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2.1 Introduction

The chapter reviewed data which was linked to shared leadership in post-merger integration.
Studies and literature touching on mergers and acquisitions were reviewed in this section. The
chapter started with a theoretical framework that covered the various leadership theories that
could apply to the study topic before looking at the general issue of leadership and leadership
issues in mergers and acquisitions.

2.2 Theoretical Framework

The great man theory of leadership holds that leaders are born and not made. It maintains that
a person is either born or not born with the requisite leadership skills (Nahavandi, 2016). It held
that people were born with leadership traits and that only great people possessed the leadership
traits. The theory puts a lot of emphasis on the charismatic leadership. The theory holds that
such leaders will always be recognised for what they are no matter the situation that they find
themselves in. The theory holds that leadership calls for certain traits such as commanding,
charm, courage, personality, intelligence, persuasiveness and aggressiveness (Latham, 2014).
Such kinds of qualities as Washington, Sutton, and Sauser (2014) assert, are likely to have a
great impact I n a merger, and despite the fact that two people could decide to lead together, the
followers could decide to follow one leader.

The trait theory of leadership considers social, physical, intellectual and personality traits as the
things that differentiate leaders from non-leaders. Like the Great man theory, the trait theory
maintains that the personal traits of the leaders are key to their success in leadership (Tyssen,
Wald, and Spieth, 2013). Some of the traits of leaders as Hawkins (2009) advances include
intelligence, maturity, inner motivation, physical features, vision and foresight, acceptance of
responsibility, self-confidence, adaptability, and open-mindedness and fairness and objectivity.
Despite the fact that the trait theory of leadership has been marred by certain criticism such as
the lack of the universal traits that can be applied to all the leadership situations and the ability
of traits to only predict behavior in weaker than stronger situations, they could apply in cases
where there is shared leadership. Where there is shared leadership, people are likely to lean
towards a leader who exhibits some of the traits in the theory especially in weak situations at the
organisation (Bolman, and Deal, 2017).
The behavioral theory takes a different view of leadership compared to the trait theory of
leadership. It looks at leaders in terms of what leaders can actually do. Trait theory, on the other
hand, explains leadership in terms of what leaders are. Behavioral theory maintains that
leadership is based on the effective role behavior (Pinnington, 2011). The theory holds that
leadership stems from the acts of a person and not his behaviors. The emphasis on the traits of
a leader is replaced by the behavior of the said leader. The theories propose that the specific
behavior of leaders differentiate leaders from non-leaders. The theories maintain that patterns
of actions that are adopted by different people determine the leadership potential. Examples of
this could be democratic leaders, autocratic or laissez faire leaders (Alabdulhadi, Schyns and
Staudigl 2017)

Behavioral studies focus on identifying key leadership behaviors that can be passed on to other
people through training. The Ohio State studies sought to identify the independent dimensions
of the behavior of a leader by grouping them into initiating structure and consideration. The
initiating structure referred to the ability of a leader to structure their role and those of the
subordinates towards the achievement of common goals. Consideration, on the other hand,
referred to the extent to which a leader is likely to have a job relationships which is
characterized by respect for subordinates, regard for the feelings of the subordinates and
respect for their feelings (Gordon, 2017).

The studies done by the University of Michigan grouped leaders into employee oriented and
production oriented. Employee oriented leaders put a lot of emphasis on interpersonal
relationships, taking a personal interest in the needs of the employees and accepting that
employees may have their own individual differences. Production oriented employees, on the
other hand, focus more on the technical or task aspects of the job (Gordon, 2017).

Cote (2017) holds that employees are likely to identify more with the employee oriented leader
who takes care of their needs and is ready to identify with them and the problems that they
undergo. Most of the employees will shun the task oriented leader, and the result would be sole
leadership instead of shared leadership.

Klenke (2016) maintains that employees will most likely identify with a democratic leader in a
merger in the event that there is need to share leadership. The employees will be more
comfortable with a leader who takes their plight into consideration. The employees will be happy
knowing that the leader that they have will give them room to advance their own ideas and take
part in decision making. Most employees as Cote (2017) argues are likely to recognise such a
leader as opposed to an autocratic leader who forces ideas and decisions on people.
Employees like to feel recognised and appreciated and always cherish the opportunity to take
part in making decisions that involve. The situation could easily translate into sole leadership as
opposed to shared leadership.

