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date: 04 July 2022

Moving Forward: Next Steps for Advancing the Research and Practice of Employee Socialization

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter briefly describes the advances in the area of organizational socialization and highlights a number of important future research directions outlined by the preceding chapters within this handbook. Next directions for research include new antecedents and outcomes of newcomer socialization, how to explore socialization process and dynamics in conjunction with time issues, and how to expand the lessons from newcomer socialization to individuals experiencing different types of newness, such as expatriates. In addition, the authors provide four suggestions for socialization researchers: tie research to socialization, draw upon nonsocialization areas of research, connect different areas of socialization research, and be ambitious. Implications for socialization practitioners and organizations are discussed.

Keywords: socialization, adjustment, onboarding, new employees, newcomers, future research

This handbook offered an overview of the current research and practice of employee socialization into new roles. A great deal of territory was covered. The socialization experience was portrayed as variously challenging, uncomfortable, exciting, stressful, and full of opportunity for the newcomer. New employees may feel welcome or they may feel insecure, lonely, and left out. They may quickly gain an understanding of their role within the organization and how it fits in with other roles, or they may flounder, uncertain about priorities, how they are doing, and whether or not their work is appreciated.

Chapters portrayed individual, organizational, and situational factors that facilitate versus hamper employee socialization, and the types of outcomes organizations can expect if employees adapt more quickly and easily to new roles. We now draw a close to the discussion with remarks about progress and future work in this area. First, we describe the thought leadership provided by these chapters and the associated implications for new research. Second, we provide some general thoughts and observations for researchers to consider as they aim to continue the momentum and progress of this literature. Finally, we discuss the implications of this volume for socialization practice within organizations.

Research: Progress and Next Directions

It is heartening to see the progress this literature has made in the last 20 years. A solid understanding is emerging of the socialization process and how companies, peers and supervisors, and new employees themselves can facilitate this process. Yet, there is still work to be done with respect to solidifying our understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of successful socialization, the process and mechanisms through which socialization occurs, the dynamics of the process, and how this process applies to new role experiences beyond new hires.

Antecedents of Newcomer Adjustment

Newcomer adjustment involves the extent to which new employees understand, master, and feel confident about their job and task demands. The (p. 340) newcomer should also feel comfortable and socially accepted by the members of the work group and perceive a good fit between his/her skills and values and that of the job and organization (Bauer, Bodner, Erdogan, Truxillo, & Tucker, 2007; Klein & Heuser, 2008). Three main classes of variables have been studied as antecedents of newcomer adjustment: organizational practices or tactics, characteristics and behaviors of the newcomer, and the role of other parties such as coworkers and supervisors. There is significant opportunity to move the research ahead in each of these antecedent categories.

Let’s start with organizational practices and tactics. Although socialization tactics undertaken by the organization have received a great deal of attention from socialization researchers (e.g., Jones, 1986; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979), this volume provides a reconceptualization and refinement of these tactics. In Chapter 3, Saks and Gruman argue that the literature on socialization tactics is highly fragmented, leaving many questions unanswered about which organizational practices are best for specific desired outcomes, and how long newcomers need help with their socialization. The authors introduce 17 socialization resources that organizations can provide to enhance the newcomer experience and suggest that the delineation of these resources will make it easier to move research ahead on issues such as what different types of newcomers need when they enter an organization. Klein and Polin (Chapter 14) suggest that research can look beyond Van Maanen and Schein’s (1979) socialization tactics by delineating specific socialization practices. According to Klein and Polin, research must drill down to provide a detailed understanding of what specific activities and what combinations of activities are most effective, as well as when and from whom they should be offered to organizational newcomers.

Many chapters within the handbook delineate ways in which newcomer characteristics and behaviors are important to the socialization experience. Cooper-Thomas and Burke (Chapter 4) provide a valuable overview of the research to date on employee proactivity in the socialization process. During the course of this review, the authors suggest several provoking questions about proactive behavior among newcomers, such as: How do established employees within the organization (e.g., coworkers) react to newcomer proactive behavior? Do they continue to proactively offer help to the newcomer, or do they begin to sit back and wait for the newcomer to come to them? When are proactive behaviors beneficial to the individual and organization, and when might they backfire or produce negative consequences? Feldman (Chapter 11) similarly argues it will be useful for research to examine the impact of newcomer proactivity on insiders, suggesting there is a need to understand when insiders may accept versus reject newcomer initiative.

In reality, newcomers do not always take initiative. Why do some individuals proactively seek information and feedback, solicit advice when needed, and work to build their networks, while others don’t? Chapters in this handbook provide insight into individual differences and organizational factors that may be related to newcomers being less proactive. Drawing from the impression management literature, Ashford and Nurmohamed (Chapter 2) suggest that organizational values can play significant roles in determining newcomer’s proactive behaviors. In other words, since newcomers choose behaviors consistent with organizational values, it is very likely that newcomer proactivity is determined by whether organizations or newcomers’ supervisors value initiative on the part of newcomers. Hurst, Kammeyer-Mueller, and Livingston (Chapter 7) suggest that newcomers may worry about the impressions they give others when they ask for help (i.e., disclosing ignorance can be difficult). These authors also propose that newcomers who have high disparity (e.g., pay, income, and status) and/or separation diversity (e.g., opinions, beliefs, and values) may be especially reluctant to be proactive. The framework presented by Hurst et al. raises additional questions to be explored in future research regarding the role of diversity in the socialization process, such as: To what extent and under what conditions does newcomer diversity create increased workgroup conflict or exclusion and lack of support for the newcomer? How do certain moderators, such as organizational culture or newcomer personality, facilitate or hurt the successful integration of a diverse newcomer?

Finally, multiple authors in this handbook argue that we need to pay more attention to how coworkers, supervisors, and broader social networks play a role in the socialization process. Jokisaari and Nurmi (Chapter 5) introduce a theoretical framework for understanding how newcomer networks are related to learning, sensemaking, and success in the organization. These authors raise several questions that can be explored in future research, including: How do social networks change for organizational newcomers over time? What factors explain why some individuals grow networks more successfully than others? How long does it (p. 341) take newcomers to become a valuable social tie for organizational veterans? What are the predictors and outcomes of supervisory support of newcomer network development? Ashford and Nurmohamed (Chapter 2) suggest it is important to more concretely explore coworkers’ and supervisors’ roles as sources of socialization. Saks and Gruman (Chapter 3) note that in addition to paying attention to the role of coworkers and supervisors, attention should be paid to the socializing forces of other socialization agents such as members in other departments, subordinates, customers, and clients. Expatriate research has similarly ignored how and through what processes peers (i.e., host country nationals; HCNs) help expatriates adjust to their new work roles. Focusing especially on knowledge acquisition, Toh, DeNisi, and Leonardelli (Chapter 12) suggest that expatriate research should better explicate how knowledge flows occur between HCNs and expatriates. When are expatriates more willing to learn from HCNs?

Socialization Outcomes

How does socialization affect important individual and organizational outcomes? A wide array of proximal (e.g., role clarity, self-efficacy, and social acceptance) and distal (e.g., job performance, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intentions to leave the organization, and actual turnover) outcomes have been studied in this literature (Bauer et al., 2007). The chapters in this handbook make apparent that socialization matters to these outcomes, and explicate the need to dig deeper into questions of how and under what conditions socialization facilitates versus hinders these outcomes.

A few chapters suggest that future research willbenefit from examining a broader scope of individual and organizational outcomes. For example, Bauer and Erdogan (Chapter 6) note that work–life balance can be affected during the first several months of a newcomer’s adjustment to a new role. Individuals beginning a new job may spend more time away from home as they try to learn their new roles and get to know new coworkers. In addition, the authors note that having newcomers in the workplace may affect supervisor levels of stress and well-being. During newcomer socialization, supervisors have extra work on their plates as they have to clarify the roles of the newcomer, make introductions, and coordinate new work teams. Bauer and Erdogan also suggest it is important for researchers to explore how newcomers affect established social relationships within the organization. For instance, when and under what conditions do newcomers change the dynamics of an existing work group?

The primary focus of Feldman (Chapter 11) is on this latter point, the impact of newcomer socialization on individuals already working within the organization. Feldman suggests that we have not sufficiently studied how socialization tactics influence insiders’ perceptions about the newcomer. For example, we know that individualized socialization is associated with higher newcomer proactivity. Do the practices that organizations use also have implications for how organizational veterans view the newcomer? Feldman also suggests that future research should consider the time and energy it takes organizational veterans to socialize newcomers, and how this may affect their behavior toward newcomers. For example, he suggests that especially when newcomers get treated as “prima donnas,” organizational veterans may react with frustration, impatience, and even aggressive behavior. Finally, he calls for more research on how the entry of one or a small number of disruptive new hires may have dysfunctional consequences for a workgroup.

van Vianen and De Pater (Chapter 8) address newcomer perceptions of person–organizational (PO) fit, suggesting that there is opportunity for a better understanding of the antecedents and outcome of perceptions of fit. They argue there are many rich questions to explore, such as how, when, and why newcomers’ PO fit perceptions change over time, and how newcomers react and adapt to low perceived fit. Do individuals change their own characteristics or values, and if so under what conditions, or do they primarily reframe or modify their new environment? What processes are involved in the formation of PO fit perceptions? Because PO fit is fundamentally important to outcomes such as job satisfaction, commitment, and retention, such avenues of research are worth pursuing.

It is likely that social integration, as an outcome, matters more than we have explicated in the literature. Social integration of newcomers has been emphasized in the socialization literature less than job performance factors such as role clarity and task mastery. Although learning the ropes is critical for newcomers, relying solely or heavily on learning aspects of socialization might be limiting, since organizations consist of many social and personal interactions among members. Chapters in this handbook provide ideas about when the social integration of newcomers may be particularly important. Hurst et al. (Chapter 7) note that newcomers who are different from insiders (i.e., who have high (p. 342) diversity) are less likely to be socially accepted, which leads them to be excluded from support networks in their groups. The extent to which newcomers are socially accepted by insiders may also influence whether newcomers can be change agents (Bauer & Erdogan, Chapter 6). In a similar vein, newcomers’ PO fit after entry can be conceptualized as social acceptance, since organizational cultures or values are constructed and held by organizational members (i.e., insiders; van Vianen & De Pater, Chapter 8). Future research should look more closely at newcomer social integration as a key outcome of PO fit. Beyond social integration, organizational socialization research should examine how quickly newcomers earn coworkers’ and supervisors’ respect and trust. To the extent that a predecessor has been irresponsible, difficult, or not very good at his or her job, this may be easier. To the extent that a predecessor was beloved or to the extent the newcomer is not introduced properly to the work group, this may be more challenging.

Process, Time, and Dynamics

The socialization literature has proposed several process models, explicating how and through what mechanisms individuals adapt to and learn a new job. For example, the early socialization literature proposed process models from both organizational (e.g., Feldman, 1981) and newcomer perspectives (e.g., Miller & Jablin, 1991). More recently, Bauer et al. (2007) found that role clarity, self-efficacy, and social acceptance mediated the relationship between newcomer information seeking and socialization tactics and more distal outcomes (e.g., job performance and job satisfaction). Saks, Uggerslev, and Fassina (2007) demonstrated that proximal outcomes (e.g., role ambiguity, role conflict, and fit perceptions) partially mediate the relationships between socialization tactics and distal outcomes (e.g., role orientation, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intentions to quit, and job performance).

Yet, the chapters in this handbook suggest we have a lot more to learn about the socialization process. Toh et al. (Chapter 12) suggest we need to know more about the psychological processes involved in knowledge transfers between expatriates and HCNs. In addition, underlying mechanisms in the socialization process are less known. For example, what are the processes through which diversity influences the development of interpersonal relationships between newcomers and their coworkers (e.g., information elaboration process, interpersonal conflict, and social exclusion; Hurst et al., Chapter 7)? There is also a call for research about the two-way processes between newcomers and insiders. Whereas most socialization literature focuses on the roles of insiders for helping newcomer socialization, Feldman (Chapter 11) emphasizes socialization as mutual influence process. That is, the authors argue that future research should pay special attention to the process of how newcomers influence insiders.

In another discussion of the process of socialization, Ashford and Nurmohamed (Chapter 2) suggest that future research should elucidate the role of newcomer cognitive and affective experiences during the first months in a new job. Over time, the socialization literature has incorporated affective outcomes such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, but has not sufficiently examined how newcomers feel and display emotions (for a review of emotions in socialization, see Ashforth & Saks, 2002). Ashford and Nurmohamed point out emotions such as excitement, disappointment, doubt, alienation, anxiety, and stress play a substantial role in the newcomer experience. Understanding the extent to which individuals experience these emotions and how they manage them may be valuable to the socialization literature. While cognitive processes have been emphasized more than affective processes, Ashford and Nurmohamed suggest that there is still ample opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of newcomers’ cognitive experiences. They suggest, for example, that the extensive literature on cognitive heuristics should be applied to the experience of socialization. For example, newcomers may allow prominent early experiences to create inaccurate beliefs or premature impressions.

Tied closely to the topic of process is dynamics. Socialization is a fundamentally dynamic process, and there are many important questions to be answered about how learning, role clarity, self-efficacy, social integration, and adjustment evolve over time as individuals start a new job. Ashforth (Chapter 9) stimulates a myriad of time and process related questions, such as: What individual and situational factors facilitate faster learning among newcomers? What factors might disrupt the learning trajectory of a newcomer? How can we better understand the importance and consequences of discrete, episodic events (such as a lunch invitation, or being forgiven for making a major error) that occur during the first few months of a newcomer’s tenure? Even more complex, how can we learn more about event sequencing and how certain events and occurrences foster self-efficacy and credibility on the (p. 343) part of the newcomer, thereby increasing the likelihood of further success within the organization?

The need to more fully explicate how socialization plays out over time was also stressed by other authors in this handbook. For example, Toh et al. (Chapter 12) note a need to delineate how relationships between HCNs and expatriates develop and grow after the expatriate’s organizational entry. Jokisaari and Nurmi (Chapter 5) note a need to explore the reciprocal exchange between newcomers’ socialization (e.g., learning) and their social networks, as well as how newcomers’ positions in social networks develop over time. Other questions about the evolution of the socialization process that can be explored include: How are newcomers’ fit perceptions shaped over time (van Vianen & De Pater, Chapter 8) and how can disruptive newcomers influence a work group (Feldman, Chapter 11)?

In order to correctly study process, time, and dynamics issues, it is imperative to carefully consider research design and analysis issues (e.g., Ashford & Nurmohamed, Chapter 2; Ashforth, Chapter 9; Vancouver & Warren, Chapter 10). Vancouver and Warren offer an excellent overview of methodological issues pertaining to doing research in the socialization area. The chapter covers the way we should understand the socialization phenomena and links that to methodological approaches in socialization research, such as experimental or longitudinal designs, computational models, and qualitative methods. Specifically, experience sampling methods or ethnographic methods may be fruitful avenues for future research to explore socialization dynamics (Ashford & Nurmohamed, Chapter 2).

Socialization Beyond the Newcomer

The socialization literature, due to its focus on beginning new roles, can be applied to other types of newcomer experiences such as being an expatriate, being promoted into a higher level job, and being a new customer. For example, similar to organizational newcomers, expatriates are beginning a new role. It may be with the same organization but it is within a new (and international) location. In the expatriate adjustment process, Toh et al. (Chapter 12) argue that, whereas expatriate literature has mainly focused on how expatriates transfer their knowledge to HCNs, it is equally critical to understand the roles of HCNs, as socializing agents, in facilitating the information sharing between HCNs and expatriates. For this, it is forward-looking to explore the roles of organizations, such as how organizations establish procedural justice with respect to expatriate work. In addition, it seems desirable to incorporate contextual (corporate or national) factors in expatriate adjustment research. For instance, do expatriates in recently merged companies go through different adjustment processes? What are the most effective socialization tactics for expatriates in those new situations? Or, do we need different tactics for them? Beyond commonly known expatriates, the authors note that future research should pay more attention to other types of expatriates such as inpatriates, repatriates, self-initiated expatriates, expatriates from small firms, and female expatriates who are likely to have different motivations to expatriate assignments from normal expatriates. Do these other types of expatriates go through the same or different socialization process?

The socialization literature can also be applied to the experience of individuals newly promoted into higher level jobs. Do newly promoted executives experience the same socialization process as entry-level new hires? Many chapters in this handbook imply that the socialization process for those higher level newcomers can be somewhat different from the entry-level newcomer socialization process. Conger (Chapter 16) argues that socializing newly promoted individuals into their new roles is not very common. Due to disparity diversity, Hurst et al. (Chapter 7) note that higher level newcomers are especially less likely to get much help from others, since they are supposed to be in charge and know how everything works. Collectively, it seems quite useful to explore the newcomer socialization process involved when individuals move into higher level positions.

