Original Research

A comprehensive, holistic people integration process for mergers and acquisitions

Rina P. Steynberg, Theo H. Veldsman
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 9, No 1 | a242 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v9i1.242 | © 2011 Rina P. Steynberg, Theo H. Veldsman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2009 | Published: 01 March 2011

About the author(s)

Rina P. Steynberg, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Theo H. Veldsman, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) are a frequent, alternative strategic growth option to organic growth for organisations. The failure rate of mergers and acquisitions is alarmingly high (70% plus failures). The people factor is seen as one of the main contributors to this failure.

Research purpose: To develop and validate a comprehensive, holistic model for the people integration process during mergers and acquisitions.

Motivation for the study: The literature on a comprehensive, holistic people integration process for mergers and acquisitions is sparse and fragmented.

Research design, approach and method: A qualitative approach was adopted consisting of a three step process which solicited the views of seasoned M&A Practioners; these views were compared against the available literature. Finally, practioners were asked to critique the final model from a practice perspective. The utility of the final model was assessed against two mergers and acquisitions case studies.

Main findings: A comprehensive, holistic people integration process model for mergers and acquisitions was developed and validated. However, this model will only significantly enhance mergers and acquisitions value realisation if it is applied from the appropriate vantage point.

Practical/managerial implications: The proposed approach will increase the probability of a successful M&A people-wise and M&A value realisation.

Contribution/value add: Theoretically, the development and validation of a M&A people process integration model; practically, guidelines for successful people integration; organisationally, significantly enhancing the chances of M&A success; and community wise, the reduction of the negative effects of M&A failure on communities.


people management; mergers and acquisitions (M&As); people integration process; M&A failure; M&A value realisation


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