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Investigating staff perceptions during an acquisition - the case study of the GIBB (Pty) Ltd. and SEFSA (Pty) Ltd.

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Growth is an important measure of success in today’s competitive global business environment and is the key element in the successful sustainability of business activities (Jay, 2014, pp. 430-448). Growth could be achieved organically or through the acquisition of another company which could lead to diversity and give the organisation a competitive and unique edge. The success of an acquisition is heavily dependent on the people who are actually affected by this change by way of their attitude and commitment to the change. In order for the acquisition to be successful, employee involvement is vital. Most importantly, their perceptions to the change need to be evaluated so that the organisation is more assured of successful change implementation (Babić, Savović and Domanović, 2014, pp. 856-876). GIBB (Pty) Ltd, a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy had aspired to grow its environmental division through the acquisition of another environmental firm, SEF (Pty) Ltd. It was envisaged that the acquisition would double the size of the GIBB environmental sector in terms of both workforce and revenue. Although the two organisations operated in similar industries they had very different organisational cultures and very different operating structures. In order to determine whether this acquisition would be successful, it was essential to gauge the perceptions of the employees of both companies towards the acquisition and the readiness of both sets of employees to change.


Masters Degree. University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban.