Organisational Socialisation: Longitudinal Investigations into Newcomer Sense-Making and Adjustment

Thomas, Helena D C. 1999. Organisational Socialisation: Longitudinal Investigations into Newcomer Sense-Making and Adjustment. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This research investigated the organisational socialisation of newcomers, that is, the process by which new employees come to "learn the ropes" of their role and their place within the wider organisational context.

The research was longitudinal and focused on a number of issues, of which only the key ones will be mentioned here. First, the development of a measure of the content of newcomer learning during socialisation. Second, a more rigorous assessment of how the socialisation process unfolds over time, and related methodological issues of construct stability during a period of change. Third, an assessment of which factors influence the achievement of positive socialisation outcomes (e.g., organisational commitment). And fourth, newcomers' understanding of insider norms and organisational reality.

These issues were investigated in two organisations, the British Army and a multi-national professional services firm. Research was primarily through longitudinal questionnaire studies, over five and three measurement points respectively focusing on the early period of organisational socialisation.

A new measure of the content of socialisation learning was developed as part of this thesis, and proved useful in understanding the dynamics of organisational socialisation and predicting outcomes. The longitudinal research designs enabled a greater understanding of the early stages of organisational socialisation which have received little research attention.
Further, this allowed a comparison of the organisational socialisation process as it occurs in two disparate organisations. A number of factors were found to influence positive socialisation outcomes, and also newcomer understanding of and adjustment to organisational reality.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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organisational socialisation, new employees, longitudinal research, British Army

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Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2020 13:26

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:42


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