The relationship between organisational behaviour research and commercial companies is complex, primarily because academic researchers and companies expect different outcomes from participation in the research. Businesses are usually looking to improve organisational performance and seek immediate, practical and applicable outcomes. Academic researchers seek an extension of theoretical knowledge and a contribution to the advancement of their field. This study aimed to satisfy the academic criteria for a PhD thesis and the commercial criteria of the sponsoring organisation. The focus was on the way top-level senior managers joining an organisation learned how to fit in and get on in it.