When Organizational Justice Matters for Affective Merger Commitment


We investigate when organizational justice matters to employees' commitment in the post-acquisition process after a company is overtaken in a cross-border acquisition. There is overwhelming evidence that employees who are treated fairly during acquisitions are more committed to their new firms. We extend this finding by dividing organizational justice into three sub-dimensions: informational justice, interpersonal justice, and procedural justice. We find evidence that procedural justice is an important antecedent of affective merger commitment at an early stage of the integration period, while informational justice becomes important at a later stage.

Further analysis on heterogeneity between the target firm's employees and the bidder firm's employees reveals that, immediately after the acquisition, target-firm's employees value knowing where they will be at the new firm (procedural justice), while bidder-firm employees are more concerned about communication and transparency (informational justice). Our results point to the importance of organizational justice in a cross-border M&A setting and the need for a separate study of issues related to bidder firms and target firms.


Organizational justice, Informational justice, Interpersonal justice, Procedural justice, Affective merger commitment


Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: +81-78-803-7036
FAX: +81-78-803-7059

Kai Oliver THIELE

Institute for Human Resource Management and Organizations
Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Germany