When what we get is not what we want - The role of implemented versus desired merger patterns in support for mergers
Abstract. By integrating an intergroup perspective on mergers with discrepancy theories, we argue that merger partners aim for merger patterns that best benefit their group’s standing. Importantly, we hypothesize and show that the discrepancy between what merger partners want and what they actually get affects outcomes essential to merger success. Specifically, we demonstrate that perceived fit between the implemented and the desired merger pattern predicts support for the merger.We further show that this effect is mediated by perceived fairness (Study 1) and emotional reactions to the merger (Study 2). Our findings are generalized across a field study that investigate a real merger between two institutions of higher education (Study 1) and an experiment (Study 2).