Mix It Up? The Influence of Team Composition on Employee Perceptions of Stressors in a Post-Merger Environment

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Organizational restructuring that follows mergers can be stressful for employees. Heterogeneous team structures may intensify merger-related stressors, as legacy company serves as a faultline, which can create conflict and disunity. However, findings from diversity studies suggest that team heterogeneity has some advantages. We addressed a major shortcoming in the team stressor research, which has insufficiently considered the roles of team heterogeneity (vs. homogeneity) in perceptions of stressors. We explored how team composition (based on legacy company) shapes perceptions of merger-related stressors. Qualitative analysis of employee comments post-merger revealed that stressors varied across team compositions. Heterogeneous teams were not unequivocally stressful and results differed by employee legacy company. Homogeneous acquired teams were most disadvantaged. Homogeneous acquiring teams were least stressed. Accordingly, we created labels that describe each team’s unique context, which can advance team stressor research and help leaders properly support employees in a post-merger environment based on their teams’ composition.


First Published May 29, 2020.