Rollag (Chapter 13) provides several ideas about how socialization theory can be applied to the new customer experience. Are the socialization tactics and practices outlined for new employees generalizable to new customers? Which practices are associated with new customer satisfaction and loyalty? When should companies socialize new customers individually versus in groups? Rollag notes that researchers should aim to develop conceptual models that outline factors (i.e., socialization tactics, customer characteristics, and contextual variables) associated with important new customer outcomes.

General Remarks about Research on Socialization

There are many ideas in this handbook for future research. At a much more general level, we have some additional thoughts and suggestions for (p. 344) researchers to consider as they design and write up research on this topic. Specifically, we propose four suggestions for socialization researchers: tie research to socialization, draw upon nonsocialization areas of research, connect different areas of socialization research, and be ambitious.

Tie Research to Socialization

To some extent, it is difficult to ensure that socialization research is truly tied to the context of an individual starting a new job. This is a strange statement to make! What do we mean by this? We mean that investigators should take care to think about why what they are studying is particularly important to newcomers, and not just for any employee (i.e., regardless of how long they have been with an organization). For example, perhaps you are studying the relationship between coworker social support and newcomer job satisfaction. You find a positive relationship. Because social support is important for all employees, it is important to demonstrate that social support is related to an outcome unique to newcomers, such as how quickly they adjust or learn the ropes at their new job. Job satisfaction would be an appropriate outcome in this hypothetical study, but something in the study should tie the hypotheses uniquely to the newcomer experience. Most studies do make this distinction, yet from time to time there are examples of researchers examining relationships within the socialization context without a unique argument for why it is of particular importance in the newcomer context.

Connect Different Areas of Socialization Research

While tying research explicitly to the socialization context, researchers must also comprehensively build upon previous research efforts within the socialization literature. This, too, seems obvious. Yet, there is some useful insight in the statement. Saks and Gruman (Chapter 3) stress this point with respect to socialization practices, suggesting that each of the socialization practices they review (orientation programs, training programs, socialization tactics, job characteristics, and socialization agents) have been independently studied in the socialization literature. They note that the socialization literature is less integrated within itself than is desirable, noting “In fact, the only integration across topics in the socialization literature seems to have been a handful of studies that investigated newcomer proactive behaviors in combination with socialization tactics.” As an example, these authors make the argument that we do not really know much with respect to what training content for newcomers is important. Training content should draw directly upon what we know is important about the socialization process. Researchers studying socialization should know the socialization literature well, not just a small pocket of previous research related to the specific question they are asking.

Draw Upon Nonsocialization Areas of Research

While researchers should know the socialization literature well and draw upon it carefully, there are many studies and theories related to work, emotions, social support, learning, diversity, careers, and other areas that may help develop insight about socialization. We encourage socialization researchers to make ample use of other literatures. Drawing upon other literatures can help researchers to ask new questions, develop the socialization literature more fully, and avoid recreating concepts that have been described in other literatures. For example, we agree with Saks and Gruman (Chapter 3) when they suggest that the literature needs a comprehensive model or framework that portrays how different socialization agents contribute to successful new employee adjustment. Such a framework could draw upon the social support literature (e.g., Lakey & Cohen, 2000; Sarason, Sarason, & Pierce, 1990; Viswesvaran, Sanchez, & Fisher, 1999), the burgeoning literature on work relationships (Dutton & Ragins, 2007), and research on the development of relationships in other new contexts, such as starting college (Brissette, Scheier, & Carver, 2002; Hays, 1985). It is possible that there is something unique about relationships and support of newcomers, something that has not been uncovered in other areas in which interpersonal relationships and social support has been studied, yet these literatures offer a solid base from which to begin.

Most recently, synergies between the socialization literature and the following literatures have been recognized: PO fit (van Vianen & De Pater, Chapter 8), expatriation (Toh et al., Chapter 12), mentoring (Dixon, Sontag, & Vappie, Chapter 18), social networks (Jokisaari & Nurmi, Chapter 5), and diversity (Hurst et al., Chapter 7). The cross-fertilization of information across these related literatures is valuable and helps to create new research directions and insights.

Be Ambitious

A lot goes into designing a good study. The contribution that a study brings to the literature, as (p. 345) well as its constructs, mediators, moderators, and theoretical arguments, must be thought through carefully. The design of the study must be rigorous. Authors must think carefully about the appropriateness of the sample and defend the content, source, and timing of the measurements they use. The body of literature that must be consulted to create and form sound hypotheses is growing exponentially. Studies can suffer if authors tackle too much (i.e., too many hypotheses, too many constructs, or too many paths). Yet, they can also suffer if authors present hypotheses that are too obvious or simplistic, or if the associated literature review and argumentation are not sufficiently rich.

This, however, all adds up to a constructive and exciting challenge. Although significant progress has been made in the socialization literature in the last 20 years, there are still many opportunities. A wealth of ideas was provided within the chapters in this handbook for continued research in the socialization area. As researchers implement these and other new directions, they can consider the suggestions and advice outlined by Colquitt and George (2011). Specifically, they urge researchers to consider the following issues when launching a research study: (1) significance (is the focus of the study in some way bold, unconventional, or on an unresolved issue?); (2) novelty (am I presenting any new ideas, insights, or new directions?); (3) curiosity (is the study interesting, does it go beyond the obvious?); (4) scope (are you being too narrow or slicing your data too thin?); and (5) actionability (will your study offer insights for practice?). At times, good research ideas can be developed by drawing upon real life experience and examining where there are gaps within the literature in knowledge.

Practice Implications

Chapters in this handbook provide a number of practical implications for managers and organizations. It is particularly important to highlight Klein and Polin’s chapter (Chapter 14), which portrays a wealth of information about the current use of onboarding practices in organizations. While most organizations are aware of the importance of onboarding programs, most do not develop their programs sufficiently. Here, we highlight other useful practice-based information and suggestions presented in this handbook.

First, several chapters offer a broad picture of how to develop, implement, and evaluate onboarding programs with real examples and cases, such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC; Saks and Gruman, Chapter 3), a Big Ten university (the University of Minnesota; Doepner-Hove, Chapter 15), and the Bank of America and Toyota (Conger, Chapter 16). Doepner-Hove (Chapter 15) offers a comprehensive onboarding program development history, from the beginning to how well each onboarding practice worked out in a Big Ten university. Dixon et al. (Chapter 18) provide information on how to design mentoring programs for the purpose of newcomer socialization, especially for those in higher rank positions. Socialization Resources Theory (SRT) by Saks and Gruman (Chapter 3) offers a nice framework to develop, monitor, and evaluate onboarding programs. Managers can audit their organizational socialization porgrams with the sample questions they provide. Lastly, Conger (Chapter 16) provides two valuable cases explicating the socialization process for senior level newcomers such as executives and plant managers. Given the importance of leadership in organizations, the two cases suggest a number of factors to consider when designing socialization programs for upper echelon leaders, such as the importance of quality interaction between newcomers (i.e., new leaders) and their stakeholders. These comprehensive frameworks would be helpful for organizations that are either starting new onboarding programs or refining them.

Second, it is important for organizations to be well prepared for developing and implementing onboarding programs. Doepner-Hove (Chapter 15) suggests that in order to deliver onboarding programs efficiently and effectively, it is critical to have quality partnerships with key organizational units (e.g., HR department) and existing programs. In addition, to build an onboarding program it may be important to hire a person into a full-time position for onboarding program development. Hiring a manager to lead onboarding programs is also emphasized in Bradt (Chapter 17).

Third, chapters provide insightful practical implications for enhancing onboarding program effectiveness and facilitating newcomer socialization. Bradt (Chapter 17) suggests that organizations should align their efforts in recruitment, orientation, training, and management efforts in one direction, integrated to into one “Total Onboarding Program.” Given that those activities are mostly disconnected in organizations, positive synergy effects are expected. It is also critical for organizations to build up a positive diversity climate and enhance social support so that minority newcomers can successfully adjust to workplace (Hurst et al., Chapter 7). For expatriates, Toh et al. (Chapter 12) suggest that, in (p. 346) order to promote expatriate adjustment, colleagues in the host country should be encouraged to share information with expatriates. Organizations should be cognizant of host country nationals as important sources of knowledge and help expatriates to have effective interactions with these individuals by emphasizing a cooperative atmosphere for both expatriates and HCNs. Formal or informal reward systems might also be established to encourage host country nationals to assist with expatriate socialization.


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