This master thesis investigates a case study of the experiences of eighteen Statoil project workers in terms of working in a large scale project as a unit in relation to other parts of the organization. Moreover, contextual conditions influence the experiences of the informants, such as the Statoil and Hydro merger of 2007. The informants are of both ex-Hydro and ex-Statoil background.
The data is collected by qualitative interviews of each of the informants in collaboration with two other students of organizational psychology. The interviews were conducted by an open interview guide. The research questions emerged as a result of the analysis of the collected data from the interviews.
Relevant theoretical background for the analysis of the data is first of all Mintzberg's (1983) structures in five of organization. Mintzberg's theory is used to describe the various agents of the case, such as the various forms of structuring in the organization that the project informants have to relate to in their work. Hernes' (1975) model of power is further described and used to discuss what characterizes these various relations in terms of interests, dependency and control. Finally, Martins' (2002) perspectives on organizational culture and other perspectives on the merger of organizations are elaborated. The theory on organizational culture and mergers is relevant in order to discuss the various perceptions and experiences of the informants, which are also characterized by conflicting interest.
The introduction and chapter four elaborates on some of the organizational differences of the former Hydro and Statoil organizations which were investigated in a previous study on the merger.
The analysis investigates three main research questions evolved around the informants. experiences of the project work. The first research question investigates if the informants still are concerned about the merger. Furthermore, the analysis seeks to disclose if there are any direct or indirect influences of the merger expressed by the informants. Finally, the analysis investigates given the tensions, what are the effects of the informant's organizational background.
The merger as a concern emerged out the interviews of the informants. First of all they expressed different views on the structure of the organization and the project in relation to their previous organizational background. Mostly the ex-Hydro informants present concern on the organizational structure and system, which appears to be related to the fact the much of the present organizational system are parts kept from ex-Statoil.
In relation to this, there appears to be some indirect and direct influences of the merger, such as collegiums and networks. Those informants of an ex-Statoil background express to have more of a network to relate to in other parts of the organization, something which seems also related to how the present system is in many ways parts from the former Statoil organization.
The project is an organizational unit dependent and related to many other organizational parts, such as the operative organization, support units, governing documents and the organizational values and strategies. Hence, these relations are characterized by interests, control and dependency. However, how these relations are experienced do also differ between the informants, and particularly between ex-Hydro and ex-Statoil informants. Nevertheless, the informants do not present these conflicts of interests as social identities or in "us versus "them" like manners, which is more typical in merged organizations. The conflicts of interests are rather aspects which emerge when the informants express their concerns on the way of doing things in the project and in terms of what they express as most appropriate.
The conflicts of interests or diverging perspectives on the organizational system, such as the governing documents and values seem rooted in a cultural difference of perceptions, expectations and habits. Especially, there appears to be a conflict in terms of the focuses and values, such as safety versus efficiency and cost. Thus, some of the diverging perspectives on the organizational culture seem also to reinforce each other as they are perceived as contradictory.