The Impact of Leadership and Change Management Strategy on Organizational Culture and Individual Acceptance of Change during a Merger

The study we report here builds on extant literature to develop propositions about the impact of leaders and leadership on the ability of individuals to accept change

Marie H. Kavanagh

2006

Scholarcy highlights

  • Much has been written about leadership qualities and types of leadership
  • Social identity theory focuses on the notion of the self concept –referred to as social identity – that derives from memberships in social groups and contrasts with personal identity, which reflects a person's characteristics as a unique individual
  • We examine how leaders are perceived during a merger change process and explore the leadership qualities and styles which motivate acceptance of change by individuals
  • In terms of the model in Figure 1, the change management strategy or approach selected by leaders will result in shifts in organizational culture that will cause consequences for individuals in terms of the level of constraint imposed or autonomy granted in accordance with the Cartwright and Cooper model
  • Findings indicate that mergers often produce change that is imposed on the leaders themselves. It is often the pace of change that inhibits the successful re-engineering of the culture with leadership qualities such as compassion, communication and a transparent change process being important issues
  • There was no main effect overall for organizational type, i.e. no significant difference between the extent of the effect felt by individuals in major as compared to minor campuses
  • Including the views of individuals who had participated in the change process delivered a sense of passion and realism about the events, and the influence that leaders had during the process for both individuals and the culture of the institution
  • This study gives voice to the perceptions and opinions of those who are most affected by a merger – individual staff members at all levels –and highlights the fact that the manner in which the change process is managed by leaders will have a significant effect on the outcome

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