Studies analyzing organizational routines in post-merger integration (PMI) studies at the micro level are almost nonexistent. To fill this research gap, the author performs a longitudinal exploratory case study of an admissions routine of an art college undergoing a merger with a larger university, drawing on advances in routine dynamics literature. The study enhances understanding of PMI challenges by depicting routines’ internal dynamics, their incompatibility, and the role of broader context in shaping their performances post-merger. The findings trace resistance to PMI to routine incompatibility caused by the simultaneous presence of multiple understandings (ostensive aspects) for integration, generated by the quest for efficiency-based synergies and continuity within the university post-merger, and for preservation, inherited from the pre-merger era and the routine embeddedness within the local context. The findings shed new light on the post-merger integration–preservation dilemma by illustrating how the interplay of routine participants’ agency and routine embeddedness within the organization and broader societal context constrains PMI, in spite of an intended full consolidation plan, as routine participants enact the routine in the emerging context.
- organizational routines
- Post-Merger Integration (PMI)
- mergers and acquisitions (M&S)
- routine incompatibility
- multiple ostensive aspects
- societal context
- routine dynamics