Employee identification before and after an internal merger: A longitudinal analysis

Jos Bartels, Ad Pruyn, Menno de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Earlier studies have shown that perceived external prestige (PEP) and communication climate influence employees' overall organizational identification. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study into the determinants of organizational identification at two organizational levels during an internal merger. Data were collected in a university where four divisions merged into two new divisions. Respondents filled out a questionnaire on organizational identification, PEP and communication climate 4 months before the merger (T1) and 2 years after the merger (T2). Results indicate that pre-merger identification primarily influences post-merger identification at the same organizational level. Furthermore, the determinants of employees' overall organizational identification differ from the determinants of employees' division identification. Internal communication climate is particularly important for employees' identification with their division. PEP affects employees' identification with the overall organization. Management implications are discussed for monitoring employee identification both in times of (internal) mergers and in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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