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Full text of "Strategies of organizational socialization : an empirical test of Van Maanen's typology of people processing tactics"

STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION: 

AN EMPIRICAL TEST OF VAN MAANEN'S TYPOLOGY OF 

PEOPLE PROCESSING TACTICS 



BY 

H. EUGENE BAKER, III 



A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL 

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT 

OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF 

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 
1988 



IBRAmES 



Digitized by tlie Internet Archive 

in 2010 witli funding from 

University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries with support from Lyrasis and the Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/strategiesoforgaOObake 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

As I began writing this section, I realized how inadequate this 
forum is when attempting to recognize the contributions of the many 
individuals who assisted me in this process. The space available is 
insufficient to fully acknowledge all of their support. Given the 
limitation of space, and the inadequacies of the written word, the reader 
is cautioned that the following is only a beginning attempt at that 
recognition. 

I begin by acknowledging the contribution of my dissertation 
chairman, Daniel C. Feldman. Daniel shared his expertise, his drive, and 
his support. I am grateful for his patience and encouragement, 
especially during the more trying times. H. Joseph Reitz and Lawrence J. 
Severy, the other members of my committee, were also especially 
supportive and introduced me to different perspectives. Their direction 
and suggestions were valuable, especially during the formative stages. I 
thank all three members for their timely and responsive feedback. 

I wish to thank my typist, Leanna Payne, for her timely and 
professional attention to the preparation of the manuscript. Eric 
Reinhardt was an invaluable help in conducting the statistical analysis 
and with his knowledge of the computer systems. I also wish to 
acknowledge my colleagues at the University of North Florida, and 
especially Robert Pickhardt, for allowing me to experience the 
"socialization" process at its best. They all have been supportive 
throughout my research and during my initiation to the classroom. 

ii 



The organizations that participated in the research must, by 
agreement, remain anonymous. I wish to thank their managements and all 
of their employees for their contribution to the research. 

Finally, I wish to thank my family. My wife, Shirley, and my sons, 
Jeff and Scott, were a constant source of support and understanding. 
Their faith in my efforts helped beyond measure during some especially 
trying periods. I can never hope to fully acknowledge their role in my 
completion of this research project. 



m 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Pa^e 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii 

LIST OF TABLES vi 

LIST OF FIGURES vii 

ABSTRACT viii 

CHAPTERS 

1 INTRODUCTION 1 

Socialization Defined 1 

Types of Socialization 4 

People Processing Strategies 8 

Socialization Outcomes 20 

2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 29 

Total Sample 29 

Research Settings 30 

Organizational Entry and Data Collection Procedures . 32 

Instruments and Measures 36 

Organization and Job Category Statistics 47 

3 RESULTS 55 

People Processing Strategy Correlations 55 

Attitudinal Outcomes Correlations 59 

Relationships Between Individual Processing 

Strategies and Outcomes 62 

Cluster Analysis Results 64 

Discriminant Analysis Results 65 

4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS 71 

Relationships Among the People Processing Strategies. 71 
Relationships Between the People Processing 

Strategies and Attitudinal Outcomes 79 

Methodological Issues 82 

Organizational Implications 87 

REFERENCES 92 

iv 



Pa^e 



APPENDICES 



A COVER LETTER 100 

B QUESTIONNAIRE - PARTS I & II 102 

C QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (ALPHA UTILITY) 109 

D QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (BETA NAVAL SQUADRON) Ill 

E QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (GAMMA BILLING SERVICE) 113 

F QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (DELTA CLINIC) 115 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 116 



LIST OF TABLES 

TABLE PAGE 

1-1 People Processing Strategies 11 

1-2 Outcome Variables 25 

2-1 Sample Distribution by Age 33 

2-2 Job Category Distribution 33 

2-3 Time in Organization 34 

2-4 Time on Job 34 

2-5 Comparison of Jones Data to Current Research on 

Independent Variable Scales 38 

2-6 People Processing Strategies Scale Reliabilities 42 

2-7 Items Statistics for People Processing Strategies 43 

2-8 Attitudinal Outcomes Scale Reliabilities 48 

2-9 Item Statistics for Attitudinal Outcomes 49 

2-10 People Processing Strategies by Organization 51 

2-11 Attitudinal Outcomes by Organization 52 

2-12 People Processing Strategies by Job Category 53 

2-13 Attitudinal Outcomes by Job Category 54 

3-1 Correlations Among People Processing Strategies 57 

3-2 Correlations Among Attitudinal Outcomes 60 

3-3 Correlations Between People Processing Strategies and 

Attitudinal Outcomes 63 

3-4 Cluster Analysis--People Processing Strategies Mean 

Scores 66 

3-5 Discriminant Analysis--Attitudinal Outcomes Mean Scores . . 69 



VI 



LIST OF FIGURES 

FIGURE PAGE 

3-1 Cluster Analysis 67 

3-2 Discriminant Analysis 70 

4-1 Organizational Categorization 75 

4-2 Job Categorization 75 



vn 



Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School 

of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the 

Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 

STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION: 

AN EMPIRICAL TEST OF VAN MAANEN'S TYPOLOGY OF 

PEOPLE PROCESSING TACTICS 

By 

H. Eugene Baker, III 

December, 1988 

Chairman: Daniel C. Feldman 

Major Department: Organizational Behavior and Business Policy 

The dissertation empirically examines the people processing 
socialization strategies employed by organizations and how these tactics 
impact individual attitudinal responses. Two major purposes of the 
research project were to (1) empirically test the existence of, and 
relationships among, the people processing strategies posited by John Van 
Maanen, and (2) determine the associations between the strategies 
employed and certain relevant individual attitudinal responses. 

A questionnaire was used to collect data from over five hundred 
employees employed by four diverse organizations. Different organization 
types were selected to provide a substantial cross-section of tasks and 
functions. The organizations in the survey included a military unit, a 
utility, a health care facility and a billing service. Over twenty job 
classifications were included, ranging from entry level to management and 
from unskilled to highly technical and professional. The data were 



vm 



analyzed using correlational analysis, cluster analysis, and discriminant 
analysis. 

The results of the research suggest a high level of 
interrelationship among the people processing strategies. Two clusters 
of people processing strategies were identified: unit and batch. 
Further, systematic relationships were found between these patterns of 
processing strategies and clusters of attitudinal measures. 

Recommendations for organizational socialization programs are 
suggested in light of the findings of the research. It is specifically 
suggested that organizations can play a major role in achieving desired 
employee socialization outcomes by consciously selecting patterns of 
processing that are compatible with competitive strategies. 



IX 



CHAPTER 1 
INTRODUCTION 



The purpose of this dissertation is to empirically examine the 
strategies employed by organizations to socialize newcomers into the 
organization and to determine how these strategies impact the 
individual's behavior and attitudes towards the organization. The first 
section formally defines the concept of socialization in the 
organizational context. The second section explores the various types of 
socialization strategies or processes that may be employed by the 
organization in its attempt to transform the new employee. In the third 
section the current status of research on the socialization process is 
delineated and evaluated and the emphasis of the current dissertation is 
explored. The final section discusses the predicted outcomes of the 
socialization process and concludes by examining the impact of 
socialization strategies on the outcomes. 

Socialization Defined 

The current research deals specifically with the socialization 
process as it applies to the organization and as such requires a 
definition specific to this setting. Caplow (1964) defined socialization 
as an organizationally directed process that prepares and qualifies 
individuals to occupy organizational positions. Brim (1966) viewed 
socialization as the manner in which an individual learns that behavior 
appropriate to his position in a group through interaction with others 
who hold normative beliefs about what his role should be and who reward 

1 



2 

or punish him for correct or incorrect actions. Feldman (1976) 
identifies organizational socialization as the process by which 
individuals are transformed from total outsiders of companies to 
participating, effective members of them. The teaching and learning of 
organizational expectations has also been referred to as "learning the 
ropes" or "breaking in" (Schein, 1968; Van Maanen, 1976a). 

The attributes or characteristics of the socialization process have 
been succinctly identified by Feldman (1976, 1980, 1988), Feldman 
identifies the three most salient characteristics of organizational 
socialization as: (1) continuity of socialization over time, (2) changes 
of attitudes, values and behaviors and (3) as a multiple socialization 
process. 

Continuity of socialization over time refers to the ongoing nature 
of the process. As Feldman notes, "organizational socialization does not 
occur in the first weeks on the job, but is achieved more slowly over a 
period of weeks and months" (1988, p. 78). Continuity of the process 
recognizes that socialization usually begins before the newcomer actually 
enters the organization. The process continues during actual entry and 
during the critical period of time (Van Maanen, 1976a; Berlew & Hall, 
1966) the individual is adjusting to their new organization. The 
process, therefore, is in operation continuously beginning at 
"anticipatory socialization" (Feldman, 1976) or "pre-arrival" stage 
(Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1975), through the "accommodation" (Feldman, 
1976) or "encounter" stage (Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1975), and 
continuing to the stages of "role management" (Feldman, 1976) or "change 
and acquisition" (Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1975). 



3 

A second common theme in these definitions is that the socialization 
process involves learning and change (Fisher, 1986). The process 
includes learning and change on the part of the new employee as well as 
learning and change on the part of the organization. Fisher (1986) has 
summarized some of the learning that occurs during the socialization 
process and identifies four categories: learning about the organization, 
learning to function in the work group, learning to do the job and 
personal learning. 

Change is also noted as a common element in the definitions of 
organizational socialization; change occurring in the individual in the 
areas of attitudes, values and behaviors (Van Maanen, 1975) and in the 
form of self-image and levels of involvement (Caplow, 1964). Feldman 
(1981) distinguishes between three distinct views of change by 
identifying socialization as a process of acquisition, development, and 
adjustment. 

The third characteristic of the socialization process is what 
Feldman (1981) refers to as "multiple socialization." This 
characteristic recognizes the multi-dimensional character of the process. 
Multiple socialization incorporates three views of the changes that occur 
during organization socialization; "socialization as the acquisition of a 
set of appropriate role behaviors; socialization as the development of 
work skills and abilities; and, socialization as adjustment to the work 
group's norms and values" (1981, p. 309). Multiple socialization 
reflects the simultaneous nature of the process of socialization, and as 
Feldman indicates, "as employees are learning their job, they are also 
establishing new interpersonal relationships and learning their way 
around the organization" (1988, p. 78). 



Types of Socialization 

Organizational socialization has typically been viewed as a series 
of steps or phases (Feldman, 1976; Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1975; 
Schein, 1978; Van Maanen, 1976a; Wanous, Reichers, & Malik, 1984). A 
typical stage model includes three phases, variously described as 
"anticipatory," "encounter," and "metamorphosis" (Feldman, 1976, 1980). 
These models reflect a passage through the organization that begins prior 
to entry into the organization and continues throughout the relationship. 

Conventional approaches to organizational socialization processes 
have centered on developing typologies which describe activities that 
take place during socialization. For example, Wanous (1980) has 
identified five types of strategies that may be found in an organization 
socialization process. These include training, education, 
apprenticeship, debasement, and cooptation/seduction strategies. There 
is present in these types of strategies a heavy reliance on the 
"training" aspects of socialization. Schein (1964) identified strategies 
typically used by organizations in their attempt to train new employees. 
These strategies included the sink or swim approach, the upending 
experience, job rotation and full -time training. Again, the emphasis is 
on the training that takes place as the organization attempts to educate 
the new employee. 

As previously indicated, Feldman (1981) developed a comprehensive 
model which integrates the activities that occur in the organizational 
socialization process. Feldman expands upon his earlier work (Feldman, 
1976) by considering the multiple nature of the socialization process. 
An integral part of Feldman' s model is the identification and integration 
of three views of the changes that occur during socialization in the 



5 
organization context: learning the role, learning the job, and learning 
about the group. 
Acquisition of Role Behaviors 

The first view of socialization as the acquisition of appropriate 
role behaviors focuses on the individuals' attempts to clarify the 
demands of their new roles. As suggested by Feldman, "during the first 
few weeks and months, employees try to define exactly what tasks they 
have to do, what the priorities are among these tasks, and how they are 
to allocate their work time" (1981, p. 312). In this view, the new 
employee is attempting to reduce the tension and anxiety that occurs as 
the result of exposure to a new situation (Lewin, 1951; Louis, 1980). 
Expectations play an important part in this attempt to define the role 
requirements. Feldman signifies this important aspect by noting that 
"the more realistic the picture that employees have of their jobs, the 
easier it should be for them to discover what is and is not expected at 
work," and that "employees who feel that they have incomplete or 
incorrect information will have a much more difficult time sorting out 
exactly what they are supposed to be doing" (1981, p. 312). 

Also involved in this first view is the resolution of conflict. Two 
aspects are important in this regard. The first is the individual's 
attempt to manage intergroup role conflicts, that is, conflicts "between 
the immediate work group and other groups in the organization" (1981, p. 
312). Expectations are equally as important in this effort as indicated 
by Feldman's comment that "employees with realistic expectations about 
the organization are more likely to be aware of potential role conflicts 
when they accept the new job" (1981, p. 312). 



6 

A second area requiring conflict resolution is that of outside-life 
conflicts. This includes conflicts relating to work schedules, demands 
on the family and the quality of home life. Additional pressure is 
experienced by the employee who has failed to effectively manage this 
conflict. Realistic expectations are again important in this conflict 
management as they can allow the employee to evaluate or at least 
anticipate the amount of conflict that might be expected in this area. 
As Feldman points out, "employees with realistic expectations about the 
organization are more likely to choose an organization where at least the 
major potential conflicts between personal life and work life can be 
avoided" (1981. p. 313). 
Development of Work Skills and Abilities 

A critical activity in the socialization process involves the 
ability of the individual to develop the skills necessary to become an 
effective performer. The critical ity of this event is highlighted by 
Feldman when he proposes that "no matter how motivated the employee, 
without enough job skills there is little chance of success" (1981, p. 
313). Problems can occur with either too little skill (Dunnette, 1966; 
Smith, 1968) or too much skill or overqualification (Dunnette, Arvey, & 
Banas, 1973; Berlew & Hall, 1966). 

Realistic expectations can play a major role in increasing the 
likelihood of skill congruence (Feldman, 1981). Realistic job previews, 
for example, may assist in facilitating a closer match between the 
requirements of the job and the skills and abilities of the newcomer. 
Acquisition of Group Norms and Values 

Feldman 's third view focuses on the newcomer's attempts to learn the 
values and norms of the work group. The impact of the work group on the 



7 

socialization process can be significant (Van Maanen, 1978). The work 
group can serve as a support system (Dornbush, 1955) and provide 
"protection" for the new employee (Becker, Geer, Hughes, & Strauss, 1961) 
as they encounter the realities of organization membership. The critical 
nature of the relationship between newcomers and their work groups is 
unquestioned. As Feldman suggests, "initiation to the group is a major 
determinant of adjustment to group norms and values" and "the work group 
is a particularly important factor in determining how closely new 
recruits adjust to group norms and values" (1981, p. 314). 

The task of learning the group's norms and values may present the 
most difficulty for the newcomer because of differences between the group 
culture and the culture of the larger organization of which it is a part 
(Louis, 1983). This activity was found to be a source of frustration to 
new employees (Moreland & Levine, 1982) and an important but difficult 
task for newcomers (Schein, 1978). This experience with the realities of 
the work group along with cues from co-workers (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978) 
may result in personal learning on the part of the newcomer as they 
develop a clearer picture of their own needs and expectations (Kotter, 
1973; Louis, 1980). 

Louis, Posner, and Powell (1983) surveyed recent business school 
graduates to determine the types of techniques employed by organizations 
in their socialization programs. The three most important socialization 
aids identified by Louis et al. were interaction with peers, supervisors 
and senior co-workers; of the three, daily interactions with peers while 
working was the most important factor in helping newcomers to feel 
effective. As Louis et al. (1983) point out, this factor is particularly 
important in terms of the processes by which the new employee truly 



8 

learns what the organization is like. These findings are consistent with 
those of Feldman in terms of the salience of the role of the immediate 
work group in helping new recruits adjust socially. It is this social 
adjustment process or the learning of a new culture that requires the 
newcomer to assimilate the unofficial rules for sorting, labeling, and 
interpreting experiences in the organization (Louis et al., 1983). Louis 
further notes that it is these unwritten rules that are important in 
providing cues for effective membership in the organization. 

The critical importance of the newcomer's ability to adjust to the 
work group has been discussed by Feldman (1977, 1988). Feldman (1977) 
found a strong relationship between adjustment to the work group and the 
individual's ability to learn their job. The work group provides support 
in dealing with the stress associated with transition (Feldman & Brett, 
1983), provides feedback on performance (Hackman, 1976) and helps the 
newcomer to "make sense" of the confusing information or cues encountered 
during this period (Louis, 1980). One additional impact of the work 
group is the facilitating effect that interaction with insiders may have 
on the rate at which the socialization process progresses (Reichers, 
1987). 

Given the significant impact of this relationship, it is important 
to explore the ways in which organizations conduct their socialization 
efforts or "process" their new employees. 

People Processing Strategies 

A question of critical importance remaining to be thoroughly 
examined is what specific strategies or processes do organizations employ 
in their socialization efforts and what the impacts of these approaches 
are. Van Maanen has provided a point of departure in his exploration of 



9 
organizational socialization as a "people processing" activity (Van 
Maanen, 1978; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). Van Maanen defines 
organizational socialization or "people processing" as "the manner in 
which the experiences of people learning the ropes of a new 
organizational position, status, or role are structured for them by 
others in the organization" (1978, p. 19). Van Maanen' s basic premise is 
that differences in the acquisition of social knowledge and skills are 
not entirely due to individual differences alone. He posits that it is 
differences in the techniques or strategies employed by the organization 
that cause differential results in the acquisition process. 

Van Maanen bases his examination on three basic underlying 
assumptions. The first assumption recognizes the tension or anxiety 
associated with a transition process. Change creates anxiety in 
individuals as they seek to restore a sense of balance or equilibrium. 
Unmet or unanticipated expectations serve to heighten the level of 
anxiety for the individual undergoing the change (Festinger, 1957). 
Efforts are directed at removing or at least reducing the level of 
uncertainty (Lewin, 1951), and as suggested by Louis (1980), engaging in 
"sense-making" in an unfamiliar and novel environment. The impact of 
stress during this time of transition can be substantial and critical to 
many aspects of the individual's future in the organization (Beehr & 
Bhagat, 1985; Cooper & Marshall, 1977). 

The second assumption underlying Van Maanen 's work centers on the 
individual's effort to obtain information and guidance relative to their 
new role. This emphasizes the social context of the learning process and 
highlights the impact and importance of the relationships that develop 
with co-workers. This assumption acknowledges the importance of social 



10 
support during the learning or transitional stage (Sykes & Eden, 1985; 
Seers, KcGee, Serey, & Graen, 1983; Pilisuk & Parks, 1981; Nelson, 1987). 
As Van Maanen suggests "the learning that takes place does not occur in a 
social vacuum strictly on the basis of the official and available 
versions of the job requirements" (1978, p. 20). 

Stability and productivity of the organization are the concerns in 
the third assumption. Here the implication is that the socialization 
processes of the organization impact the organization's performance. 
Although the precise relationship between the socialization process and 
organization performance is not clear (Schein, 1968, 1971; Van Maanen & 
Schein, 1979; Katz, 1985; Feldman, 1976, 1981, 1984; Louis, 1980) the 
relationship is obviously important and in need of further research and 
exploration. 

Building upon the assumptions described above. Van Maanen identified 
seven strategies of people processing that may occur in an organization's 
socialization process. These strategies should be thought of as a 
continuum, that is, "each strategy as applied can be thought of as 
existing somewhere between two poles of a single dimension" (1978, p. 
22). It is therefore possible to view each strategy as a pair of 
strategies representing each end of the continuum. The seven strategies 
are presented in Table 1-1. Each pair of strategies is discussed in more 
detail below. 
Formal/Informal Strategies 

The primary differentiation between formal and informal strategies 
focuses on the setting in which the newcomer's learning takes place. 
Formal strategies or processes are typically segregated from the specific 



11 

Table 1-1 
People Processing Strategies 

Independent Variables 

Strategy Pair 1: 

1. Formal Strategies - The degree to which the setting in which the 
socialization process takes place is segregated from the ongoing 
work content and the degree to which an individual newcomer role is 
emphasized and made explicit. 

2. Informal Strategies - The degree to which there is no sharp 
differentiation from other organizational members and much of the 
recruit's learning takes place within the social and task-related 
networks that surround his or her position. 

Strategy Pair 2: 

1. Individual Strategies - The degree to which individuals are 
socialized singly, analogous to unit modes of production. 

2. Collective Strategies - The degree to which individuals are 
socialized collectively, analogous to batch or mass production modes 
of production. 

Strategy Pair 3: 

1- Sequential Strategies - The degree to which the transitional 
processes are marked by a series of discrete and identifiable stages 
through which an individual must pass in order to achieve a defined 
role and status within the organization. 

2. Nonsequential Strategies - The degree to which the socialization 
processes are accomplished in one transitional stage. 

Strategy Pair 4: 

!• Fixed Strategies - The degree to which the recruit is provided with 
a precise knowledge of the time it will take him to complete a given 
step. 

2. Variable Strategies - The degree to which the recruit is not 
provided with any advance notice of their transition timetable. 

Strategy Pair 5: 

!• Serial Strategies - The degree to which experienced members groom 
newcomers about to assume similar roles in the organization. 

2- Disjunctive Strategies - The degree to which a newcomer does not 
have predecessors available in whose footsteps he can follow. 



12 
Table 1-1-continued 
Strategy Pair 6: 

1. Investiture Strategies - The degree to which the socialization 
processes ratify and establish the viability and usefulness of the 
characteristics the person already possesses. The degree to which 
the socialization processes confirm the incoming identity of a 
newcomer. 

2. Divestiture Strategies - The degree to which the socialization 
processes deny and strip away certain entering characteristics of a 
recruit. The degree to which the socialization processes dismantle 
the incoming identity of a newcomer. 

Strategy Pair 7: 

1. Tournament - The practices of separating selected clusters of 
recruits into different socialization programs or tracks on the 
basis of presumed differences in ability, ambition, or background. 

2. Contest - The channels of movement through the various socialization 
programs are kept open and depend on the observed abilities and 
stated interests of all. 



13 
work place and are explicit in terms of skill requirements and behavioral 
expectations. Formal strategies "stress general skills and attitudes" 
and "work on preparing a person to occupy a particular status in the 
organization" (1978, p. 22). 

In the informal process, much of the learning occurs at the work 
position. Informal strategies "emphasize specified actions, situational 
application of the rules, and the idiosyncratic nuances necessary to 
perform the role in the work setting" and "prepare a person to perform a 
specific role in an organization" (1978, p. 22). 

The type of information transmitted in a formal setting is typically 
what one would expect to encounter in a formal orientation program; 
rules, procedures and policies. The informal process or "on-the-job" 
exposure would appear to serve the purpose of transmitting some of the 
subtle expectations of the work group. The strategy employed has 
implications on the nature of the information transmitted and on the 
levels of stress experienced by the newcomer. And, as reported by Louis 
et al. (1983) a majority of the organization studied relied upon formal 
onsite orientation programs. 
Individual /Collective Strategies 

This strategy ranges from individual to collective processing of the 
new employees. At the individual end of the continuum, the new employee 
is socialized singly or in Van Maanen's words, "analogous to the unit 
modes of production" (1978, p. 24). In the collective process or 
strategy, socialization involves a "batch" of new employees undergoing 
the experience as a group. Van Maanen views the collective strategy as 
similar to batch or mass production in that "recruits are bunched 



14 
together at the outset and processed through an identical set of 
experiences," (1978, p. 24). 

As might be anticipated, the outcomes associated with each end of 
the continuum differ in several respects. Those differences include 
changes that occur both in the individual and in the group. 

It is important to note at this point the extensive use of 
collective processes in organizations in today's environment. As Van 
Maanen indicates, individual processes that reflect an apprenticeship 
style of socialization are costly. Collective strategies have become the 
strategy of choice because of their ease, efficiency, and predictability. 
Sequential /Nonsequential Strategies 

The distinction here is whether the process follows a set of phases 
or stages or if the entire process is accomplished in one step. Job 
rotation of increasing levels of responsibility or authority would be 
indicative of a sequential process of socialization. The passage may or 
may not be marked by some ceremony or acknowledgement of progress similar 
to the "rites of passage" or many of the ceremonial recognitions of 
acceptance (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979; Feldman, 1977; Schein, 1978). 
Nonsequential strategies are accomplished in one step. The amount of 
structure and the number of steps or stages involved in the sequential 
strategy may have differential effects on the new employee. Of equal, if 
not more impact, is the differences in the agent or agents who are 
charged with handling the different steps (Van Maanen, 1978). 
Fixed/Variable Strategies 

The continuum addressed by this pair of strategies is that of time. 
If the process is marked by distinct steps, as in the sequential process, 
the question becomes the length of time required to move from step to 



15 

step. If a nonsequential, or one-step program is in place, the length of 
time required to transit the entire socialization program is the concern. 

The length of time it takes for the socialization process to be 
completed has obvious implications for the levels of anxiety and stress 
experienced by the newcomer. Van Maanen acknowledges this impact by 
stating that "time is an important resource that can be used to control 
others" (1978, p. 39). The control of the time interval becomes a 
manipulation instrument that can "give an administrator a powerful tool 
for influencing individual behavior" (1978, p. 29) while also risking 
"creating an organization situation marked by confusion and uncertainty 
among those concerned with their movement in the system" (1978, p. 29). 
The uncertainty associated with the variable strategy obviously does not 
help in diminishing or alleviating the anxiety and tension felt by the 
new employee. 
Serial/Disjunctive Strategies 

This strategy reflects the extent to which the newcomer has 
available a current organization member to provide direction and receive 
cues from regarding appropriate behavior. Disjunctive strategies reflect 
an absence of an organizational model. Predecessors create a path which 
the newcomer can follow. Without a predecessor, the new employee is 
forced to forge his/her own organizational path. Whether the path 
selected is the one the organization favors is left up to chance to a 
certain degree. "Whereas the social process risks stagnation and 
contamination," Van Maanen suggests, "the disjunctive process risks 
complication and confusion" (1978, p. 32). As with the other strategies 
discussed so far, the outcomes differ with each end of the strategy 
continuum. 



16 

The impact of this particular strategy is highlighted by the work of 
Louis et a1 . (1983). The availability of current employees was deemed 
especially helpful in the socialization experience of the newcomer and 
significantly affected certain behavioral characteristics. 
Investiture/Divestiture Strategies 

The process involved here reflects the manner in which the 
organization accepts or denies the "identity" of the newcomer. According 
to Van Maanen, "investiture processes ratify and establish the viability 
and usefulness of the characteristics the person already possess," while 
"divestiture processes, on the other hand, deny and strip away certain 
entering characteristics of a recruit" (1978, p. 33). An extreme example 
of the divestiture process occurs in military boot camp. In this 
situation, the new recruit or "boot" is totally stripped of their 
incoming identity including the total removal of hair and the issuing of 
a simple green uniform without identification. "Boots" are referred to 
by number or some other non-specific identification. The attempt here is 
to "begin with a clean slate" and to rebuild the recruit in the image 
desired by the organization. 

Investiture processes focus on the acceptability of the newcomer 
where every effort is made to make the transition as easy and comfortable 
for the new employee as is possible. It is obvious that these two 
extremes elicit much different responses on the part of the newcomer. 
The organizational outcomes may be as equally divergent. 
Tournament/Contest Strategies 

The extent to which a "track" is present in the organizational 
socialization process is reflected in this people processing strategy. 
Personal differences in ability, background or ambition are the basis for 



17 
selection into different programs or tracks (Van Maanen, 1978). Once a 
new employee is assigned to a particular track, progress is chartered 
according to the levels achieved along that track. Although there are 
some conflicting findings in relation to the long-term effects of a 
tournament strategy (Forbes, 1987) in general, failure at any point along 
the track results in removal from future consideration. 