The contingency theory focuses on the environment in which the leaders operate. Fielders
model of contingency theory holds that effective groups depend on a proper match between the
style in which a leader interacts with the employees and the degree to which the situation gives
control and influence to the leader (Miner, 2015). Fiedler identified three contingency
dimensions. One of them was leader member relations which entailed the degree of confidence,
respect, and trust that members have in the leader. The second factor was the task structure
which determined the degree to which the tasks are procedurised. The third factor was position
power which determined the degree of influence that a leader has over the variables of power in
an organisation such as firing, promotion, hiring and so on. Fiedler held that once the situation
has been identified a leader can be changed to fit the situation or the situation could be changed
to fit the leader (Nahavandi, 2016).

The cognitive resource theory holds that stress affects the leadership situation unfavorably. The
theory maintains that leaders with low-stress levels are more effective. On the other hand,
leaders who are highly stressed could be ineffective (Hawkins, 2009). This could explain cases
where co-leadership turns into sole leadership. Employees could decide to identify more with
the less stressed leader who could be more effective compared to the stressed leader.

Hersey and Blanchard's Situational leadership focuses on the readiness of the followers. It
holds that followers can either accept or reject the leader. It further holds that the effectiveness
of a leader depends majorly on the followers response to the actions of a leader. Readiness
according to the theory is the extent to which the followers have the willingness and ability to
accomplish a specific task (Pinnington, 2011). According to Gomes, Angwin, Weber, and Yedidia
Tarba, (2013), the readiness of employees may differ depending on the leader in the case of a
merger. Employees may be willing to complete a task when instructed by one leader and not
when instructed by another which could slowly translate into the case of sole-leadership.

Houses path goal theory maintains that the behavior of a leader is acceptable to the
subordinates so long as they view it as a source of either immediate or future satisfaction. The
theory holds that leaders are supposed to provide followers with information, resources, and
support needed to help them to achieve their goals. It further holds that leaders are supposed to
help employees clarify the path to their goals. It further maintains that leaders can display
different types of leadership. The theory maintains that it is the job of the leaders to help their
subordinates in attaining their goals and to also provide the necessary support and direction to
ensure that their goals and the goals of the organisation are compatible. The path goal theory
holds that there are four types of leaders. This includes the directive, supportive, participative
and achievement oriented leader. Directive leaders focus on the work to be done. Supportive
leaders focus on the worker's well-being. Participative leaders consult with all employees before
making any decisions. Achievement oriented leaders set challenging goals for their employees
(Tyssen, Wald and Spieth, 2013).

In a merger as Bena and Li (2014) contend, the employees may choose to identify with either a
directive supportive, participative or achievement oriented leaders. The type of the leader that
the employees identify with will depend on the employees themselves and problems that they
are undergoing at the organisation.

2.3 Leadership

Bolman and Deal (2017) hold that leadership is said to be focused when leadership resides
within a single individual. However, when two or more individuals share the roles and
responsibilities of leadership, the leadership is referred to us distributed leadership. In
organisations, only three things are said to happen naturally. The three things are
underperformance, confusion, and friction. All the other things in organisations require
leadership (Fairhurst and Connaughton, 2014). Leadership refers to an activity that entails
leading a group of people in an organisation or the ability to do the same. Daft (2014) maintains
that leadership entails establishing a clear vision, sharing the vision with the followers so that
they can willingly follow the leader, providing the information, knowledge, and information that is
required to realise the vision and ensuring that the conflicting interests of all the members and
stakeholders are put in check.

DuBrin (2015) argues that leadership is an observable set of abilities and skills which can be
learned like any other skill. Like any other skill, leadership can, therefore, be strengthened,
honed and enhanced so long as there is motivation to do the same. Klenke (2016) contends
that certain leadership characteristics show up very early in life. However, they also agree that
one can be a better leader and that people become better leaders from their specific
developmental activities.
DuBrin (2015) points out to the remarkable records of the United States Marines in pointing out
that leaders can be made. DuBrin (2015) argues that Marine recruits are more often than not
drawn from troubled homes or abusive homes, have not attended college or even have a history
of drug abuse. The usual factors that are normally used to predict success are normally absent
from them. However, after 2 to 3 years most of them turn out into great leaders. They continue
displaying very good leadership skills as their careers advance.

