Natalia Vuori receives highly prestigious William H. Newman Award


Doctor Natalia Vuori’s paper “Dancing between Illusion and Reality: Decoupling in Post-acquisition Integration” received two major Academy of Management awards:

Natalia Vuori School of Science Aalto University.jpgWilliam H. Newman Award for the best paper based on a recent doctoral dissertation. This award is presented annually, to outstanding single-authored papers based on a doctoral dissertation completed within the past three years. The Newman award is considered as one of the most important awards young management scholars can receive in the world. It recognizes outstanding papers that make a substantive contribution to knowledge based on rigorous and creative designs.

Division Best Paper Based on a Dissertation Award by the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management.

Dr. Natalia Vuori is a Postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University, School of Science, Institute of Strategy and Venturing. At the moment she works as visiting scholarat INSEAD.  

Short summary of the article: We performed an inductive, qualitative study of the post-acquisition integration of a Scandinavian firm acquiring an Eastern European firm. First, we found that managers of both firms engaged in behaviors that harmed post-acquisition performance. Specifically, the acquirer’s managers started mandating and imposing unplanned and questionable changes such as integrating the smaller firm into its own IT system; imposing its own selling routines, HR practices, long-term strategic planning system, and moving the acquired firm to a new office.

The acquired firm’s managers engaged in decoupling by creating two faces for their firm: a public face to demonstrate compliance with the acquirer’s preferences, and a private face to support business processes in accordance with their own preferences. Specifically, they created own “secret” IT system and transferred to it most of their business processes, hired new employees secretly, increased salaries secretly, filled the work time control system with fake
data, and guessed numbers while making five-years plans instead of using analytical tools.

Second, we developed an inductive model that provides a deep understanding of the (a) processes that led to the collapse of coordinated corrective actions and dysfunctional behaviors by both partners, and (b) how emotion cycles between the elites of acquired and acquiring firms influence these processes.


More information:

Dr. Natalia Vuori
natalia.vuori [at] aalto [dot] fi (
natalia.vuori [at] aalto [dot] fi
Tel: +358503791013