The contest end of the continuum is not as narrow in viewpoint as 
the tournament approach in that "the channels of movement through the 
various socialization programs are kept open and depend on the observed 
abilities and stated interests of all" (1978, p. 30). Rosenbaum further 
clarifies the distinction between the strategies by stating that "contest 
mobility systems delay selection and allow individuals complete freedom 
for mobility, and thus are totally ahistorical" while, on the other hand, 
"in the tournament mobility model, careers are conceptualized as a 
sequence of competitions, each of which has implications for an 
individual's mobility chances in all subsequent selections" (1979, pp. 
222-223). 

Van Maanen and Schein acknowledge the impact of the strategies by 
indicating that "regardless of the method of choice, any given 
socialization device represents an identifiable set of events that will 
make certain behavioral and attitudinal consequences more likely than 
others" (1979, p. 230). Although Van Maanen did not empirically examine 
the presence or impact of the various processing strategies, he did 
hypothesize relationships that may occur in terms of organizational 
boundary passage. He suggested how various combinations of the 
strategies could result in differential responses on the part of the new 
employee. Van Maanen and Schein suggest the speculative nature of these 



18 
relationships by acknowledging that "these dimensions or processes were 
deduced logically from empirical observations and from accounts found in 
the social science literature" (1979, p. 232) and further, "we do not 
assert here that this list is exhaustive or that the processes are 
presented in any order or relevance to a particular organization or 
occupation" (1979, p. 232). Van Maanen and Schein, however, do "attempt 
to demonstrate that these tactics are quite common to a given boundary 
passage and of substantial consequence to people in the organization in 
that they partially determine the degree to which the response of the 
newcomer will be custodial or innovative" (1979, p. 232). The need 
remains for a comprehensive empirical analysis that is directed at 
determining the extent to which the various strategies operate in an 
organizational setting and whether they operate in combination or 
independently. 

The current study will attempt to explore, in detail, the 
considerations identified above. The study will empirically examine the 
extent of the relationships among the strategies, that is, the extent to 
which they operate independently and/or co-occur in some predictable 
pattern. 

One of the few attempts to empirically explore the impact of various 
socialization strategies on the attitudes and performance of new 
employees was conducted by Jones (1986). Using a sample of one hundred 
and two (102) MBA graduates, Jones "investigated the relationship between 
the socialization tactics employed by organizations and a series of role 
and personal outcomes" (1986, p, 262). The subjects completed a 
questionnaire designed to assess Van Maanen's (1978) typology of 
strategies approximately five (5) months after joining their 



19 
organization. An initial questionnaire was completed prior to entry into 
the hiring organizations which assessed levels of self-efficacy. The 
subjects had been hired by ninety-six (96) diverse organizations located 
in the Sunbelt. 

Jones found three clusters of strategies. These were: (1) 
investiture vs. divestiture and serial vs. disjunctive; (2) serial vs. 
random and fixed vs. variable; and (3) collective vs. individual and 
formal vs. informal. Jones further concluded that the results of his 
study "reveal a pattern of relationships between tactics and outcomes 
supporting the proposition that different socialization tactics lead to 
different outcomes of socialization" (1986, p. 274). 

The current research differs from the work of Jones in at least two 
major ways. The first difference relates to the composition of the 
sample. Jones' research utilized "MBA students from two successive 
annual graduating classes of a major midwestern university" (1986, p. 
267). His sample of 102 was comprised of 73 men and 29 women with an 
average age of 24.7 years. As suggested by Feldman (1988) there are 
significant changes that occur as an individual moves from the student 
role to the organizational role. Not only are there differences between 
the student environment and the work world (Kotter, 1975; Hall, 1976) but 
as noted by Feldman "their expectations are often way too high, and all 
too frequently based on faulty stereotypes or little hard data" (1988, p. 
72). 

The current research uses a sample of over five hundred individuals 
ranging from blue collar to managerial, with the majority falling into 
the 25-34 year age range. Over fifty (50) percent of the subjects had 
been employed by their organization from two to five years compared with 



20 
Jones' five month length of service. An additional consideration in this 
regard is the number (96) of employing organizations in the Jones study. 
The current study focused on four (4) diverse organizations each 
employing a relatively large proportion of the total sample. It is 
anticipated that the current study will provide data more applicable to 
the working world and less influenced by the impact of the student role. 

The further test of a theory of socialization lies in its 
applicability to the "real world" or actual organizational settings. Van 
Maanen and Schein recognize this imperative by stating "on examining real 
organizations, it is empirically obvious that these tactical dimensions 
are associated with one another and that the actual impact of 
organizational socialization upon a recruit is a cumulative one, the 
result of a combination of socialization tactics which perhaps enhance 
and reinforce or conflict and neutralize each other" (1979, p. 253). 
They (Van Maanen & Schein) go on to conclude that "we do not consider 
this a completed theory in that we do not as yet have enough empirical 
evidence to determine in a more tightly arranged and logical scheme how 
the various socialization tactics can be more or less ordered in terms of 
their effects upon recruits being initiated into organizational roles" 
(1979, p. 255). Unlike Jones, this dissertation examines the role of 
clusters of socialization tactics. 

Socialization Outcomes 

The second area of difference between this study and the Jones work 
relates to the attempt to determine the impact of strategies on the 
attitudinal outcomes. Jones' study examines the direct individual 
relationship between each processing strategy and several outcomes. This 
approach is incomplete in two ways. First, it is important to fully 



21 
examine the interrelationships between all strategies to determine 
whether they do in fact operate independently or in combination. 
Secondly, we need to know what the effects of those combinations are on a 
full array of outcomes. The second question to be asked here, then, is: 
Are the combinations or patterns of attitudinal outcomes associated with 
various patterns of processing strategies? 

The discussion of outcomes of socialization is almost as diverse as 
are the different approaches to the subject. The criteria or measurement 
of socialization results seem to vary according to the emphasis of the 
researcher. As Fisher has concluded, "writers who describe the outcomes 
of socialization in conceptual papers seem to identify a somewhat 
different set than those who operationally measure 'outcomes' for the 
sake of having a criterion" (1986, p. 110). The conceptual writers seem 
to stress "learning and internalization of norms and values," while the 
empirical emphasis is on attitudinal measures (1986, p. 110). Feldman 
further points out the differences in approach by stating that 
"researchers in the study of organizational socialization have been torn 
between studying outcomes of the process which accrue to individuals and 
outcomes which accrue to organizations" (1976, p. 26). 

Edgar Schein has been prominent in the effort to conceptually 

describe the outcomes of socialization. Schein (1968) predicts the 

effect upon the degree of innovation that may be present as a result of 

the degree of acceptance of the pivotal and relevant norms of the 

organization. Schein (1985) indicates that 

when the socialization process does not work 
optimally, when the new member does not learn the 
culture of the work groups, there are usually severe 
consequences. At one extreme, if the new employee 
does not learn the pivotal or central assumptions of 
the organization, that employee usually feels 



22 

alienated, uncomfortable, and possibly unproductive. 
If the new employee learns elements of a subculture 
that seems contrary to the pivotal assumptions of the 
total organization, the result can be active 
sabotage, or the slowing down of the work of the 
organization, leading eventually to stagnation, 
revolution, or the weeding out of the dissidents. 
(1985, p. 42) 

Problems can arise if the socialization process is too extensive. Again, 

Schein points out that "at the other extreme, if the employee is 

'oversocialized' in the sense of learning every detail of the host 

culture, the result is total conformity, leading to inability on the part 

of the organization to be innovative and responsive to new environmental 

demands" (1985, p. 43). Schein suggests that some median level of 

socialization is optimal in creating what he refers to as "creative 

individualism." Creative individualism is characterized by a conformity 

to the pivotal norms of the organization with selective conformity to the 

other less important or relevant norms. The hypothesized result of 

creative individualism is a relatively high level of innovative behavior 

on the part of the individual (Schein, 1968). 

Van Maanen and Schein (1979) hypothesized responses to the "people 

processing strategies" posited by Van Maanen (1978). They discussed the 

impact of the strategies in terms of the role acquisition of the 

newcomer. Custodianship was identified as a possible response to 

socialization efforts. Custodianship implies an acceptance of the status 

quo. The newcomer assumes a caretaker posture in the role. No attempts 

are made to change or alter the role. This response is similar to 

Schein's "conformity" (Schein, 1968). This response to socialization is 

most likely to occur from a socialization process which is sequential, 

variable, serial and involves divestiture (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). 



23 

The second type of response to socialization identified by Van 
Maanen and Schein (1979) is called content innovation. Content 
innovation is "marked by the development of substantive improvements or 
changes in the knowledge base or strategic practices of a particular 
role" (1979, p. 228). An attempt is made by the newcomer to 
significantly change or alter the role definition, not unlike Schein's 
rebellion or creative individualism response (Schein, 1968). Content 
innovation responses are likely to result through a socialization process 
that is collective, formal, random, fixed and disjunctive (Van Maanen & 
Schein, 1979). 

The third response is role innovation. While similar to content 
innovation, role innovation attempts to fundamentally change the mission 
of the role itself. Schein (1971) refers to this response as a genuine 
attempt to redefine the ends to which the role functions. Role 
innovation is most likely to result from a process that is individual, 
informal, random, disjunctive and involves investiture (Van flaanen & 
Schein, 1979). 

Van Maanen (1978) has posited the impact of the processing 

strategies on individual behavioral outcomes. Van Maanen (1978) suggests 

that 

if we are interested in strategies that promote a 
relatively high degree of similarity in the thoughts 
and actions of recruits and their agents, a 
combination of the formal, serial, and divestiture 
strategies would probably be most effective. If 
dissimilarity is desired, informal, disjunctive and 
investiture strategies would be preferable. To 
produce a relatively passive group of hard-working 
but undifferentiated recruits, the combination of 
formal, collective, sequential, tournament, and 
divestiture strategies should be used. (p. 35) 



24 
As has been indicated, empirical examinations of these outcomes have been 
limited (Fisher, 1986). 

At a more molecular level, the empirical research that has been 
directed at the socialization process has tended to rely on attitudinal 
measures (Fisher, 1986). Attitudinal measures utilized have included -^ 
general job satisfaction (Feldman, 1976; Toffler, 1981; and Louis et al., 
1983), job tension (Toffler, 1981) and internal work motivation, job 
involvement and mutual influence (Toffler, 1981; Feldman, 1976). Another 
primary outcome appears to relate to the individual's level of commitment 
(Louis et al . , 1983; Jones, 1986; Wanous, 1980) or intentions of 
remaining with the organization (Feldman, 1981; Van Maanen, 1975; Brief, 
Aldag, Van Sell, & Malone, 1979; Hall & Schneider, 1972). The outcome 
variables that will be used to assess the relationships described above 
are listed in Table 1-2. 

In order to more fully understand the impact of a selected 
socialization strategy on employee attitudes, it is appropriate to 
speculate upon the impact of individual people processing strategies on 
the anticipated outcomes. 
Formal vs. Informal 

It would appear that a formal process of socialization would have 
the effect of strengthening trust in management because of the dependent 
relationship, while an informal process allows the employee to interact 
directly with co-workers thereby enhancing the trust relationship with 
peers. Commitment to the organization may be elicited by the formal 
process because the individual is cut off or isolated from co-workers. 
An informal process places the individual directly in the work group and 
it is possible that their commitment may be directed to that group versus 



25 



Table 1-2 
Outcome Variables 



1. Interpersonal Trust at Work - The extent to which one is willing 
to ascribe good interactions to and have confidence in the words and 
actions of other people (Cook & Wall, 1980). 

2. Organizational Conmitment - The strength of an individual's 
identification with and involvement in a particular organization 
characterized by three factors: a strong belief in, and acceptance of, 
the organization's goals and values; a readiness to exert considerable 
effort on behalf of the organization; and a strong desire to remain a 
member of the organization (Porter & Smith, 1970). 

3. Job-Induced Tension - The degree to which the individual feels 
bothered about named features of work (House & Rizzo, 1972). 

4. General Job Satisfaction - An overall measure of the degree to 
which the employee is satisfied and happy in his or her work (Hackman & 
Oldham, 1975). 

5. Mutual Influence - The extent to which individuals feel some 
control or power over the way work is carried out in their departments 
(Feldman, 1976). 

6. Internal Work Motivation - The degree to which an employee is 
self-motivated to perform effectively on the job (Hackman & Oldham, 
1975). 

7. Job Involvement - The degree to which employees are personally 
committed and involved in their work (Lodahl & Kejner, 1965). 



26 
the organization. Van Maanen (1978) suggests that an informal process 
may cause an increase in the tension and anxiety felt by the newcomer as 
they attempt to learn appropriate behaviors. The formal strategy may 
serve to reduce the anxiety by providing a structured environment. It is 
possible that a reduction in the anxiety level experienced may have a 
facilitating effect on satisfaction (Siegall & Cunnings, 1986). 
Collective vs. Individual 

Collective strategies would appear to have their greatest impact in 
the areas of peer trust, tension-reduction and work group commitment. A 
collective strategy places the employees "in the same boat" and elicits 
consensual responses to the situation (Van Maanen, 1978). A collective 
strategy may also favorably impact the level of job involvement the 
newcomer experiences along with a sense of social support (Kirmeyer & 
Lin, 1987; Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986; Henderson & 
Argyle, 1985; Pearson, 1982). 
Sequential vs. Non-Sequential 

The impact of a sequential process would be expected to be found in 
the areas of tension reduction. If the sequence is published or made 
explicit to the new employee, it may serve to provide performance 
feedback to the individual which, if positive, helps in reducing the 
anxiety level. Feldman (1988) suggests the impact of a sequential 
process in reducing feelings of uncertainty or insecurity thereby 
increasing general satisfaction. A non-sequential process may have the 
opposite effect if the stages are unknown or unclear. 
Fixed vs. Variable 

A fixed strategy would appear to have some of the same impacts as a 
sequential process. The fixed strategy provides feedback to the 



27 

individual, again serving to reduce anxiety and uncertainty (Landau & 
Haimier, 1986; Parsons, Herold, & Leatherwood, 1985). The overriding 
impacts of these strategies appear to lie in outcomes such as job tension 
and satisfaction. Where the time to transition is unclear, an 
environment of uncertainty and tension is prevalent. 
Serial vs. Disjunctive 

In a serial process, the newcomer has available an individual to 
serve as a guide. An obvious impact would be in the area of peer trust. 
The development of a "mentor-like" relationship has the potential to 
create a closeness in the interpersonal relationship (Baird & Kram, 
1983). Tension reduction may also result as well as a strong level of 
commitment to the individual. If the individual is a superior, 
commitment may also be projected toward the organization. The rate at 
which the transition from newcomer to full member progresses may also be 
impacted by the presence of an organizational guide (Reichers, 1987; 
Pinder & Schroeder, 1987). 
Investiture vs. Divestiture 

The major areas of impact here appear to include trust, commitment, 
tension, job satisfaction, mutual influence and job involvement. Feldman 
suggests that an investiture process "facilitates new employees' feeling 
comfortable" while "divestiture can create feelings of distrust and 
dislike which may not be erased even after the probationary period is 
over" (1988, p. 91). An investiture process builds and sustains the 
identity of the newcomer thereby having a facilitating impact. The 
individual is made to feel important and contributing, resulting in a 
sense of commitment on the part of the employee (Eisenberger, Huntington, 
Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986). 



28 
The implications and impacts of the early socialization period are 
well known (Cohen, 1973; Bray, Campbell, & Grant, 1974; Berlew & Hall, 
1966; Katz, 1985). What is not quite as clear is the actual process that 
occurs to cause the differential outcomes that result. This dissertation 
will provide new data on that issue. 



CHAPTER 2 
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 



This chapter examines the methodology used in the dissertation 
research. It consists of five sections. The first section presents an 
overview of the entire sample. The second section describes the 
individual research settings and their respective populations. The third 
section is a discussion of the method of entry and data collection 
techniques employed in each setting. In the fourth section, the data 
collection instrument and procedures are described along with descriptive 
statistics related to the instrument. The final section presents 
statistics related to the individual research settings and job 
categories. 

Total Sample 

The total sample population consists of five hundred and forty-three 
(543) subjects from four different organizations. The organizations are 
varied and diverse and include a utility company, military unit, a 
billing service, and a health care facility. 

Fifty-nine (59) percent of the participants were female; forty-one 
(41) percent were male. Two-thirds of the subjects were 34 or younger. 
Twenty-eight (28) percent of the subjects were employed by their current 
employer for less than two years; fifty-one (51) percent were employed 
for two to five years; twenty-one (21) percent were employed for more 
than five years. The majority of the subjects were employed full-time 
(95 percent) with five (5) percent working on a part-time basis. Twenty- 

29 



30 
nine (29) percent of the subjects were clerical workers; forty-three (43) 
percent engaged in technical work; twenty-eight (28) percent were 
managers. 

Research Settings 

All of the organizations were located in or in close proximity to a 
large southeastern city. In order to maintain the anonymity of the 
participation organizations, they are referred to by fictitious names. 
Alpha Utility 

Alpha Utility is a major subsidiary of an international corporation. 
It can be described as a large, high tech information and communication 
services organization. Of a total employee pool of 1,229 full-time 
employees, twenty-one (21) percent or 256 individuals participated in the 
research project. Sixty-two (62) percent of the sample were female and 
thirty-eight (38) percent male. The average length of time of employment 
in the organization was 39.9 months and the average length of time of 
employment within the subject's department was 18.5 months. In terms of 
the type of work performed, approximately ten (10) percent of the sample 
was clerical, forty-eight (48) percent technical and forty-two (42) 
percent managerial. The entire sample was employed on a full-time basis. 
Beta Naval Squadron 

The second organization in the study is a Naval Antisubmarine 
Helicopter Squadron home based in a coastal city. A total available 
subject pool of two hundred (200) personnel provided a participating pool 
of one hundred twenty-one (121) subjects, or sixty-one (61) percent of 
the total organization. Of the total participants, ninety-one (91) 
percent were male and nine (9) percent female. The average length of 
time in the organization was 96.8 months with an average time in position 



31 

of 20.6 months. Twelve (12) percent of the sample performed clerical 
activities, sixty-six (66) percent performed technical jobs, and twenty- 
two (22) percent performed management functions. 
Gamma Billing Service 

Gamma Billing Service is a moderately sized organization performing 
activities primarily clerical in nature. The organization provides the 
billing and collection functions for individual physicians affiliated 
with a large metropolitan hospital. There were one hundred twelve (112) 
employees available for the research, of which eighty-six (86) or 
seventy-seven (77) percent participated. Ninety (90) percent of the 
sample was female. The average length of employment in the organization 
was 28.9 months, with the average time on current job of 17.5 months. 
Ninety-one (91) percent of the total sample performed clerical functions; 
the remaining nine (9) percent were managers. All of the subjects were 
full-time employees. 
Delta Clinic 

The fourth organization participating in the research was a large, 
full service pediatric outpatient clinic. The clinic is equipped to 
provide many of the services available in an inpatient hospital and 
subsequently employs a broad cross section of employees. Of a total 
available employee pool of one hundred forty-three (143) employees, 
eighty (80) or fifty-six (56) percent participated in the research 
project. Eighty-nine (89) percent of the participating sample was female 
and eleven (11) percent male. The average length of employment was 41.3 
months, with an average employment in current position of 29.4 months. 
Forty-four (44) percent of the sample performed clerical tasks, thirty- 



32 
seven (37) percent performed technical tasks, and nineteen (19) percent 
performed managerial functions. 

Tables 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, and 2-4 provide comparative descriptive 
statistics on the four research sites on age, job category, time in 
organization, and time in current position respectively. 

Organizational Entry and Data Collection Procedures 

In all organizations, the initial contact was made personally by the 
researcher. The researcher introduced himself as a doctoral candidate at 
the University of Florida and an instructor in Business Administration at 
the University of North Florida. The purpose of the research and the 
expected level of involvement on the part of the organization were 
briefly discussed, as well as the potential benefits to the organization 
as a result of participation. The research project was briefly described 
as an attempt to understand the dynamics occurring when an employee first 
joins the organization and how that experience impacts the future 
relationship between the employee and the organization. In each case, a 
meeting was set to discuss the research project in detail; a presentation 
was made outlining the theoretical basis for the research and the actual 
data collection instrument was reviewed. The actual level of initial 
entry varied with each organization but was, in general, at the upper 
decision levels. The initial contact person for each organization was as 
indicated: Alpha Utility - Director, Organizational Development; Beta 
Naval Squadron - Commanding Officer; Gamma Billing Service - Director; 
Delta Clinic - Clinic Administrator. Entry at this level facilitated the 
entire review process. Acceptance of and support of the research project 
by this level served to enhance the levels of cooperation throughout the 
organization. 



33 



Table 2-1 
Sample Distribution by Age 



Age 


Alpha 
Utility 


Beta 

Naval 

Squadron 


Gamma 
Billing 
Service 


Delta 
Clinic 


Total 


Less than 25 


16% 


40% 


38% 


5% 


23% 


25 - 34 


52% 


44% 


35% 


39% 


46% 


35 - 44 


25% 


13% 


21% 


34% 


23% 


45 - 55 


7% 


2% 


4% 


15% 


6% 


Over 55 


1% 


1% 


2% 


7% 


2% 



Table 2-2 
Job Category Distribution 



Job 

Category 


Alpha 
Utility 


Beta 

Naval 

Squadron 


Gamma 
Billing 
Service 


Delta 
Clinic 


Total 


Clerical 


10% 


12% 


91% 


44% 


29% 


Technical 


48% 


36% 


0% 


37% 


43% 


Managerial 


^2% 


22% 


9% 


19% 


28% 



34 







Table 2-3 
Time in Organization 






Time 


Alpha 
Utility 


Beta 

Naval 

Squadron 


Gamma 

Billing 
Service 


Delta 
Clinic 


Total 


Less than 
2 years 


22% 


11% 


53% 


50% 


28% 


2-5 years 


73% 


29% 


37% 


28% 


51% 


More than 
5 years 


5% 


60% 


10% 


22% 


21% 







Table 
Time on 


2-4 

Jol 


b 






Time 


Alpha 
Utility 


Beta 

Naval 
Squadron 




Gamma 
Billing 
Service 


Delta 
Clinic 


Total 


Less than 
2 years 


75% 


67% 




72% 


66% 


71% 


2-5 years 


25% 


31% 




24% 


22% 


26% 


More than 
5 years 


0% 


1% 




4% 


12% 





3% 



35 

Once the participation decision was made, the researcher maintained 
contact with one key individual in each organization to facilitate data 
collection and to coordinate the actual mechanics of the process. In 
each organization, the contact person was provided with a sufficient 
number of questionnaires to allow each available employee the opportunity 
to participate. Employee participation was entirely on a voluntary basis 
and the confidentiality of the results was stressed. The instruments 
were distributed to each employee by the internal mail delivery system of 
the organization. The organization allowed the employee to complete the 
questionnaire on company time. Collection points were specified where 
the employee could either hand deliver their completed questionnaire or 
return via the mail system. In each organization, the collection process 
was accomplished within three days. 

A brief discussion of the differential response rates among the 
participating organizations seems appropriate. Specifically, the lower 
participation rate experienced at Alpha Utility requires some 
explanation. The participation rate of 21 percent is consistent with 
standard response rates in this type of survey. It is possible that the 
lower rates at Alpha are due to the very large size of the total 
organization in comparison to the others. In each organization, the 
project was fully and enthusiastically supported by management and the 
impact of this support may have been diluted with the size of Alpha. 

In accordance with the participation agreement, each organization 
was provided with feedback. As agreed, individual employee anonymity was 
maintained and the organizations received aggregate data only. This 
information was provided upon the completion of data analysis by the 



36 
researcher, with the assurance that the organization would be provided 
with additional feedback upon completion of the entire research project. 

Instruments and Measures 

A questionnaire was utilized for data collection. An identical form 
of the questionnaire was used in all four organizations. A copy of the 
questionnaire appears in Appendix A, along with the cover letter. The 
questionnaire consisted of three parts. Each of these sections will be 
described in detail below. 
Questionnaire — Part I 

Part I of the questionnaire consisted of thirty (30) questions 
dealing with the socialization process as perceived by the individual 
employee. The questions measure Van Maanen's (1978) hypothesized "people 
processing strategies." Van Maanen included a seventh pair of 
strategies, tournament vs. contest, which were not included in the 
current research. Van Maanen describes the tournament strategy as "the 
practice of separating selected clusters of recruits into different 
socialization programs or tracks on the basis of presumed difference in 
ability, ambition or background" (1978, pp. 29-30). Contest strategies 
imply "the avoidance of a sharp distinction between superiors and 
inferiors of the same rank" (1978, p. 30). These strategies were 
excluded from the current research because it was anticipated that the 
ability to make this distinction would be limited given the nature of the 
data collection techniques employed. Additionally, it would appear that 
this separation is made by employee superiors; as such, it would be the 
perceptions of the superior rather than perceptions of the employee 
undergoing the socialization process that would be critical. (Jones, 
1986, also did not measure this people processing tactic.) 



37 
Items used were largely based on Jones' (Jones, 1986) attempt to 
empirically measure these strategies. Slight modification of items was 
deemed necessary in light of the nature of the subject pool. Jones' 
questionnaires were originally designed for MBA's, a more highly educated 
workforce than the target population in this study, and it appeared that 
the readability level of the Jones questionnaire would be too high for 
present subjects. To test this assumption, a readability analysis was 
conducted utilizing the Random House Readability Analysis Program (1981). 
This program analyzes the text using recognized indices, including the 
Flesch Index (Flesch, 1948) and the Fog Index (Gunning, 1968). The 
questions were also analyzed using the Fry Method (Fry, 1969) with 
consistent results: the Jones instrument was found to be written at or 
above a twelfth grade level. 

The researcher sought to adjust the level to one more in line with 
the large population of lower level employees, especially the large 
number of clerical employees in the sample. By utilizing the vocabulary 
feature of the IBM 350 Displaywrite program, the vocabulary level was 
adjusted to an eighth (8) grade level. It was anticipated that this 
would enhance the understanding of the question without significantly 
impacting the content or intent of the statements. Table 2-5 is 
presented as a comparison between the data obtained by Jones (Jones, 
1986) and the data generated by the current research. In general, the 
means are lower, the standard deviations smaller and the discrete 
statistics are roughly comparable. 

The first section contains items which measure individual 
perceptions of the six strategies of their organization's "people 
processing." The employee was to respond to the questions in accordance 



38 



Table 2-5 

Comparison of Jones Data to Current Research 

on Independent Variable Scales 



Jones (N=102) Current (N=543) 



Scale 

Formal vs. Informal 
Collective vs. Individual 
Fixed vs. Variable 
Sequential vs. Non-Sequential 
Serial vs. Disjunction 
Investiture vs. Divestiture 



X 


s.d. 


X 


s.d. 


3.6 


1.28 


3.5 


1.03 


4.3 


1.70 


3.9 


1.14 


4.1 


1.46 


3.5 


1.26 


4.5 


1.51 


3.6 


1.18 


5.0 


1.41 


4.1 


1.21 


5.3 


1.18 


4.7 


1.21 



39 

with how they felt during the first few weeks on the job. The six scales 
and the items which comprised each are listed below. 
Formal /Informal ^ 

11. I went through a set of training experiences which were specifically 
designed to give me and the other new people a complete knowledge of 
job related skills. 

12. I was very aware that I was seen as "learning the ropes" by my more 
senior co-workers. 

14. Much of my job knowledge was gained informally on a trial and error 
basis. (Reverse Score) 

28. I did not do any of my usual job duties until I was completely 
familiar with department procedures and work methods. 

Collective/ Individual 

4. During the first few weeks, I was largely involved with other new 
employees in common training activities. 

16. This organization puts all new employees through the same set of 
learning experiences. 

17. Most of my training was carried out separately from other new 
employees. (Reverse Score) 

23. There was a feeling of "being in the same boat" among other new 
employees. 

29. Other new employees were very helpful in my learning my job duties. 



litem #21 "During my training for this job I was normally physically 
separated from my regular work group," was dropped from the analysis 
because it was not significantly related to any other item in the scale. 



