality which emerged across many of the interviews. The author identified a number of sub-cultures, as opposed to the existence of a singular Faculty culture, and identified the linkages between these sub-cultures through an innovative application of Thompson's (2001) adaptation of Miles and Snow's (1978b) seminal classification. Finally, the key findings are synthesised in a conceptual framework and the author presents a number of recommendations for future research, and for organisations undertaking a merger change initiative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available