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Title: From hope to betrayal : emotional antenarratives during mergers and acquisitions
Author: Schnurr, Noelia-Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 0662
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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In this thesis I study the construction of a merger and acquisition (M & A) process through emotional antenarratives. This builds on recent research in the M & A field, which has called for a more thorough understanding of emotions during M & A processes. After reviewing current literature on emotions as well as emotions in M & A processes I point to a gap in understanding how emotional experiences, as present in the organisation, shape the M & A process over time. I suggest that a narrative perspective is particularly well suited to study emotional experiences present in the organisation since organisations have often been conceptualised as storytelling systems. Narratives, which refer to accounts of experiences, give insights into emotions and construct M & A processes by shedding light on the sensemaking processes reflected in the narratives that are told. I consider several different approaches to narrative study, concluding that an antenarrative approach, which focuses on the fragmented narratives before narrative closure is achieved, is particularly well suited to studying storytelling during M & A, since storytelling during M & A is often fragmented and rarely coherent and since antenarratives give rich insights that are often lost in full narratives. I further point out that whilst recent work has started to appreciate the importance of antenarratives during M & A processes, no work has looked at the emotional dimension of antenarratives. In order to fill both of these gaps, I study emotional antenarratives over time during M & A, conceptualising emotional antenarratives as accounts of experiences with an emotional dimension. In a longitudinal empirical study of a company undergoing a merger I examine the way in which these emotional antenarratives construct the M & A process over time from hope and promise through to critique to nightmare towards betrayal. I do this by studying the characteristics of the emotional antenarratives. I suggest that this progression is due to employees making sense of the merger as breach of a psychological contract into which they have emotionally invested and committed to. My findings allow me to contribute to literature on M & A as well as M & A and emotions by showing how emotional experiences present in the organisation shape and construct the M & A process. I further contribute to literature on M & A and storytelling by showing the role the emotional dimension plays in evolving M & A processes. I finally contribute to work on psychological contract theory and work on emotional investment by showing their role in the M & A process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor