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Chapter 6 Organizational Socialization

Learning Goals
Explain organizational socialization as a process that develops and communicates an organization's culture Distinguish between roles and role behaviors Describe the stages of organizational socialization and how they repeat during a work career

Learning Goals (Cont.)


Distinguish the socialization issues in expatriate and repatriate adjustment Discuss the ethical issues in organizational socialization

Chapter Overview
Introduction Roles and Role Behavior Individual and Organizational Perspectives on Socialization Stages of Organizational Socialization International Aspects of Organizational Socialization Ethical Issues in Organizational Socialization

Introduction (Cont.)
Organizational culture and organizational socialization

Organizational Culture (Chapter 4)

Organizational Socialization (Chapter 6)

What a new employee needs to learn.

The process by which a new employee learns the culture.

Introduction (Cont)
Organizational socialization: process by which people learn the content of an organization's culture Powerful process that affects an individual's behavior Helps shape and maintain an organization's culture
The process by which people learn the values, norms, and required behaviors of an organizations culture.

Introduction (Cont)
Organizations almost inevitably leave their imprint on individual members through the socialization process Usually the first behavioral process a person experiences after joining an organization Socialization process unfolds through several stages

Introduction (Cont)
Perspectives
As an individual affected by the process As a manager using the process

Process by which people adjust to new organizations, new jobs, and new groups of people Focuses employees on acquiring important values, attitudes, and role behaviors Deals with the basic question of individualorganization fit

Roles and Role Behavior


Role: activities, duties, responsibilities, required behaviors Contributions from the person in exchange for inducements from the organization (pay, fringe benefits) Must roughly balance for the person to accept the role

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role behavior
Pivotal role behaviors: must accept them to join and remain a member of an organization Relevant role behaviors: considered desirable and good by the organization but not essential to membership Peripheral role behaviors: neither necessary nor desirable but tolerated

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role episodes
Series of role episodes communicate pivotal and relevant role behaviors Start when an organization recruits an individual Continue during the early employment period
See text book Figure 6.1

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role Episodes (Cont.)
Role senders
Before joining the organization: often a company's recruiter After joining The person who hired or will supervise the new employee Other managers Coworkers

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role Episodes (Cont.)
Sent role
Role sender defines a sent role's pivotal and relevant role behaviors Pivotal role behaviors: orally or in job descriptions, company policies, and employee handbook Relevant role behaviors: orally and less formally than pivotal

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role Episodes (Cont.)
Focal person
Receives the role behavior sent by the role sender Enacts the role behavior according to the way the person perceives it Focal person's perception forms the received role Complies with the role sender's request or resists it

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role Episodes (Cont.)
Role sender assesses how closely behavior matches the sender's perception of the role Reacts to focal persons behavior
Pivotal and relevant role behavior Reinforcement if acceptable Sanctions if not complying Peripheral role behavior: nonreinforcement (ignoring)

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role Episodes (Cont.)
Repeats with same role sender Ends when
Compliance occurs Noncompliance accepted Termination or employee leaves the organization

Roles and Role Behavior (Cont.)


Role Episodes (Cont.)
Can repeat with other managers or coworkers as the role senders Often receive conflicting role behaviors Likely complies with role sender believed to have the most control over the persons future

Individual and Organizational Perspectives on Socialization

Organization Socialization

Person Individualization

Socialization Versus Individualization

Stages of Organizational Socialization


Three stages of socialization
Choice: Anticipatory Socialization--before joining the organization Entry/Encounter--after entering the organization Change: Metamorphosis--late stage featuring a new self-image

Result of one stage becomes input to next stage

Stages of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Individual perspective: experiences at each stage Management perspective: each stage helps the socialization process achieve its goals When experienced?
First job New position in same organization New position in different organization

Stages of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Choice: Anticipatory socialization (Getting in)
Expectations

Entry/encounter (Breaking in)

Reality

Change: Metamorphosis (Settling in)

Taking on the role Text book Figure 6.2

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Getting In)


Happens before joining an organization or taking a new job Prepares the person for organizational entry First glimpse of the organizations culture Develops a persons expectations or beliefs about the organization

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Cont.)


