A social identity approach to the investigation of group-based reactions to a merger is outlined, in which a merger is analyzed in terms of the continuation or change of the pre-merger group identity. In two experiments, the relationship between pre-merger identification, post-merger identification, and ingroup bias was investigated using a minimal group paradigm. Results from both studies showed that the perceived continuation of the premerger group identity in the post-merger group strengthened the positive relationship between pre-merger identification and identification with the superordinate post-merger group. Moreover, perceived continuation strengthened, rather than reduced, ingroup bias at the subordinate level of the merged groups. Some theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

changing group identity, ingroup bias, merger, social identification
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167203029006001, hdl.handle.net/1765/12121
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Leeuwen, E, van Knippenberg, D.L, & Ellemers, N. (2003). Continuing and Changing Group Identities: The Effects of Merging on Social Identification and Ingroup Bias. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(6), 679–690. doi:10.1177/0146167203029006001