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.

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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