There exists a great difference between a boss and a leader. According to Gordon (2017), a
boss strives to drive employees. All they care about is getting the work done without caring
about how the work will be done. A leader, on the other hand, coaches employees. They go out
of their way to ensure that the conditions are favorable for the employees to meet their
deliverables. Bolman and Deal (2017) agree with Gordon (2017) when they state that bosses
depend on authority. They draw their power from the authority that is vested in them and will use
the power to threaten employees into obeying them through threats of firing or even rewards
such as promotions Bolman and Deal (2017). Leaders, on the other hand, depend on goodwill
as Latham (2014) asserts. They rely on the goodwill created between themselves and the
employees to steer employees into doing what they want at the organisation.

According to Gordon (2017), bosses are always self-centred and will always make use of the
word I. They do not consider themselves as part of employees. The situation is totally different
when it comes to leaders. Leaders always use the word we which shows a great appreciation
for the employees within the organisation. Bosses place a lot of blames for the breakdowns.
They do not take responsibility for their role as heads but instead focus on shifting the blames to
the employees (Deal, 2017). Leaders on the other hands fix blames. Instead of complaining and
blaming employees for wrong things at the organisation, they own up the responsibility for the
final output and look for solutions. Bosses are known to take credit for the good work done. This
is in sharp contrast with the fact they push the blames to the employees. Leaders, on the other
hand, give credit for the work well done to the employees since they believe in a group effort
(Latham, 2014).

Leaders can draw their power from different sources in an organisation. Power, in this case,
refers to the ability to possess authority and have influence over others. Avolio and Yammarino
(2013) notes that the use of power in an organisation may result in negative or positive
outcomes. Certain leaders draw their power from the legitimacy of their positions within the
organisations. Legitimate power is sometimes referred to us position power since its drawn
from a leaders position within the organisation. It stems from the position in the organisational
hierarchy. Job descriptions are normally structured in a manner which gives the managers the
power to assign tasks to their juniors. However, for leaders to exercise positional power, the
followers must believe that they acquired the power legitimately (Hawkins, 2009).

Leaders also draw their power from their expertise. Such power as Hawkins (2009) notes,
comes from the possession of knowledge in a particular area. Organisations end up valuing
such leaders so much due to their high skills that can be used to solve problems at the
organisation. Such people are deemed indispensable in an organisation due to their ability to
perform certain critical tasks. The employees hold their ideas and opinions with high regard.
This as Malo (2012) maintains, increases the loyalty of the employees towards the leaders.
The power is normally needed to gain other forms of power within an organisation such as
legitimate power. The promotion of a person who wields the expert power to the position of the
CEO gives them expert power.

Leaders may also make use of referent power. Referent power is drawn from interpersonal
relationships cultivated between the leader and other people in the organisation. Referent power
is drawn from the ability by the leader to rally other people to like and respect them. It also
stems from charisma. Charismatic leaders are able to appeal to their followers through respect,
admiration, and trust that their leaders have for them. The power can also come from the
interaction that a person has with people within the organisation such as the chief executive
officer (Daft, 2014).

Certain leaders draw their power from coercion which basically stems from the ability to
influence employees through threats, sanctions or even punishments. For instance, a
subordinate may be forced to work very late to meet their deadlines so that they are not
reprimanded by their bosses. The power is useful in controlling the behavior of the employees
and in making sure that they follow the policies and rules as laid out in an organisation (Daft,

Reward power stems from the ability of a person to influence the allocation of incentives to their
followers. Such incentives include the ability to promote, increase salaries or give employees
positive appraisals. Leaders who wield reward power have the power to influence the actions of
the employees into following their bid. If leaders properly exercise reward power, it can be used
to motivate employees within an organisation into working hard. However, it can also greatly
demoralise employees if its applied based on the favor, reward power and can greatly
demoralise employees resulting in the reduction of their output (DuBrin, 2015).
(DuBrin, 2015) notes that good leaders do not draw their power from one source. They have
mastered the art of drawing their power from different sources within the organisation. The
different mix of the sources of power ensures that a leader exercises power based on the
situation at hand. Certain situations may require the application of reward power while other
situations may require the application of legitimate power. For instance, Daft (2014) argues that
in asking employees to perform a certain task, a leader may require the use of the legitimate
power to make the employees take the orders from them. However, as Hawkins (2009) holds, a
leader may need to make use of referent power to convince the employees to increase their
productivity so as to become the based performers.

2.4 Effects of organisational merger on leadership

In the last four decades, mergers and accusations have come to be adopted by most
companies as the most preferred mode of corporate development (Bena and Li 2014). In 2004,
a total of 30,000 acquisitions were completed. Mergers and acquisitions are regarded by many
companies as one way of growing and developing without getting involved in a lot of research
which can be costly and unpredictable (Galpin, and Herndon, 2014). There are two different
types of mergers. The first one which is referred to us the horizontal merger involves the coming
together of two companies to gain from the economies of scale. The second form which is
referred to as a vertical merger involves the coming together of two companies whose business
are unrelated to benefit from the economies of scope (Cooper and Finkelstein, 2014). However,
despite the fact that the mergers have been growing at a very high rate, they have been noted
to have a very high failure rate (Lebedev, Peng, Xie, and Stevens, 2015). A study by John
Kitching in 1974 recorded a 46-50% failure rates. A study which was done in 1994 showed a
slight improvement and put the failure rate at 44-45%. A study conducted in 2005 by McKinsey
revealed that 70% of the mergers do not meet their expected revenue synergies while 40% of
the mergers do not attain their cost synergy expectations (Lebedev, Peng, Xie, and Stevens,

Several reasons have been advanced for the failure of the mergers. One of the reasons that
have been fronted has been the unforeseen financial and market forces (Giessner, Horton and
Humborstad, 2016). Other studies have linked the failure of the merger to the lack of proper
cultural integration between the two companies that merge to form one. Research has shown
that the cultural integration of two firms and the retention of the top management is crucial for
the survival of the merger. Several studies have confirmed that 70-75% of the top executive's
exit within five years of the merger (Hubbard, 2013).
There are experts who believe that leadership does not determine the performance of a
company. Other experts, on the other hand, believe that leaders have a significant effect on the
performance of a company. In most cases of mergers and even acquisitions. Choosing the
leaders is made easier since most typical mergers have a clear acquiring firm and target firm
(Girasa, 2013). In such instances, the top executives of the firm that is making the acquisition
retain their position in the merged company. However, it becomes very difficult to make a clear
distinction between leaders in the case of a small segment of mergers that are commonly
referred to as mergers of equals (MOE). In the merger of equals, there is no explicitly
designated acquiring or the target firm. Besides that, both companies get equal representation
on the board of directors of the merged firm. Moreover, the shareholders from each of the
original company retain their ownership in the merged entity (Gomes, Angwin, Weber, and
Yedidia Tarba, 2013).

Marks and Mirvis (2015) argues that MOEs are preferred by other companies since they bring a
sense of equality between the two companies that merge. The morale of the employees is also
preserved as no company is classified as acquired company (Marks and Mirvis, 2015).
However, the process of choosing and implementing leadership succession as Zhang,
Ahammad, Tarba, Cooper, Glaister, and Wang (2015) states, becomes more complicated than
would be in a normal merger where there is an acquiring and a target firm.

In the case of a normal firm in which there is an acquiring firm and the target firm, the issue of
shared leadership does not even arise. The executives from the acquiring firm assume top
leadership. This results into discontent from the leaders from the target firm due to the inequality
that is created by the merger which results into the exit of some of the executives from the
target firm (Krug, Wright and Kroll, 2014).

Merger or acquisition can be so unsettling to a company. It is regarded as a very stressful and

cumbersome process which derails timetables, extends the timelines of a project and brings a
feeling of uncertainty to an organisation. Navigating through the complications of a company
merger puts a company in a very great test. The challenge has been found to be true for sales
leaders who are expected to keep their teams aligned as the merger of two companies takes

Companies normally have their own different ways of doing their business. When two
companies merge to form one, there are a lot of issues that must always be addressed before
the new entity can be allowed to function as one. The situation is often marred by a lot of chaos
which eventually opens up avenues for the creation of shareholders, employees and new
customers (Greve and Zhang, 2017).

During a period of transition, the leaders of the different departments are normally very
vulnerable. For instance, it becomes very difficult for the sales leaders to maintain an
equilibrium in their sales during such times. Maintaining sales force equilibrium is always difficult
during normal times and can be made more difficult by mergers. As the employees anxious and
uncertain, their loyalties can be tested. They may then start looking for better alternatives once
they realise that there are major changes happening (Junni and Sarala, 2014).

2.5 Effect of Organisational Mergers on Employees

Employees from different organisations are normally accustomed to different ways of doing
things in their different organisations. They are all accustomed to different leadership styles and
different organisational cultures from their parent organisations. The norms and styles of work
may differ considerably between two rival companies or companies that vertically integrate into
a merger. The differences make it very difficult for employees to get used to the different rules
that characterise a merger Weber (2013).

Despite the fact that mergers may have economic benefits for the two companies that are
merging, the staff from the merging companies may be left wondering about the role that they
will play in the newly formed company. The effect on performance may be negative or positive.
As Weber (2013) states, the employees may be optimistic and excited or uncertain and full of
resentment which may translate into poor performance.

Bartels, Pruyn, and Jong (2009) agree that organisational managers result in a change in status
quo in organisations which stress up certain employees. Klendauer and Deller (2009) agree
that this may happen in cases where the employees did not have an idea of the merger.
Mergers are normally characterised by wide spread uncertainty amongst employees.
Employees are normally not sure about the security of their jobs, the leadership structure or the
hierarchy of the positions in the newly formed organisation. The employees increasingly
become concerned about the effect of the merger on them both personally and professionally.
Factors such as salaries, performance and responsibilities, benefits package and pay structures
may cause the staff to feel like they are in darkness which may translate into a lot of stress and
anxiety (Badrtalei and Bates, 2007).
A Merger is normally characterised by a change in a lot of dynamics of organisations. The
employees, as well as the company philosophies of the two separate companies, are merged
together during the process. Unfamiliar approaches, techniques, and attitudes may make
employees anxious. The change may make employees feel lost and confused even if it turns
out to be good. The merger may also result in conflict among the employees and between the
employees of the two companies that merge together. This is likely to be the case in an event
where the employees fear that they will lose their jobs following the merger. Employees may in
turn positions themselves and start emulating things that are done by people in higher positions
of power (Badrtalei and Bates, 2007).

Mergers may also result in high or low staff turnover. Employees can either choose to stay and
adapt to the newly formed company, or they may choose to bolt out and look for alternative
forms of employment in other companies. The upper management may, however, have a higher
chance of retaining employees if they maintain an open system of communication with the
employees. Employees prefer situations in which they are involved and consulted in all aspects
of decision making. The person tasked with steering the employees to follow the new company
may easily be the person that the employees choose to follow which could interfere with the
leadership structure of the formed company. The situation may easily translate into sole
leadership where employees choose to follow one leader whom they identify with and who
understands their issues and reaches out to them.

2.6 How to Build Leadership skills for Successful Merger

The merger of two companies sometimes involves bringing together two companies that are
fierce rivals in the industry. In certain cases, the two organisations that merge normally have
different cultures. One could be hierarchical, and the other could be entrepreneurial. However
such organisations can invest a considerable amount of time in learning. By so doing the
barriers between the two companies can be broken thereby establishing a shared culture of
collaboration which enables the companies to extract the needed value from the merger (Weber
and Drori, 2011).

Leaders can play a vital role in the learning process by modeling the values that are desired by
the new cooperation, mutual respect, and business focus. They would set very good examples
for the rest of the organisation to follow. The executive board can also take part in frequent trust
building sessions. The most important thing is to try and reconcile the cultures of the two
different organisations. Efforts should be geared towards helping the two companies to work
together as colleagues (Klendauer and Deller, 2009).

Critique of Literature

The literature review gives a very little account of shared leadership in post-merger integration.
A considerable amount of time has passed since some of the studies were conducted. This,
therefore, means that the situation on the ground could be different from what it was when the
studies were conducted. There is, therefore, the need to conduct a primary study in
organisations to understand the nature of leadership in post-merger integration. The study will
reveal more light into why co-leadership fails in mergers resulting into sole leadership.

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