Macquarie University
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Post-merger identification in a medium-sized Australian telecommunications company: a qualitative study

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posted on 2022-08-03, 02:13 authored by Yashar Abed

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are an increasingly popular form of corporate development strategy. Although M&As affect people at work, their impact on organisational identification (OI) has been neglected in the literature. Previous studies on M&As mostly pay attention to large US-based companies, despite the fact that Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) equally utilise M&As for rapid expansion. To address this gap, the thesis investigated how acquisitions affect employees’ OI in an Australian-based telecommunications SME.

The thesis employed a qualitative case study methodology, adopting semi-structured interviews and an inside-out approach to collect data. The thesis findings emphasised that in telecommunications SMEs, similarities in technology and products are extremely effective in increasing synergies. Moreover, SMEs adopt mixed integration strategies with a focus on the absorption approach. The case also illustrates that an SME’s strategy for growth to become a public company is a significant factor for employees to stay with it. Findings drawn from the collected data also reveal that in SMEs, identification with colleagues was stronger than identification with the company or the brand. The study concludes that redundancies at early stages of the acquisition can cause significant job threats; however, they may assist the merged SME to keep the best-fitted resources with the merged entity, and consequently increase the identification between employees. This research additionally highlights that multiple M&As in an organisation may affect employees’ identification with the organisation.


Table of Contents

Chapter one: introduction -- Chapter two: context -- Chapter three: literature review -- Chapter four: methodology -- Chapter five: findings -- Chapter six: discussion -- Chapter seven: conclusion and implications -- Reference list -- Appendix A: ethics approval -- Appendix B: interview questions -- Appendix C: participant information and consent form -- Appendix D: invitation email -- Appendix E: themes


A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the Master of Research Includes bibliographical references (pages 87-97)

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis MRes, Macquarie University, Department of Management, 2019

Department, Centre or School

Department of Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Senia Kalfa


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Yashar Abed 2019.




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