Corporate identity discourse in the post-merger TNC and the consequences for employee voice
Mona Aranea, Cardiff University
Sergio González Begega, University of Oviedo
Holm-Detlev Köhler, University of Oviedo
Corporate mergers or acquisition force companies to re-establish or even re-invent the corporate identity that shall give sense and direction to management (Vaara and Tienari, 2011). Despite the widely acknowledged importance of employee co-operation for successful post-merger integration (Edwards and Edwards, 2015), studies on changing employee voice in the post-merger TNC remain limited in number (Edwards et al., 2017).
Our longitudinal case study examines how managerial identity talk (Koveshnikov et al., 2016) affects transnational employee voice during the post-merger integration process. We present empirical evidence from the case of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel producer, created in 2006 through the merger of the European company Arcelor and the Anglo-Indian corporation Mittal Steel. We explore how ArcelorMittal’s current set of corporate values has come about through a struggle over meaning in the contested social terrain of the global firm.
Our qualitative dates comprises two sets of qualitative interviews with managers and employees of the company, the first carried out between 2002 and 2006, the second conducted between 2014 and 2016. We trace the deconstruction of transnational employee voice institutions in the company back to cultural identity talk and an executive exodus among managers. Our in-depth case study of ArcelorMittal gives insights into the changing nature of managerial identity discourse during and after major corporate mergers and the impact of corporate culture on the quality of employee voice in the global firm.
Transnational corporations; mergers and acquisitions; cultural distinction drawing; identity talk; ArcelorMittal; employee voice
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