Adam Sorenson

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The airline industry has faced a devastating past decade with a loss of $60 billion, and 150,000 jobs, the worst financial performance among any major industry, along with 186 bankruptcies over the last 30 years (The proposed United-Continental merger, 2010). Mergers and acquisitions have been the most recent remedy to the financial turmoil and instability. However, 70-80% of mergers fail to produce the benefits originally anticipated, often due to employee concerns (Selden & Colvin, 2003). The purpose of this research is to conduct a quantitative study on job satisfaction and organizational commitment with employees from a major airline after recently undertaking a merger. A survey tool was created with a combination of demographic questions, a job satisfaction survey by Brayfield and Rothe (1951), and the organizational commitment questionnaire by Mowday, Porter and Steers (1979). Surveys were sent to 175 employees within an airline call center environment with 100 responses. Significant differences were found in the independent variables: age, employee classification and pre-merger employment status. Employee problems are estimated to be responsible for one-third to one-half of all merger failures (Davey et al., 1988) Going forward, corporations need to take into account some of the inherent differences within employee work groups while involved in a merger integration. Employee considerations are just as important as financial considerations when corporations strategize the steps of a merger.