Effects of Organizational Socialization Tactics and Newcomers' Proactivity on Socialization Outcomes.

Posted: 3 Aug 2015

See all articles by Tae-Yeol Kim

Tae-Yeol Kim

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Sang-Pyo Kim

Gyeongsang National University

Date Written: January 1, 2004


The past organizational socialization studies have devoted their attention to examining how organizational socializations affect various individual outcomes. Although they have provided useful insights on organizational socialization, they have generally failed to examine the processes by which organizational socialization tactics affect various socialization outcomes. In addition, Jones (1986) provided a 3-factor conceptualization of socialization tactics (i.e., context, content, and social aspects) which is conceptually richer and allows for greater hypothesis-testing regarding specific classes of socialization tactics than a single continuum. However, only Cable and Parsons (2001) used the framework to examine the relationship between organizational socialization and person-organization fit (P-O fit).

To address these limitations, this study investigated the effects of the 3-factor conceptualization of socialization tactics on socialization outcomes, based on the process model proposed by Saks and Ashforth (1997). According to Saks and Ashforth, socialization tactics are predicted to result in proximal socialization outcomes that are more directly affected by organizational socialization than others. Proximal socialization outcomes are then expected to influence a wide variety of more distal socialization outcomes. That is, proximal socialization outcomes mediate the relationship between organizational socialization and distal socialization outcomes. In this study, we examined how person-organization fit and role clarity (i.e., proximal socialization outcomes) mediate the relationship between the 3-factor socialization tactics and various distal socialization outcomes (i.e., organization commitment, job satisfaction, and intention to quit).

To test this research model, we collected data from newcomers whose tenure is between 3 months and 2 years in 9 Korean organizations. Based on 347 completed surveys, we conducted structural equation modeling analysis using AMOS 4.0. The results show that overall the proposed research model fits to the data well based on various fix indices such as CFI and GFI. More specifically, significant tests of each path coefficient show that, as expected, content and social aspects of socialization were positively associated with person-organizational fit and role clarity. P-O fit and role clarity were also significantly associated with three distal socialization outcomes. In addition, P-O fit and role clarity partially mediated the relationship between organizational socialization and the distal socialization outcomes. For example, person- organizational fit and role clarity fully mediated the relationship between content aspect of socialization and organizational commitment and job satisfaction. However, as unexpected, collective socialization (i.e., context aspects of socialization) was negatively and significantly associated with P-O fit. It is possible that when organizations provide the same socializations to newcomers while separating them from the existing employees, the newcomers may develop their own subcultures that may deviated from the current organizational culture and values. In particular, in Korea, where generation differences are substantial (Inglehart, 1990), the negative impact of collective and formal socialization on person-organizational fit may be not unusual. Thus, when organizations use collective and formal socialization tactics (i.e., the context aspect of socialization), they have to pay more attentions to clarifying the purpose and the content of the socialization. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Kim, Tae-Yeol and Kim, Sang-Pyo, Effects of Organizational Socialization Tactics and Newcomers' Proactivity on Socialization Outcomes. (January 1, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2638764

Tae-Yeol Kim

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) ( email )

Shanghai-Hongfeng Road
Shanghai 201206
Shanghai 201206

Sang-Pyo Kim (Contact Author)

Gyeongsang National University

Chinju City, South Kyongsang
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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