Human integration in cross-border mergers poses challenges to the successful implementation of post-merger processes. Executives often rely on human resource practices to achieve human integration in newly formed organisations. Using an ethnographic study of a merger of four banks in four countries, this article investigates the impact of systemic and integrated human resource practices [i.e., high-performance work practices (HPWPs)] on human integration and how their implementation affects employees' behaviours and attitudes towards post-merger human integration. We find that the implementation of HPWPs, such as communication, employee involvement, and team building, may not always produce the expected effects on human integration; rather, it can have the opposite effects if top management does not closely monitor the immediate results of deploying such practices. Implications for managers dealing with post-mergers suggest that human integration is contingent on four dimensions: origin, content, form, and history of the HPWPs.
European Journal of Cross-cultural Competence and Management, 2012, Vol 2, Issue 3/4, p. 299-318