Popular Industry Website Features UM Professor’s Research on Corporate Mergers

January 25, 2019

Theresa FloydMISSOULA – A popular website that offers science-based information to help companies and individuals succeed recently featured research conducted by University of Montana Assistant Professor Theresa Floyd.

Floyd, who teaches and researches business management in UM’s College of Business, conducted research on employee retention and resilience during a corporate merger. Her work, which involved colleagues from five additional institutions, was highlighted in an article on Thrive Global, owned by the Huffington Post Media Group. The article, “Coping With Employee’s Post-Merger Uncertainty,” provides direction for businesses on how to best help employees navigate workplace transition following a merger.

“Employees’ uncertainty regarding how a merger is going to impact their job security and daily routines can disrupt their job satisfaction and make them more likely to leave,” Floyd said. “When high-value employees choose to leave, it can have a negative impact on the success of the merger and the organization as a whole.”

That’s important information for the modern workforce, according to Floyd, who says, “There are few events in the professional life of an employee that are as stressful as when the business they work for is acquired or merges with another company.”

Originally published in the Journal of Applied Psychology in March 2017, Floyd’s merger research publication was nominated for the Best Paper Award at the 2018 Academy of Management Annual Meeting. The paper shares results from studying how employees’ reactions to the merger of two large American companies impacted their attachment to the company over the subsequent year.

Floyd and fellow researchers found that individual professional concerns on topics such as job security and job role impacted the employees’ attachment to the new organization. They also found that if top-level management intend to retain valuable employees, they must go beyond providing companywide videos and announcements to communicate the merger’s significance.

Floyd and her peer authors also recommend that post-merger activities should include individualized sessions for employees to resolve their own personal concerns.

“We found that employees need personal discussions with their immediate supervisors in order to be reassured about their role and responsibilities in the newly created company,” she said. Without that reassurance, employees are more likely to leave.

According the website, a part of Thrive Global’s mission is to help companies and individuals mitigate burnout and enhance well-being with science-based information. Floyd’s article can be found by visiting http://bit.ly/2Dy7m94.

At UM, Floyd’s research interests involve how psychological processes operate within social networks in business and environmental governance contexts, social influence and the effects of organizational identification and attachment. Prior to joining academia, she worked in retail merchandising for Gap and PetSmart. 

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Contact: Theresa Floyd, UM assistant professor of business management and marketing, 406- 243-5808, theresa.floyd@umontana.edu.