40 
Sequential/Random 

1. I saw a clear pattern in the way one early job assignment led to 
another. 

2. The steps in the career ladder were clearly spelled out to me. 

5. In the beginning, I was moved from job to job to build up experience 

and a track record. 
9. Each stage of the training process built upon the job knowledge 

gained during the previous stages of the training process. 
13. This organization did not put new employees through a recognizable 

training program. (Reverse Score) 
Fixed/Variable ^ 

3. The way in which my progress through this organization would follow 
a fixed order of events was made clear to me. 

7. I had a good idea of the time it would take me to go through the 
various stages of the training process. 

8. Most of my knowledge of what might happen to me in the future came 
informally, through the grapevine, rather than through regular 
channels. (Reverse Score) 

30. I had little idea when I was going to get my next job assignment or 

training assignment. (Reverse Score) 
Serial/Disjunctive 
10. I was generally left alone to discover what my job duties should be 

in this organization. (Reverse Score) 



^Item #25 "I could predict my future career path in this organization by 

observing what happened to other employees," was dropped from the 

analysis because it was not significantly related to the other items in 
the scale. 



41 
20. Experienced employees saw advising or training me and other new 

employees as one of their main job duties. 
22. I had little or no access to people who had previously performed my 

job. (Reverse Score) 

26. I gained a clear understanding of my job duties from observing my 
senior co-workers. 

27. I received little guidance from experienced employees as to how I 
should perform my job. (Reverse Score) 

Investiture/Divestiture 

6. Almost all of my co-workers were helpful to me. 
15. My co-workers went out of their way to help me adjust to this 
organization. 

18. I was made to feel that my skills and abilities were very important 
to this organization. 

19. I felt that experienced employees held me at a distance until I 
conformed to their expectations. (Reverse Score) 

24. I had to change my attitudes and values to be accepted in this 

organization. (Reverse Score) 

Tables 2-6 and 2-7 present the descriptive statistics related to the 
people processing strategies. Included in the tables are the scale and 
item mean scores, standard deviations, the mean inter-item correlations, 
and the mean intra-item correlations. The inter- and intra-item 
correlations were included to assess the extent of the relationships 
between items comprising the scales and all other scale items. For 
example, the items which are expected to measure the same construct 
should be highly correlated with each other and should not be similarly 
related to items making up other constructs. With the exception of the 



42 



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43 



Table 2-7 
Item Statistics for People Processing Strategies 



Item 


Me 


an Score J 


standard Deviation 


1 




3.9 


1.77 


2 




3.3 


1.89 


3 




3.2 


1.70 


4 




3.6 


2.19 


5 




3.1 


1.93 


6 




5.3 


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7 




4.0 


1.86 


8* 




3.3 


1.71 


9 




4.2 


1.65 


10* 




3.8 


1.82 


11 




3.5 


1.84 


12 




4.7 


1.59 


13* 




3.7 


1.99 


14* 




3.2 


1.74 


15 




4.5 


1.59 


16 




3.1 


1.79 


17* 




3.8 


1.82 


18 




4.7 


1.75 


19* 




4.1 


1.72 


20 




3.8 


1.68 


21 (not 


used) 


2.8 


1.59 


2?* 




4.6 


1.97 


23 




4.7 


1.63 


24* 




4.7 


1.96 


25 (not 


used) 


3.9 


1.86 


26 




4.0 


1.73 


27* 




4.3 


1.76 


28 




2.7 


1.46 


29 




4.2 


1.65 


30* 




3.5 


1.78 



*Reported means are means after scores reversed. 



44 
scale with the lowest alpha (Formal/Informal), the average within-scale 
correlations are higher than the average interscale correlations. The 
average Cronbach alpha was .64. 
Questionnaire--Part II 

The second section of the questionnaire consists of a set of 
statements that reflect the employees' current feelings about their job. 
Part II contained forty-three (43) questions which comprised eight (8) 
scales. These scales or attitudinal measures were hypothesized to be 
related to the socialization process encountered by the employee. The 
employees were asked to respond to the questions based on how they felt 
at the present time about their job. The eight (8) scales are listed 
below indicating the items comprising them and the original source of the 
scale. 

Interpersonal Trust at Work (Cook & Wall, 1980) Sub-Scale 
Faith in Peers 

39. I can trust the people I work with to lend me a hand if I need it. 
53. Most of my co-workers can be relied upon to do as they say they will 

do. 
68. If I got into difficulties at work I know my co-workers would try 

and help me out. 
Faith in Management 
55. I feel quite confident that the firm will always try to treat me 

fairly. 
60. Management at my firm is sincere in its attempt to meet the worker's 

point of view. 
72. Our management would be quite prepared to gain advantage by 

deceiving the workers. (Reverse Score) 



45 

Organizational Commitment (Porter & Smith, 1970) Sub-Scale 

31. I would accept almost any type of job assignment in order to keep 
working for this organization. 

36. This organization really inspires the very best in me in the way of 
job performance. 

47. I find that my values and the organization's values are very 
similar. 

50. I am willing to put in a great deal of effort beyond that normally 
expected in order to help this organization be successful. 

51. I am proud to tell others that I am part of this organization. 
54. For me this is the best of all possible organizations in which to 

work. 
57. I really care about the fate of this organization. 
61. I am extremely glad that I chose this organization to work for, over 

others I was considering at the time I joined. 
64. I talk up this organization to my friends as a great organization to 

work for. 
Job-Induced Tension (House & Rizzo, 1972) Sub-Scale 

32. I often "take my job home with me" in the sense that I think about 
it when doing other things. (Reverse Score) 

37. If I had a different job, my health would probably improve. 
(Reverse Score) 

43. My job tends to directly affect my health. (Reverse Score) 

45. I have felt nervous before attending meetings in the company. 
(Reverse Score) 

46. I have felt fidgety or nervous as a result of my job. (Reverse 
Score) 



46 
58. Problems associated with my job have kept me awake at night. 

(Reverse Score) 
67. I work under a great deal of tension. (Reverse Score) 
General Job Satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1975) Complete Scale 
44. Generally speaking, I am very satisfied with this job. 
49. I am generally satisfied with the kind of work I do in this job. 
63. People on this job often think of quitting. (Reverse Score) 

65. Most people on this job are very satisfied with the job. 
71. I frequently think of quitting this job. (Reverse Score) 
Mutual Influence (Feldman, 1976) 

33. Any suggestions I may have for improving the way things are done 
here would probably receive favorable consideration by my superiors. 

48. If I had an idea about improving the way work was done in this 
department, I doubt I could get action on it. (Reverse Score) 

56. I feel I have a lot of influence in my unit. 

62. I have a lot of opportunities to influence the way things are done 
here in my organization. 

Internal Work Motivation (Hackman & Oldham, 1975) Complete Scale 

34. Most people on this job feel a great sense of personal satisfaction 
when they do the job well. 

35. My opinion of myself goes up when I do this job well. 

40. I feel a great sense of personal satisfaction when I do this job 
well . 

66. Most people on this job feel bad or unhappy when they find they have 
performed the work poorly. 

70. My own feelings generally are not affected much one way or the other 
by how well I do on this job. (Reverse Score) 



47 

73. I feel bad and unhappy when I discover that I have performed poorly 

on this job. 
Job Involvement (Lodahl & Kejner, 1965) Sub-Scale 
38. The most important things that happen to me involve my work. 

41. I'm really a perfectionist about my work. 

42. The major satisfaction in my life comes from my job. 
52. I live, eat and breathe my job. 

59. I am very much involved personally in my work. 

69. Most things in life are more important than work. (Reverse Score) 

Tables 2-8, and 2-9 present the descriptive statistics for the 
dependent variables. Item and scale mean scores, mean inter-item 
correlations, and mean intra-item correlations are included. All of the 
mean intra-scale correlations are substantially higher than the inter- 
scale correlations. The average Cronbach alpha was .80. 
Questionnaire--Part III 

The third part of the questionnaire contains general demographic 
information. The individual items were made as specific as possible 
while providing anonymity for the subject. Each organization's 
questionnaire was customized in this section to reflect job category 
titles appropriate to that organization. Copies of each organization's 
Part III are in Appendix A. Other demographics included length of time 
employed by the organization, length of time in current position, age 
(categorized), sex, and full or part-time work. Military respondents 
were asked whether they were enlisted or officer rank. 

Organization and Job Category Statistics 

The final section of this chapter presents statistical data related 
to each of the organizations and to categorizations created by job type. 



48 





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49 



Table 2-9 
Item Statistics for Attitudinal Outcomes 



Item 


Mean Score S- 


tandard Deviation 


31 


3.5 


1.92 


32* 


3.1 


1.90 


33 


4.5 


1.81 


34 


4.7 


1.62 


35 


5.9 


1.16 


36 


4.1 


1.82 


37* 


4.3 


1.83 


38 


3.2 


1.74 


39 


5.1 


1.65 


40 


5.9 


1.21 


41 


5.7 


1.13 


42 


3.2 


1.73 


43* 


4.1 


1.73 


44 


4.6 


1.75 


45* 


4.3 


1.71 


46* 


4.2 


1.78 


47* 


4.1 


1.71 


48 


4.3 


1.84 


49* 


5.2 


1.41 


50 


5.6 


1.33 


51 


5.3 


1.52 


52 


2.5 


1.60 


53 


4.7 


1.56 


54 


3.9 


1.72 


55 


4.1 


1.78 


56 


4.3 


1.69 


57 


5.6 


1.35 


58* 


4.0 


1.97 


59 


5.0 


1.46 


60 


3.9 


1.72 


61 


4.8 


1.66 


62 


4.0 


1.72 


63* 


3.2 


1.73 


64 


4.5 


1.62 


65 


3.8 


1.56 


66 


4.8 


1.26 


67* 


3.4 


1.71 


68 


5.2 


1.40 


69* 


3.6 


1.63 


70* 


5.3 


1.42 


71* 


4.5 


1.93 


72* 


4.4 


1.87 


73 


5.6 


1.26 



*Reported means are means after scores reversed. 



50 

Table 2-10 indicates the means and standard deviations for each of the 
people processing strategies by organization. The same statistics are 
presented for the attitudinal outcomes, by organization, in Table 2-11. 
The results of an analysis of variance are also included in Tables 2-10 
and 2-11. In Table 2-12, means and standard deviations for the people 
processing strategies are presented by job category. The attitudinal 
outcome statistics by job category are shown in Table 2-13. The results 
of an analysis of variance by job category are also included in Tables 2- 
12 and 2-13. 



51 



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■-3 



CHAPTER 3 
RESULTS 



In this chapter, the results of the research will be presented and 
discussed. This chapter will include five sections. The first section 
presents the results of a correlational analysis among the people 
processing strategies. The second section indicates the results of a 
correlational analysis among the outcomes or attitudinal variables. In 
the third section, the results of a correlational analysis between the 
individual processing strategies and the individual outcomes are 
presented. The fourth section shows the results of a cluster analysis 
conducted to identify the patterns of relationships between the people 
processing strategies. The final section describes a discriminant 
analysis conducted to determine the impact of patterns of processing 
strategies on the attitudinal outcomes. 

People Processing Strategy Correlations 

A Pearson product-moment correlational analysis was conducted to 
determine the extent of the relationship between each of the pairs of 
people processing strategies. It is important at this point to note that 
the strategies were viewed as ends of a continuum for the purposes of 
this research. The questions were constructed in such a way that a high 
score, seven (7), would reflect a strategy consistent with the variable 
name. A low score, one (1), would reflect the opposite end of the 
continuum and therefore the opposite strategy. For example, the variable 
named "formal" is constructed to reflect a formal process when a high 

55 



56 
score (7) is recorded while a lower score (1) represents an "informal" 
strategy. This reasoning is consistently applied across each of the 
strategy pairs. 

Table 3-1 contains the results of the correlation analysis conducted 
among the processing strategies. 

Each processing pair and its relationship to the other pairs will be 
considered below. 
Formal vs. Informal 

The formal end of the strategy pair represents the extent to which 
the newcomer is segregated from the regular work place while an informal 
strategy indicates that there is no differentiation from current 
organizational members. Relatively high inter-correlations are present 
between the formal strategy pair and four of the other pairs ranging from 
(r = .49) to (r = .55). The lowest was found between the formal strategy 
and the investiture pair (r = .24). 
Collective vs. Individual 

The collective strategy reflects socialization as a group while 
individual strategies indicate the process occurring singly. The highest 
correlation present was that between the collective and formal strategy 
pairs (r = .49). Three other pairs were fairly consistent in the range 
(r = .32) to (r = .35). Once again, the lowest relationship was with the 
investiture strategy, (r = .12). 
Sequential vs. Non-Sequentia! 

Sequential strategies are marked by discrete and identifiable stages 
of passage. In non-sequential strategies, the socialization process is 
accomplished in one step. The highest relationship found here was 



Table 3-1 
Correlations Among People Processing Strategies 



57 





( ) = 


N = 543 
COEFFICIENT 


ALPHA 




Formal 


Collective 


Sequential 


Fixed 


Serial 


Formal (.46) 










Collective .49*** 


(.61) 








Sequential .55*** 


.35*** 


(.64) 






Fixed .50*** 


.32*** 


.68*** 


(.68) 




Serial .53*** 


.34*** 


.54*** 


.53*** 


(.69) 


Investiture .24*** 


.12** 


.36*** 


.41*** 


.52*** 


*** p < .001 
** p < .01 











Investiture 



(.74) 



58 
between sequential strategies and the fixed strategy (r = .68). Two 
other strategies, formal and serial, had correlations of (r = .55) and (r 
= .54) respectively. At the lowest levels were investiture (r = .36) and 
collective (r = .35) strategies. 
Fixed vs. Variable 

With a fixed strategy, the time of transition from newcomer to 
member is fixed. The variable strategy reflects an open-ended time 
frame. The highest relationship was found to be between the fixed 
strategy and the sequential process (r = .68). Investiture (r = .41) 
fell toward the lower end. 
Serial vs. Disjunctive 

The serial strategy reflects the availability of role models for the 
newcomer while the disjunctive strategy reflects the absence of models. 
Four of the strategies ranged from (r = .52) to (r = .54). The 
collective strategy was at the (r = .34) level. 
Investiture vs. Divestiture 

Where the newcomer's identity and ability has been ratified by the 
organization, investiture has occurred. A process of divestiture strips 
away the incoming identity of the newcomer. The strongest correlation 
found here was with the serial strategy (r = .52). The other strategies 
ranged from (r = .41) to (r = .24). The collective strategy had the 
lowest correlation with the investiture strategy (r = .12). 

Although the actual correlations derived were not of substantial 
magnitude (the highest level found was .68), they do demonstrate a 
consistent pattern of high interrelationships among the processing 
strategies. 



59 

Two specific patterns appear to be present. The first pattern seems 
to contain strategies that are consistent with Van Maanen's 
conceptualization of a "batch" or "mass production" approach to people 
processing. This involves a strategy which is formal, collective, 
sequential, fixed and serial in content. This is also similar in some 
respects to Jones' (1986) classification of an institutionalized set of 
processing tactics. 

The second pattern that appears to be present is analogous to Van 
Maanen's concept of "unit" people processing. This set of strategies 
would involve a process that is individual, informal, non-sequential, 
variable and disjunctive in form. There are similarities once again with 
Jones' (1986) "individualized" categorization. 

The most significant difference related to the investiture strategy. 
In each case, the investiture strategy was an outlier, unrelated to other 
people processing tactics. 

Attitudinal Outcomes Correlations 

A Pearson product-moment correlational analysis was conducted to 
examine the pattern of relationships among the dependent attitudinal 
variables. The results of the analysis are shown in Table 3-2. 

Prior to discussing the relationships and patterns present in the 
attitudinal measures, it is informative to first examine the variables 
individually. 
Peer Trust 

This factor reflects the confidence placed in the words and actions 
of the newcomer's peers. The strongest relationships here were with 
mutual influence (r = .50), management trust (r = .48), job satisfaction 
(r = .48), and organization commitment (r = .45). 



60 



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61 

Management Trust 

Management trust is a reflection of the confidence that the newcomer 
has in their superiors. The impact of this factor is found to be most 
significant in terms of commitment to the organization (r = .73) and job 
satisfaction (r = .70) . 
Organization Commitment 

Commitment reflects the strength of the individual's identification 
with and involvement in the organization. As noted above, job 
satisfaction (r = .70) and management trust (r = .73) play a significant 
part in the level of commitment to the organization. 
Job-Induced Tension 

Tension here is the measure of features of the job which "bother" 
the individual to a significant degree. The greatest impact of this 
outcome seems to be in the area of job satisfaction (r = .35). A 
secondary area of impact is the level of management trust (r = .35). 
Job Satisfaction 

Job satisfaction is an overall measure of the degree to which the 
individual is satisfied or happy in their work. As discussed earlier, 
commitment (r = .78) to the organization and management trust (r = .70) 
are strongly associated with this factor. 
Mutual Influence 

The extent to which the individual feels control or power over their 
work is measured by the degree of mutual influence experienced. The 
strongest relationships here are with organization commitment (r = .68), 
management trust (r = .64), and job satisfaction (r = .63). 



62 
Internal Work Motivation 

Internal work motivation reflects employee self-motivation to 
perform effectively. This variable is most highly associated with 
organization commitment (r = .53), mutual influence (r = .46), and job 
satisfaction (r = ,45). 
Job Involvement 

Employee personal commitment to the work and feelings of involvement 
are reflected in this variable. Job involvement is most significantly 
related to organization commitment (r = .49) and internal work motivation 
(r = .48). 

There appears to be a strong relationship between the dependent 
variables. The data suggests a relatively high level of intercorrelation 
among the attitudinal variables, with the exception of job involvement. 
Job involvement appears to be an outlier. 

Relationships Between Individual Processing Strategies and Outcomes 

In this section, the results of the correlation analysis between the 
individual people processing strategy pairs and the attitudinal outcomes 
are presented. Table 3-3 displays these relationships. 

The first significant pattern of results is the almost complete lack 
of impact present in the relationship between the formal and collective 
processing strategies and the attitudinal outcomes. With few exceptions, 
the correlations are not significant, and where there is statistical 
significance it is of such a small magnitude as to be considered 
inconsequential . 

A second interesting pattern of results occurs among sequential, 
fixed, and serial processing strategies. The results of the 
correlational analysis indicates a relationship among these three 



63 

Table 3-3 

Correlations Between People Processing 

Strategies and Attitudinal Outcomes 

N = 543 

Formal Collective Sequential Fixed Serial Investiture 



Peer 
Trust 


.06 


.04 


Management 
Trust 


_ 25*** 


.08 


Organization 
Commitment 


.13** 


.09* 


Job 
Tension 


-.05 


-.03 


Job 
Satisfaction 


.11** 


.06 


Mutual 
Influence 


.08 


.07 


Work 
Motivation 


.01 


.06 


Job 
Involvement 


.01 


-.01 


*** p < .001 
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* p < .05 







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.25*** .34*** .28*** .48*** 



.23 



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.07 



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.44 



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-.06 -.19*** -.13** -.27*** 



.19*** .29*** .20*** .45*** 



.16*** .23*** .20*** .50*** 



,13** .09* .11** .28*** 



,10^ 



64 
variables that is consistent in terms of magnitude and statistical 
significance. There appears consistent moderate correlations among these 
strategies and all the attitudinal variables except job involvement. 

The third significant relationship here is that between the 
investiture strategy and the outcomes. Without exception, the strongest 
relationships occur between this one strategy and each of the attitudinal 
outcomes. A further distinction can be made by separating the outcome 
variables into internal v/ork factors and interpersonal factors. When 
this is done, it is obvious that the most significant impact of the 
investiture strategy is in the area of interpersonal relationships. 

Cluster Analysis Results 

Cluster analysis is a method of classifying variables into groups, 
or clusters. Nunnally defines a cluster as "consisting of variables that 
correlate highly with one another and have comparatively low correlations 
with variables in other clusters" (1978, p. 429), while Kerlinger 
describes a cluster as "a subset of a set of 'objects '--persons, tests, 
concepts, and so on--the members of which are more similar or closer to 
each other than they are to members outside the cluster" (1973, p. 576). 
In the present case, the "objects" of the analysis were the research 
subjects. The criterion utilized for assignment to a particular cluster 
were the processing strategies. 

The CLUSTER procedure (SAS, 1985) was utilized to determine the 
hierarchical clusters present in the people processing strategies. The 
centroid hierarchical method (Sokal & Michener, 1958) was employed in the 
clustering routine. The technique is briefly described by Everitt (1974) 
as one in which "groups are depicted to lie in Euclidean space, and are 
replaced in formation by the co-ordinates of their centroid. The 



65 

distance between groups is defined as the distance between the group 
centroids. The procedure then is to fuse groups according to the 
distance between their centroids, the groups with the smallest distance 
being fused first" (1974, p. 12). 

Cluster analysis provides the capacity to deal with a large amount 
of data in such a manner as to "give a more concise and understandable 
account of the observations under consideration. In other words, 
simplification with minimal loss of information is sought" (Everitt, 
1974, p. 4). A second objective of cluster analysis is to produce groups 
which form the basis of a classification scheme useful in later studies 
for predictive purposes (Everitt, 1974). Both of these objectives were 
sought in the current research. 

The FASTCLUS procedure (SAS, 1985) identified two distinct clusters. 
Table 3-4 indicates the processing strategy mean scores for the two 
clusters. The two clusters represent the two distinctive patterns 
discussed previously: "unit" and "batch" approaches to socialization. 
Cluster I is reflective of the "batch" approach and Cluster II reflects 
an "unit" orientation. Figure 3-1 visually demonstrates the differences 
between the two clusters. 

Discriminant Analysis Results 

In order to determine the relationships between the clusters of 
processing strategies and the outcome variables described earlier, a 
discriminant analysis was conducted. Klecka defines discriminant 
analysis as "a statistical technique which allows the researcher to study 
the differences between two or more groups of objects with respect to 
several variables simultaneously" (1980, p. 7). In the present research, 
the group of objects are the two clusters of subjects that were derived 



66 



Table 3-4 

Cluster Analysis 

People Processing Strategies Mean Scores 





n 


uste 


r I 


CI 


uster 


II 




J 




s.d. 


X 




s.d. 


Formal 


4.2 




.87 


2.9 




.76 


Collective 


4.4 




1.06 


3.4 




1.01 


Fixed 


4.4 




.94 


2.6 




.86 


Sequential 


4.4 




.89 


2.9 




.88 


Serial 


4.9 




.83 


3.3 




.93 


Investiture 


5.3 




.87 


4.1 




1.22 



N=264 N=279 



67 



CM 



I 
I 



UJ 



ifi 



Investiture 



Serial 



Sequential 



Fixed 



Collective 



Formal 



OL 



CO 



o o 



Divestiture 



Disjunctive 



_ Non-Sequential 



Variable 



Individual 



Informal 



I I I I I I I 

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 



Figure 3-1 
Cluster Analysis 



68 
with the cluster analysis. The discriminating factors are the outcome or 
attitudinal variables described earlier. The process, then, is directed 
at finding the discriminant function, described by Kerlinger as "a 
regression equation with a dependent variable that represents group 
membership. The function maximally discriminates the members of the 
group; it tells us to which group each member probably belongs" (1973, p. 
650). 

The results of the discriminant analysis are shown in Table 3-5. It 
is important to note that for every outcome variable. Cluster I mean 
scores are higher than Cluster II mean scores. The mean scores for each 
cluster are plotted in Figure 3-2 to facilitate a comparison between the 
two. The results of the discriminant analysis, together with the 
conclusions of the cluster analysis, point out a significant finding. It 
would appear that when a "unit" type of socialization process is 
experienced (that is, one which is informal, individual, variable, non- 
sequential and disjunctive), we can expect somewhat lower attitudinal 
outcomes. A "batch" process (formal, collective, fixed, sequential, and 
serial) tends to have somewhat more positive responses on the same 
attitudinal measures. 

The data derived from the cluster analysis and the subsequent 
discriminant analysis suggest that there are, in fact, recognizable 
patterns of people processing strategies present. Further, these 
patterns have a systematic relationship with the attitudinal variables 
described earlier. The implications and applications of these results 
will be developed further in the next chapter. 



69 



Table 3-5 
Discriminant Analysis 

Attitudinal Outcomes Mean Scores 

Cluster I 

X s.d. 



Peer Trust 5.2 1.11 

Management Trust 4.6 1.40 

Organization Commitment 4.9 1.06 

Job Induced Tension 4.2 1.12 

Job Satisfaction 4.6 1.22 

Mutual Influence 4.6 1.28 

Internal Work Motivation 5.4 .79 

Job Involvement 3.9 .98 



Cluster 


II 


X 


s.d. 


4.8 


1.40 


3.7 


1.54 


4.3 


1.26 


3.7 


1.16 


3.9 


1.32 


3.9 


1.57 


5.3 


.87 


3.8 


1.13 



N = 264 N = 279 



en 

■JD CM 
<NJ II 
II Z 



70 



LjJ UJ 



V 



Job 
Involvement 



Work 
Motivation 



Mutual 
Influence 



Job 
Satisfaction 



I 
7 



1 



Job 
Tension 



Organization 
Commitment 



Management 
Trust 



Peer 
Trust 



Figure 3-2 
Discriminant Analysis 



CHAPTER 4 
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS 



This chapter summarizes the results of the research and discusses 
the implications of the results for organizational socialization 
programs. This chapter consists of four sections. The first two 
sections examine, in turn, the relationships among the people processing 
strategies and the relationships between the people processing strategies 
and the attitudinal outcomes. The third portion of the chapter discusses 
methodological issues in the research on organizational socialization, 
while the fourth, and last, segment discusses the organizational 
applications of the findings of the research. 

Relationships Among the People Processing Strategies 

One of the major purposes of the current research was to empirically 
examine the patterns of people processing strategies posited by Van 
Maanen (1978). The correlational analysis suggests that the various 
strategies, while theoretically conceived of as being independent, were 
in actuality highly interrelated. Two distinct patterns emerged: a 
"unit" strategy and a "batch" mode of socialization. 

The "unit" strategy is indicative of a customized strategy for one 
individual. For instance, this strategy might be used when a single new 
employee enters an organization into a position for which there is no 
current incumbent (e.g., executive succession) or for which the time 
required for transition to full member is unknown or unclear (e.g., Ph.D. 
students). One might further speculate the application of a "unit" 

71 



72 
strategy in situations where the organization is relatively small in 
size, with highly technical or professional tasks, and where innovative 
behavior is encouraged and expected. Examples of this type of 
organization might include high-technology development firms, specialized 
or custom-work shops, and creativity-driven organizations such as market 
research and management consulting firms. The "unit" approach to 
socialization would involve a process which is relatively individual, 
informal, non-sequential, variable and disjunctive in nature. 

In contrast, the "batch" approach reflects a strategy which tends to 
be more formal, collective, sequential, fixed and serial in structure. 
Typically, "batch" socialization programs are conducted with large groups 
of new recruits, over a specified time period, and involve specific 
phases or steps. The types of organizations where one might encounter a 
"batch" type of process, not surprisingly, are also those where a high 
volume of rather routine tasks and activities occur. Large manufacturing 
or clerically based organizations would appear to be examples here. 
Assembly-line operations such as automobile manufacturing or firms where 
a high volume of paper processing occurs (i.e., insurance) would seem to 
be the likely location for a "batch" oriented socialization process. 

However, it is not easy to globally categorize any one organization 
or job classification. Any single organization, for instance, may be 
comprised of several elements that fall into both of the above 
classifications. Thus, an organization may at the same time involve in 
Its subsystems socialization processes that are both "unit" and "batch." 
It is for the above reason and because of the added complexity that the 
researcher chose not to include comparisons within the individual 



73 

organizations. These comparisons will require further attention and are 
more appropriate for future research and analysis. 