Two issues
Realism of self and organization Congruence of self and organization

Realism: responsibility of both the organization and the individual


Organization: present the positive and negative sides of working for the company Potential employee: present an accurate picture of self

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Cont.)


Congruence of self and organization
Are your skills and abilities congruent with the needs of the organization? Can the organization satisfy your needs and offer you a congruent set of values?

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Cont.)


Lack realism and congruence
High turnover Low satisfaction Low organizational commitment Poor job performance

Clear negative effects for both the individual and the organization

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Cont.)


Ways people learn about an organization
Advertising Press accounts Web pages Present employees, especially alumni Internet searches Electronic databases

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Cont.)


Socialization processes
Recruitment advertising: presentation of the organization Company recruiters: campus interviews Internships: experience the organization while still a student Screening and selection devices: written tests, oral interviews, job simulations

Choice: Anticipatory Socialization (Cont.)


Realistic job previews
Balanced descriptions of the job and organization
Recruiting brochures or videotapes Interviews with present employees

Creates realistic expectations


Increases job satisfaction Reduces turnover

Realistic employee previews: accurate, candid presentation of self

Entry/Encounter Stage (Breaking In)


Crosses the boundary of the organization and enters this second stage of socialization Brings expectations from the anticipatory stage Compares expectations to the reality of the organization Often eager to learn the ropes

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


New self-image
The intent of the organization Focuses on pivotal and relevant role behaviors Highlights the tug of war between socialization and individualization

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Purposes
Role clarification
Organization: immediate supervisor Immediate workgroup Describe same role requirements?

Teach tasks, duties, and responsibilities

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Purposes (cont.)
Teach immediate workgroup norms
Social status Bases of power Informal leaders Performance norms; not always same as organizations or individuals values

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Conflicting behavioral demands and new employees adjustment Work and nonwork roles Stress during this early adjustment period

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Socialization processes
Purpose: give employee a new self-image Process has three steps
Unfreezing: discard old self-image Changing: move to new self-image Refreezing: puts the new self-image solidly in place Metaphor: melting ice cubes in a heart shaped mold and refreezing the mold

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Socialization processes (cont.)
Indoctrination programs
Teach formal rules and procedures (pivotal role behavior) Uniform presentation to many new employees

Apprenticeship or mentoring
Assign to a veteran employee Teaches technical and social parts of job Varied results because organization has less control than in indoctrination programs

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Socialization processes (cont.)
Training programs
Develop skills important to the job Goes beyond what employee learned in an academic setting Also conveys values and norms of the organizations culture

Entry/Encounter Stage (Cont.)


Socialization processes (cont.)
Debasement or upending experiences
Quickly unfreezes new member from old self-image Give new employee an extremely easy or extremely hard task Both task assignments have the same humiliating effect Questions his or her self-image, making the person ready for change

Change: Metamorphosis (Settling In)


Change in new employee as the entry/encounter stage flows into the metamorphosis stage Often clear separation from entry/encounter stage with rites and rituals (graduation) The word metamorphosis emphasizes the extraordinary changes that can happen

Change: Metamorphosis (Cont.)


Successful resolution of multiple socialization demands
Comfortable in new role Some mastery of job requirements Acceptance of obvious values Adjusted to group norms Self-confidence up; anxiety down

Change: Metamorphosis (Cont.)


