The Dark Side of Socialization: A Longitudinal Investigation of Newcomer Alcohol Use

Academy of Management Journal, 2015, Vol. 58, No. 2, 334–355

23 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2015

See all articles by Songqi Liu

Songqi Liu

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Mo Wang

University of Florida - Department of Management

Peter Bamberger

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management

Junqi Shi

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - Lingnan (University) College

Samuel Bacharach

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

Organizational veterans and external stakeholders such as clients often play an important and informal role in newcomer socialization, influencing newcomer cognition and behavior and providing learning opportunities and social support that facilitate employee adjustment and performance enhancement. However, from a sensemaking perspective, newcomers may also draw insight from stakeholder behavior in order to better understand how to best meet job-related objectives and expectations. These understandings may manifest as performance-related motives, leading to the adoption of risky behaviors that can be detrimental to newcomer health and organizational effectiveness. Using multisource, multilevel, and longitudinal data, we demonstrate that the alcohol use norms of both organizational veterans and clients are significantly associated with the performance drinking motives of newcomers in sales and client service teams, suggesting that veteran and client norms signal to newcomers that drinking alcohol is an effective and legitimate means to improve job performance. In addition, we demonstrate that performance drinking motives mediate the positive relationship between veteran and client alcohol use norms and newcomers' frequency of work-based heavy drinking. Finally, we find that the frequency of work-based heavy drinking is positively related to newcomer alcohol misuse and mediates the positive relationship between performance drinking motives and newcomer alcohol misuse.

Keywords: employee alcohol use, newcomer adjustment, organizational socialization, sensemaking, workplace norms

Suggested Citation

Liu, Songqi and Wang, Mo and Bamberger, Peter and Shi, Junqi and Bacharach, Samuel, The Dark Side of Socialization: A Longitudinal Investigation of Newcomer Alcohol Use (March 2014). Academy of Management Journal, 2015, Vol. 58, No. 2, 334–355. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2632479

Songqi Liu

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Mo Wang (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Department of Management ( email )

United States

Peter Bamberger

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management ( email )

Haifa 32000
Israel
972-4-829-4510 (Phone)

Junqi Shi

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - Lingnan (University) College ( email )

135 Xingang Xi Road
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275
China

Samuel Bacharach

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

Institute for Workplace Studies
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
212-340-2850 (Phone)
212-340-2893 (Fax)

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