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The role of silence on employees' attitudes "the day after" a merger

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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to explore the role of organizational silence and trust on employees' attitudes in a post-merger stage. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The results of two independent studies are presented; participants completed measures of organizational trust, organizational silence and merger attitudes (organizational commitment and employee satisfaction) a few months following the announcement of the merger. Hierarchical regression analyzes were used to explore the hypotheses. Findings ‐ The results show that organizational trust is negatively related to organizational silence and positively to merger attitudes. Further, the significant role of organizational silence in a post-merger state was also identified through the negative relationships with merger attitudes, but mainly through the significant mediating effect of silence between organizational trust and merger attitudes. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study used self-report measures, but necessary actions were taken in order to reduce the effect of common method variance. Therefore, it should be cross-validated with different research designs (e.g. longitudinal research) in other countries. Practical implications ‐ The findings provide further support on the significance of organizational silence in work settings, especially at major organizational turnarounds. Originality/value ‐ The most significant contribution of the study is that it explores for the first time the role of organizational silence in a post-merger stage and its relationship to organizational trust.
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Keywords: Acquisitions and mergers; Employee satisfaction; Employees attitudes; Organizational commitment; Organizational silence; Organizational trust; Post-merger attitudes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 20 September 2011

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