Exploring the Role of Organisational Trust in Mergers and Acquisitions M/A Processes in Family Firms

Lind, Stella C. H. (2019) Exploring the Role of Organisational Trust in Mergers and Acquisitions M/A Processes in Family Firms. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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In recent years, mergers and acquisitions (M/As) of family firms have started to play a more crucial role. But despite its increasing relevance this topic has not yet been studied in the family firm context. The existing theories on organisational trust in the M/A process might not necessarily apply in the family firm M/A (FF M/A) context as these companies are somehow unique, especially since the employees’ organisational trust in the family firm owners tends to be a key dynamic in merging family firms. Therefore, this thesis wants to close an application gap in research and explore how organisational trust can be applied to the family firm M/A context. M/As of German midsized family firms are explored in two different studies. In the quantitative study 1 data was collected in an employee survey (N=352). Data for the qualitative study 2 consists of 21 semi-structured interviews. In this thesis I generate an organisational trust framework in the context of family firms that have undergone M/As. This framework is valuable because it shows how family firms can use their specific nature as an asset to maintain their employees’ organisational trust even after an M/A. Therefore, M/As of family firms tend to be the less risky option for family firms that need to sell their businesses, and a way for them to maintain or restore their organisational trust. The three main contributions are the following: Firstly, there is not necessarily a trust breach under the premise of a “responsible” outcome. Secondly, there is an observation period in the M/A process where family firm employees will reserve judgement on the new family firm. Thirdly, the process of trust regain after the observation period is primarily based on trustworthiness demonstrated by role models, and especially by the new family firm owners. The analysis further shows that it should be a major concern of merging family firms to develop a reasonable, trust-enhancing concept because of the major consequences of a trust loss, such as a decrease of commitment and engagement. So from a practical point of view, this work’s framework can help family firms to prevent the employees’ loss of organisational trust due to M/As, and to establish a trusting relationship after the acquisition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Sullivan, Kerryksullivan2@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/kerry-sullivan/
Aly, Doaadaly@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/doaa-aly/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Family businesses; Organisational trust; Mergers and Acquisitions; Germany
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance > HG4001 Finance management. Business finance
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 15:31
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:47
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6914

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