One might also hypothesize that unit socialization would be more 
common with "resocialized" employees (e.g., those who are transferred or 
promoted to new departments) while batch socialization would be more 
common with large groups of new recruits. Feldman and Brett (1983, 1985) 
conducted a comparison of the coping differences between new hires and 
job changers. Some of the differences they highlighted have relevance 
here in terms of the different processing strategies. For example, 
Feldman and Brett found that new hires "are typically given three to six 
months to learn their new job, take part in formal training and benefit 
from a great deal of unsolicited, informal help" (1985, p. 62). Job 
changers, on the other hand "are expected 'to hit the ground running,' 
and to exhibit the same high level of performance on the new job as they 
did on the old" (1985, p. 62). Furthermore, job changers report "that 
they receive ^^ery little unsolicited help and feel that asking for help 
would be seen as a sign of weakness" (1985, p. 62). Also, Feldman and 
Brett note that most newcomers are hired in groups, but job changers 
often enter one at a time. These ^ery distinct differences have 
significant relevance for the socialization process. 

Another important finding of this research is the independence of 
the investiture/divestiture strategy from the other strategies. The 
analysis here suggests that the investiture/divestiture strategy is not 
closely associated with the other strategies. This is a different 
finding than that of Jones (1986). Jones found three clusters of 
strategies which he categorized as being concerned with context, content 
and social aspects. Jones' contextual tactics included the 



74 
formal/informal and collective/individual strategy; his content tactics 
were the sequential/non-sequential and fixed/variable pairs; and his 
social aspect tactics included the serial/disjunctive and 
investiture/divestiture sets. Jones further classified the strategies as 
either institutionalized (collective, formal, sequential, fixed, serial 
and investiture) or individualized (individual, informal, non-sequential, 
variable, disjunctive and divestiture). 

The current research does not support this classification scheme. 
Investiture here seems to reflect the quality of the interpersonal 
relationships found in the organization between newcomers and established 
members, and seems to be separate and distinct from the unit/batch 
dichotomy. It is conceivable that this result reflects the fact that 
newcomers can psychologically separate the mechanical processes of 
socialization from the emotional or interpersonal dynamics of the 
experience, or more simply, the difference between their "initiation to 
the task" and their "initiation to the group" (Feldman, 1977). 

The above discussion suggests it might be possible to construct a 
framework which displays the different types of socialization strategies 
by organizational or job type. Such a matrix appears in Figure 4-1. 

As suggested earlier, it is not always possible to neatly classify 
an organization given the complexities present. It is useful, however, 
to speculate in a general manner how various organizational types might 
be assigned. These assignments are, as indicated, speculative and were 
derived from both the strategy mean scores for each organization 
(reported in Table 2-10) and from the researcher's knowledge of the 
nature of the organizational activities and structures. For example, the 
data in the current research suggests that the military unit fits best in 



75 



Unit 



Batch 



Investiture 



Divestiture 



Health Care 
Facility 


Billing Service 
Utility 




Military Unit 



Figure 4-1 
Organizational Categorization 



Unit 



Batch 



Investiture 



Divestiture 



Managers 


Clerical 




Technical 



Figure 4-2 
Job Categorization 



76 
the batch/divestiture cell since the respondents report a process that is 
somewhat formal, collective, fixed, sequential and serial in content. 
Furthermore, the process was marked by relatively high levels of 
divestiture. This result is consistent with what we know about the 
nature of military basic training (Bourne, 1967; Horner, 1979; Ilgen & 
Seely, 1974). Bourne reports that the socialization strategy used by the 
military during recruit training includes an attempt to strip away the 
newcomers' identity and to replace it with a new one (Bourne, 1967). 
Furthermore, Bourne (1967) suggests that the new recruit is made to feel 
like an outsider and is constantly reminded that the skills they arrived 
with are of no value to the army. These actions are the essence of a 
divestiture strategy. 

The billing service and the utility seem to fall into the 
batch/investiture quadrant because the processes reported here were again 
relatively formal, collective, fixed, sequential and serial. There is 
some basis for this cell assignment when one considers the size and 
nature of activities of these two locations. The utility, for example, 
was the largest site in the sample and together with the billing service 
accounted for the largest proportion of clerical functions. Given the 
number of employees undergoing socialization at any one time, it makes 
sense that a collective, standardized process would be employed. In this 
quadrant, the investiture tactic seems to be more prevalent. This may 
reflect a concerted effort on the part of the subject organizations to 
match the socialization process to the social demands of their tasks 
(i.e., friendly service to the public and to clients). 

The unit/investiture cell seems to be the appropriate categorization 
for the health care facility since the respondents generally reported a 



77 

process that was informal, individual, variable, non-sequential and 
disjunctive. A relatively high level of investiture was also present. 
Relatively well-trained professional and technical workers have already 
received extensive "anticipatory socialization" prior to entry into the 
organization. Thus, divesting socialization processes, to the extent 
needed, have already taken place. Moreover, the unit strategy may be 
used more frequently because fewer employees are hired at any one time, 
and employees need to learn how to function autonomously early in their 
organizational career. 

It is also possible to explore cell assignment by job category. In 
order to simplify this process, the sample job categories were combined 
into three major classifications: managerial, technical and clerical. 
Once again the cell assignments were made based partly on the strategy 
mean scores (reported in Table 2-12) and partly on the knowledge of the 
researcher of the organizations' structures and activities. 

The data suggest that managerial tasks fit in the unit/investiture 
cell. Typically, managers are socialized in an informal, individual, 
variable, non-sequential and disjunctive manner. This is consistent with 
what Bray et al . (1974) found in their study of AT&T managers. Bray et 
al . (1974) found no uniform set of procedures used in socialization of 
newly hired managers. The responsibility for the process varied from 
department to department and the major means of socialization was job 
rotation throughout the organization. The level of investiture reflects 
the critical ity of the social dimension of these positions. Schacter 
(1959) suggests that as the newcomer seeks to live up to expectations, 
they become more affiliative and begin to identify with significant 
others who can furnish guidance and reassurance. Schein (1971) suggests 



78 
that it is through interaction with veteran managers that recruits absorb 
the subtleties of organizational culture and climate. 

Clerical jobs seem appropriate for the batch/investiture cell 
because they typically reflect a formal, collective, fixed, sequential 
and serial process. Again, this is consistent with what one would expect 
when the socialization process is involved with a large number of 
recruits performing relatively routine tasks. Organizations employing 
large numbers of clerical employees are typically faced with the task of 
socializing large numbers of new recruits. Often, turnover is high in 
these clerical, entry-level positions and the replacement process is 
almost continuous. It makes sense, then, that the organization would 
attempt to "streamline" the socialization process as much as possible in 
order to minimize costs. A batch strategy allows the organization to 
"package" its socialization process thereby standardizing the process and 
reducing costs per employee. 

The technical classification appears to fit in the batch/divestiture 
quadrant. This classification is somewhat tenuous. Schein (1964, 1968) 
has reported the widespread use of debasing or upending experiences that 
are encountered in professional training programs. They may be used to 
make even well-educated workers cautious, and to reduce any cockiness 
which might have developed in school. 

It is important to note that in both the organizational assignment 
and the job categorizations, one cell remained empty. The unit/ 
divestiture cell was vacant in both cases. This makes some intuitive 
sense since it is highly unlikely that one would encounter this strategy 
set in an organization. Since the unit strategy is more labor-intensive 
from the organization's point of view, it is unlikely that it would be 



79 

consciously coupled with a strategy of divestiture. In the 

individualized socialization of a manager, it would be inconsistent and 

socially awkward, in light of the close one-on-one relationship, to 

include experiences that are debasing or upending (Schein, 1968). This 

would be contrary to the nature of the relationship typically found in a 

"mentoring" type of partnership. 

It is also possible to speculate that one might find a unit/ 

divestiture strategy used following another of the other strategy sets. 

For example. Van Maanen (1976b) describes the transition from new recruit 

to rookie policemen. The police academy could be viewed as involving a 

batch/divestiture strategy but, upon completion, the recruit moves to an 

apprentice program (e.g., rookie cop paired with a veteran) that could be 

categorized as unit/divestiture. A similar situation occurs in the 

military when an individual completes recruit training (batch/ 

divestiture) and enters into specialized advanced training, e.g.. Green 

Beret (unit/divestiture). 

Relationships Between the People Processing 
Strategies and Attitudinal Outcomes 

A second major objective of this research was to determine the 
extent of the impact of the people processing strategies on various 
attitudinal measures. The results of the research provided evidence for 
the conclusion that there is a systematic pattern of relationships 
between the processing strategies and the attitudinal variables measured. 
The "batch" process or set of strategies resulted in consistently higher 
positive responses on the attitudinal measures than the "unit" 
strategies. This is a somewhat unexpected result. 

Intuitively, one might expect a "unit" or individualized process to 
elicit a relatively more positive attitudinal response due to the 



80 
dependency of the newcomer. For example. Bourne (1967) studied the 
socialization process that occurs during Army basic training and 
discusses the effects of the immediate environmental shock of training. 
He suggests the typical recruit response to this highly individualized 
activity as one of dazed apathy. The recruits, as a result, become very 
dependent upon those in positions of authority. Van Maanen suggests that 
"a person undergoing formal socialization is likely to feel isolated, 
cutoff, and prohibited from assuming everyday social relationships with 
his more experienced 'betters'" (1978, p. 23). Another hypothesized 
reason for this relationship is the suggestion that newcomers 
experiencing unit socialization may also be relatively malleable because 
they are alone and therefore feel especially vulnerable to group pressure 
(Heiss & Nash, 1967; Walker, 1973). 

Further arguments for the contention that "unit" socialization 
processes should result in stronger affect towards the organization are 
offered by Van Maanen and Schein (1979). Van Maanen and Schein, citing 
the work of Burke (1950), suggest that individual strategies "can result 
in deep individual changes, 'secular conversion,' but they are lonely 
changes and are dependent solely upon the particular relationship which 
exists between agent and recruit" (1979, p. 234). They further argue 
that "outcomes in these one-on-one efforts are dependent primarily upon 
the affective relationships which may or may not develop between the 
apprentice and master" (1979, p. 234). As Caplow (1964) notes, this one- 
on-one practice is prevalent especially in higher levels of bureaucratic 
organizations where the person designated to conduct the socialization 
process becomes a role model for the recruit. One can assume that the 
relationship, especially at higher levels, will be intended to foster 



81 

high affect and consequently a stronger affinity not only for the role 
model but for the organization as well. 

However, in this research, being afforded individualized attention 
did not result in a closer affinity for the organization. The data 
suggests that the opposite response occurs. One could hypothesize that 
the "specialness" is overshadowed by heightened levels of anxiety and 
ambiguity resulting from less structured programs. For example, the 
absence of a role model or close contact with others undergoing the same 
experience may serve to increase the levels of tension the individual 
experiences in the new and novel situation. 

The positive impact of the "batch" strategy can also be explained 
when we examine the process in conjunction with work group adjustment. 
Feldman (1988) suggests the importance of social adjustment for new 
recruits in three areas: as a source of social support, as a source of 
work information and direction, and as "a framework for understanding all 
the seemingly disparate pieces of information they are receiving" (1988, 
p. 91). The outcomes, then, of a batch strategy include a source of 
stress reduction (Feldman & Brett, 1983), performance feedback and role 
modeling (Hackman, 1976; Weiss, 1977), and as a source of "sense-making" 
(Louis, 1980). The data suggests that the "batch" approach might provide 
the organization with the capability to favorably impact the levels of 
tension and anxiety associated with the socialization experience. The 
more structured "batch" approach appears to lessen the ambiguity and 
uncertainty experienced as suggested by the relatively higher scores on 
the attitudinal outcomes. 

A further distinction to be considered is the differential effects 
of the investiture and divestiture strategies. The results of the 



82 
research suggest that an investiture strategy results in higher or more 
favorable responses on the attitudinal outcomes. The divestiture tactic 
appears to result in a lowering of job-related attitudes. This is 
consistent with what one would expect given the nature of each strategy, 
and with previous research (Jones, 1986). An investiture strategy 
reinforces the value of the contribution of the newcomer and therefore 
serves to validate the self-image of the individual. This is reflected 
by the relatively higher scores in the areas of management trust, job 
satisfaction, organizational commitment and mutual influence. Tension 
and anxiety associated with the new position also seem to be favorably 
impacted. 

The divestiture strategy, on the other hand, seems to disconfirm the 
value of the individual. A divestiture strategy not only strips away the 
old identity of the newcomer, but constantly denigrates the self esteem 
of the individual, resulting in a lowering of scores in areas such as 
management trust, job satisfaction and job involvement. Furthermore, job 
tension appears to increase with the use of the divestiture tactic. 

Methodological Issues 

The conduct of research in the area of organizational socialization 
has been, and continues to be, marked by certain methodological problems. 
These problem areas include issues related to research design, sample 
selection and data collection techniques (Feldman, 1988; Fisher, 1986). 

The design issue has centered on the almost exclusive use of cross- 
sectional designs to assess what is, in reality, a longitudinal process. 
The dynamic nature of the socialization process is demonstrated by the 
many "stage" or "phase" models. The current research focused on one 
stage of the process, the "breaking in" stage, in its cross-sectional 



83 

approach. Obviously, it would have been far more complex but potentially 
more informative to have tracked the subjects through several steps of 
the process. This was not done in the current study but provides a 
direction and objectives for further longitudinal research. Some of the 
results found in the current study may be attributable to other factors. 

The second methodology issue involves the selection of the sample of 
subjects. Subject selection has been narrow and generally restricted to 
a limited type or category of employee. Frequently, research has focused 
on samples comprised of police, military, nursing, engineers and students 
(Fisher, 1986). Little research has been directed at several 
occupational categories across several organizations. The current 
research sought to increase the scope of the inquiry by including several 
job categories and several different organization types. As noted in 
Chapter 2, the organizations examined included a utility, a medical 
clinic, a military unit and a clerical organization. This diversity of 
organizations provided the researcher with a wide range of job types and 
occupational categories ranging from blue-collar, clerical to upper level 
management. Several professional and technical classifications were also 
included in the pool of subjects. However, non-comparable samples to 
previous research may account for some of the new results in this study. 

Another area of concern is the potential confounding that occurs 
when one is unable to clearly distinguish between socialization to a 
profession versus socialization to a particular organization. This would 
include the ability to assess the impact of "anticipatory socialization" 
experiences, e.g., educational institutions, and their relationship with 
the socialization efforts of the employing organization. As noted by 
Fisher, "the occupational socialization variable is confounded with both 



84 
post-hire socialization experiences (master's degree engineers are likely 
to be assigned different job activities and colleagues than Ph.D. 
scientists) and possible preexisting value differences which led 
individuals to choose one type of educational program over another" 
(1986, pp. 103-104). 