Results
Rebellious response
Rejects all aspects of role Socialization failure

Custodial response: accepts existing role Innovative response


Content innovation: changes role Role innovation: redefines role; a form of accepting rebellion

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization


Experience an international role transition each time a person moves to and from an international assignment As in domestic job changes, the person experiences the socialization stages International context creates some special issues for socialization processes

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Expatriate: moves from home country to another country Repatriate: returns to home country from another country Culture shock for both but for different reasons Home country could have changed in unknown ways On return, expatriate enters a culture with many new features

Cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates and repatriates


New job and work environment Interacting with local nationals Culture of the country

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)

Organization's socialization process can help adjustment along these dimensions

Issues in expatriate adjustment

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)

Cross-cultural training can smooth international role transitions Expatriate adjustment failures
Between 16 and 40 percent of U.S. employees return before their international assignment ends Estimated cost of expatriate failures for U.S. multinationals: over $2 billion a year Does not include unmeasured costs such as lost business and loss of employee self-esteem

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Difficulties during early part of socialization to new assignment
Lack of knowledge about local norms and rules of behavior Dramatic changes and contrasts depending on degree of difference between expatriate's home culture and other country's culture Argue for more preparation for international job transitions

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Typically choose people for based on successful performance in domestic roles Assumption: success in domestic operations means success abroad

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Recommended selection criteria:
Experience from an earlier international assignment Openness to differences among people Willingness to learn about another culture Recommend the same criteria in assessing the adjustment potential of spouse and other family members

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Expatriate socialization should include crosscultural training Cross-cultural training helps smooth expatriate adjustment Only about 30 percent of expatriates get such training Training usually offered is not comprehensive

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Typically includes an orientation to the other country's culture and its physical environment Spouses often not included in such training Their adaptation plays a key role in successful expatriate adjustment

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Some countries are harder to adjust to than others Greater the differences between the other country's culture and home culture, the harder the adjustment Countries difficult for U.S. employees: India, Liberia, and some Southeast Asian countries

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Women face a special issue in cultures with male-dominated norms and values Female expatriates and wives of male expatriates: difficult to adjust to such cultures

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in expatriate adjustment (cont.)
Career development programs can smooth expatriate transitions Show the career connections between
Expatriate assignment Repatriate assignment Long-term career

Assign at-home mentors to help guide the expatriate

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in repatriate adjustment
Repatriate may not have an accurate image of home culture before return Anticipatory stage before leaving international assignment: inaccurate expectations of life back home

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in repatriate adjustment (cont.)
Maintaining accurate expectations
Home leave or required visits to the home office Required interactions with people in home office: increase information flow Communication media: telephone, facsimile, international teleconference, E-mail, and direct computer connection

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in repatriate adjustment (cont.)
Role of home office mentor
Keep person informed of major policy and strategic changes back home Maintain flow of accurate information about changes in the home organization and culture Goal: give the repatriate accurate expectations about his or her return

International Aspects of Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Issues in repatriate adjustment (cont.)
Successful repatriation
Degree of adaptation to other country's culture can affect adaptation to home culture Requires unlearning much of what made the person successful abroad Many perquisites that go with an international assignment are dysfunctional to adjustment Predeparture training: prepare to return home. Almost no multinational offers such training

Ethical Issues in Organizational Socialization


Several ethical issues center on informed consent
Should the organization tell potential new employees that it will try to change some values and behavior? Should present employees be told that each time they change positions, their values and behavior will also change? Should an organization reveal the socialization and training goals of its training programs before employees enter the programs?

Ethical Issues in Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Debasement experiences
Most organizations use mild forms of debasement Sororities, fraternities, basic military training, military academies use strong forms of debasement Can create feelings of fear and intimidation Debasement experiences pose a clear ethical dilemma for organizations and managers

Ethical Issues in Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Anticipatory socialization
Importance of having accurate expectations about working for a particular organization Withholding negative information from potential employees: an ethical issue At what point does an organization behave unethically by not giving a balanced view of itself?

Ethical Issues in Organizational Socialization (Cont.)


Anticipatory socialization (cont.)
Potential employee knowingly withholds information about self Could affect performance or retention by an organization At what point do people behave unethically by not giving a balanced view of self?