A Public Marriage: A Comparison Of Organizational Change Communication Between Two Cultures Involved In A Municipal Government Facilities Merger
Dollar, Sharon Michaela
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This study compares the change communication of two public organizations (a City and School District) during a municipal government facility merger as well as the effects of the merger on the organizations' cultures. It is unique in that the organizations merged only their facilities and not their business operations or organizational cultures. Therefore, the two organizations remained distinctly separate institutions. Data for this study consisted of 14 in-depth interviews. The results revealed that due to the separation in communication before the change, the School District had less formal communication with their employees as did the City. The limited communication resulted in more cynicism and apprehension about the change. Additionally, employees reported that the culture of the School District weakened after the merger; however, the City's culture only grew stronger. The study concludes with a discussion of future implications for similar public organizations considering a facility merger.