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Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical framework for the integration of information systems (IS) after a merger or an acquisition. The framework integrates three perspectives: a structuralist, an individualist and an interactive process perspective to analyse and understand such integrations. The framework is applied to a longitudinal case study of a manufacturing company that grew through an acquisition. The management decided to integrate the production control IS via tailoring a new system that blends together features of existing IS. The application of the framework in the case study confirms several known impediments to IS integrations. It also identifies a number of new inhibitors as well as known and new facilitators that can bring post-merger IS integration to a success. Our findings provide relevant insights to researching and managing post-merger IS integrations. They emphasize that researchers and managers of post-merger IS integration should pay particular attention to the IS and organizational merger contexts; the need to build relationships and collaboration between the merging parties; power struggles and, perhaps most importantly, understanding and treating post-merger IS integration as a complex, messy and evolutionary process.

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