Data collection techniques comprise the third problem in methodology 
encountered in socialization research. As Fisher (1986) has pointed out, 
with a few notable exceptions (Schein, 1978; Van Maanen, 1978, 1975; 
Feldman & Brett, 1983), the majority of the empirical approaches to the 
study of socialization have relied solely upon self-report questionnaire 
data with the inherent problems of reliability and validity (Campbell & 
Stanley, 1966). The current research also utilized self-report 
questionnaires for data collection. Nunnally suggests "self-report 
measures of attitudes are limited to what individuals know about their 
attitudes and are willing to relate" (1978, p. 591) and further argues 
"the validity of a self-report measure depends upon how results are 
interpreted" (1978, p. 392). 

Additionally, an important issue which should be addressed is that 
of the differences in perception between what recruits experience and 
what organizations say they provide. It is reasonable to suggest that 
what the newcomer reports to have occurred during their socialization may 
be fundamentally different than that intended by the organization. It is 
clear that individuals behave in response to their perceptions, whether 
reflecting "objective" reality or not. In order to identify any 
perceptual differences, it would be necessary to assess the process from 
several different perspectives, i.e., a comparison of employee 
assessments with those of supervisors and managers. 



85 

Further research in this area also requires an approach that 
incorporates several data collection techniques used simultaneously. 
Composite or multi -method approaches may provide the best approach for 
dealing with this concern (Campbell & Fiske, 1959). Several researchers 
have effectively utilized this type of approach (Schein, 1978; Feldman, 
1976; Van Maanen, 1975). Innovative data collection approaches will help 
to enhance the reliability of research in the area of organizational 
socialization. 

Another methodological issue present in the current research 
concerns the use of attitudinal measures versus behaviors. As Fisher 
points out "certainly behavior is more visible than attitudes, and is 
thus more likely to provoke influence attempts from others. However, few 
studies have attempted to document behavior change during socialization" 
(1986, pp. 108-109). This is an area that requires further attention 
because of the significance of the impact of individual behavior in the 
organizational setting. For example, the specific relationships between 
the strategy sets and levels of involvement and commitment have 
significant implications for the organization. The linkage between 
levels of job involvement and commitment and subsequent turnover and 
absenteeism have been well documented (Blau & Boal , 1987; Youngblood, 
Mobley & Meglino, 1983; Blau, 1986; Farrell & Petersen, 1984). The costs 
associated with high levels of turnover and absenteeism continue to be a 
concern of organizational management and provide greater impetus for 
achieving a "good match." 

When one relies upon retrospective data, as was the case in the 
assessment of the processing strategies, other threats to validity must 
be considered. The subjects were asked to recall how they felt during 



86 

the first few weeks on the job. For some subjects, this was a fairly 

recent event while for others the time since entry was far longer. The 

longer the time since entry, the more opportunities for response 

distortion. Campbell and Stanley suggest that one "should be careful to 

note that the probable direction of memory bias is to distort the past 

attitudes into agreement with present ones, or into agreement with what 

the tenant has come to believe to be socially desirable attitudes" (1966, 

p. 66). The current condition of the employment relationship may have 

distorted or "flavored" the recall of the subject. Nunnally has 

addressed the problem of self-knowledge or recall by suggesting 

there is some selective 'forgetting' of one's own 
actions and the ways in which other people have 
responded to us, and those memories that remain 
active frequently are reshaped in one way or another. 
To the extent that questionnaire items concern 
typical behavior over a long period of time or 
behavior in an earlier stage of life, individuals may 
be deficient in self-knowledge purely because they 
cannot accurately recall how they performed and how 
other people responded to them. (1978, p. 665) 

A final methodological issue requiring attention is the 

relationships between the variables. The results of the analysis suggest 

a relatively high degree of multicol linearity present among both the 

independent and the attitudinal variables. Belsley, Kuh and Welsch 

define the condition of multicol linearity as existing with more than two 

variates when "there is a high multiple correlation when one of the 

variates is regressed on the others" (1980, p. 86). Although the 

specificity of the patterns are somewhat ambiguous, there appears to be 

some evidence for two patterns of relationships in the independent 

variables: "unit" and "batch." The data suggests one pattern of 

relationships among the attitudinal outcomes that might be representative 

of the work itself while another pattern is suggestive of factors related 



87 

to social aspects of the work environment. It is not totally clear at 
this point if the multicollinearity is due to theoretical considerations 
or due to the methods employed in the research. Further research is 
required to address the problem of multicollinearity. 

Organizational Implications 

When one considers the emphasis placed on formal socialization 
programs by organizations (Zenke, 1982) it becomes apparent that it is 
important and potentially beneficial for the organization to fully 
understand the objectives of its socialization program. It is imperative 
that the processing strategies employed by the organization are 
supportive of and consistent with the outcomes sought. 

It is feasible at this point to begin to speculate on the various 

organizational objectives which may direct the utilization of one or the 

other strategy sets. Van Maanen and Schein suggest that "individual 

socialization processes are most likely to be associated with complex 

roles" and where "there are relatively few incumbents compared to many 

aspirants for a given role and when a collective identity among recruits 

is viewed as less important than the recruits' learning of the 

operational specifics of the given role" (1979, p. 234). Van Maanen and 

Schein further suggest that 

collective socialization programs are usually found 
in organizations where there are a large number of 
recruits to be processed into the same 
organizationally defined role; where the content of 
this role can be fairly clearly specified; and, where 
the organization desires to build a collective sense 
of identity, solidarity, and loyalty within the 
cohort group being socialized. (1979, pp. 234-235) 

The above considerations suggest some specific steps that should be 

undertaken by organizations to enhance the effectiveness of their 

socialization programs. These are as follows: 



88 
Identification of Objectives 

The organization should clearly delineate the types of outcomes it 
seeks in terms of employee attitudes and behaviors. In other words, what 
are the objectives the organization seeks to achieve with its 
socialization program? It is clear at this point that differential 
strategies result in different responses on the part of the individual 
experiencing the process. The organization, then, has within its powers 
the ability to "tailor" its people processing strategies to obtain the 
types of outcomes it seeks. This is a major consideration in light of 
the consequences of the various attitudinal outcomes. For example, is 
innovative behavior sought or is it more important to build high levels 
of conformity? The answer to this question would dictate whether 
investiture or divestiture is more appropriate. 
Identification of Current Strategies 

The organization should take steps to identify the current strategy 
or set of strategies that it employs in its socialization process. As 
was noted earlier, it is imperative that organizational management 
clearly know the strategies they are employing to socialize their 
employees. Equally important, management needs to be aware of the 
perceptions of employees as they undergo the socialization program. This 
might be accomplished by obtaining perceptions not only from employees 
themselves, but also from the human resource managers and those in line 
positions. It would then be possible to identify any differences in 
perception, and the reasons for those differences. 
Design of Socialization Program to Achieve Objectives 

Once the organization has specified its objectives and determined 
the types of processing strategies employed, it is possible to redesign 



89 
the process if required to bring it more in line with the objectives. 
This becomes a much more complex issue if the organization is concerned 
with differential responses across different job categories or 
departments. The more complex the occupational make-up of the 
organization, the more difficult it becomes to administer the 
socialization program. An analysis should be conducted to determine the 
appropriate level of complexity for the organizational socialization 
program. 

The current research and other research on Van Maanen's typology 
(Jones, 1986) suggests the possibility of the development of a "fit" 
model (Feldman, forthcoming) that could be utilized to develop 
organizational socialization programs. Such a model would allow the 
organization to predict the outcomes that may occur given a specific set 
of processing strategies and to design their program to obtain desired 
outcomes. 

An appropriate application of the results of the current study may 
be found in the work of Schuler and Jackson (1987). Schuler and Jackson 
suggest a model for linking the competitive strategies of organizations 
with the practices of human resource management. They specifically 
identify three competitive strategies: innovation, quality enhancement, 
and cost reduction. Linked with each of these strategies are specific 
employee role behaviors. For example, the innovative strategy requires a 
high degree of creative behavior, a relatively high level of cooperative, 
interdependent behavior and a high tolerance of ambiguity and 
unpredictability. These behavioral requirements would suggest that a 
unit/investiture strategy set might be appropriate since this tactic 
seems to encourage creative behavior while at the same time requiring the 



90 
individual to be tolerant of the ambiguity and unpredictability 
associated with an individualized socialization process. 

The quality enhancement and cost reduction strategies require 
relatively repetitive and predictable behavior, a moderate amount of 
cooperative, interdependent behavior and commitment to the goals of the 
organization. One might expect these behavioral responses where a 
batch/investiture strategy is employed. The batch approach appears to be 
suited to activities requiring routine, repetitive behaviors. 

The batch strategy, therefore, provides the basis for the 
development of stable, predictable behavior reinforced by an environment 
of investiture or social support. Investiture provides an atmosphere of 
trust and mutual respect resulting in a potentially stronger commitment 
to the organization and, subsequently, loyalty to the organizational 
goals. 

The above relationships or assignments are speculative, and in need 
of further research, but they do suggest the practical application of the 
results of this research. The findings also suggest that a major 
reevaluation of the value of formal socialization programs needs to be 
conducted. Organizations should question whether their current 
socialization processes are contributing to the objectives sought or are 
resulting in outcomes that are contrary to expectations. 

When the consequences of early organization experiences are 
considered in terms of performance, satisfaction, and productivity, the 
importance of successfully managing the people processing strategies 
becomes clear. The current research provides a step in the direction of 
enabling the organization to achieve the outcomes it desires in the 
management of its employee socialization program. This research provides 



91 

organizations with a framework to design their socialization programs to 
accomplish their personnel objectives. Furthermore, it allows the 
organization the opportunity to influence the outcomes it desires rather 
than reacting to the consequences of haphazard people processing. 



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APPENDIX A 
COVER LETTER 



This questionnaire is part of a research project on the ways people 
become oriented to their jobs. On the following pages, you will find 
three sets of questions: 

— Part I deals with how you felt when you first started your job. 

— Part II deals with how you feel about your job at the present 
time. 

-- Part III asks for some basic information about you and the type 
of work you do. 

Please answer each question. It will take only about 20 minutes to 
complete the questionnaire. 

All individual answers will be kept completely confidential. Please 
answer each item as honestly and candidly as possible. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 



Gene Baker, Instructor 
University of North Florida 

Attachment 

GB/lp 



100 



APPENDIX B 
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART I & PART II 



Instructions for Part I 

Below are several statements that may or may not reflect how you felt 
about your job the first few weeks on the job. 

Using the scale below please indicate the extent to which you agree or 
disagree with each of the following statements. Indicate your feelings 
about each statement by writing the number which best reflects your 
feeling in the space to the left of each statement. 



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
Disagree Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Agree 
Strongly Slightly Slightly Strongly 



1. I saw a clear pattern in the way one early job assignment led 
to another. 

2. The steps in my career track were clearly spelled out to me. 

3. The way in which my progress through this organization would 
follow a fixed order of events was made clear to me. 

4. During the first few weeks, I was largely involved with other 
new employees in common training activities. 

5. In the beginning, I was moved from job to job to build up 
experience and a track record. 

6. Almost all of my co-workers were helpful to me. 

7. I had a good idea of the time it would take me to go through 
the various stages of the training process. 

8. Most of my knowledge of what might happen to me in the future 
came informally, through the grapevine, rather than through 
regular channels. 

9. Each stage of the training process built upon the job knowledge 
gained during the previous stages of the training process. 

10. I was generally left alone to discover what my job duties 
should be in this organization. 

11. I went through a set of training experiences which were 
specifically designed to give me and the other new people a 
complete knowledge of job related skills. 

12. I was very aware that I was seen as "learning the ropes" by my 
more senior co-workers. 

13. This organization did not put new employees through a 
recognizable training program. 



102 



103 




2 3 4 5 6 7 
Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Agree 
Slightly Slightly Strongly 



14. Much of my job knowledge was gained informally on a trial and 
error basis. 

15. My co-workers went out of their way to help me adjust to this 
organization. 

16. This organization puts all new employees through the same set 
of learning experiences. 

17. Most of my training was carried out separately from other new 
employees. 

18. I was made to feel that my skills and abilities were very 
important to this organization. 

19. I felt that experienced employees held me at a distance until I 
conformed to their expectations. 

20. Experienced employees saw advising or training me and other new 
employees as one of their main job duties. 

21. During my training for this job I was normally physically 
separated from my regular work group. 

22. I had little or no access to people who had previously 
performed my job. 

23. There was a feeling of "being in the same boat" among other new 
employees. 

24. I had to change my attitudes and values to be accepted in this 
organization. 

25. I could predict my future career path in this organization by 
observing what happened to other employees. 

26. I gained a clear understanding of my job duties from observing 
my senior co-workers. 

27. I received little guidance from experienced employees as to how 
I should perform my job. 

28. I did not do any of my usual job duties until I was completely 
familiar with department procedures and methods. 

29. Other new employees were very helpful in my learning my job 
duties. 



104 



)isagree 
itrongly 



Disagree 



Disagree 
Slightly 



4 
Neutral 



5 
Agree 
Slightly 



6 
Agree 



30. I had little idea when I was going to get my next job 
assignment or training assignment. 



7 

Agree 

Strongly 



105 

Instructions for Part II 

Below are several statements that may or may not reflect how you feel 
about your job at the present time. 

Using the scale below, please indicate the extent to which you agree or 
disagree with each of the statements. Indicate your feelings about each 
statement by writing the number which best reflects your feeling in the 
space to the left of each statement. Remember, these statements are 
about how you feel about your job at the present time . 



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
Disagree Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Agree 
Strongly Slightly Slightly Strongly 



31. I would accept almost any type of job assignment in order to 
keep working for this organization. 

32. I often "take my job home with me" in the sense that I think 
about ■'t when doing other things. 

33. Any suggestions I may have for improving the way things are 
done here would probably receive favorable consideration by my 
superiors. 

34. Most people on this job feel a great sense of personal 
satisfaction when they do the job well. 

35. My opinion of myself goes up when I do this job well. 

36. This organization really inspires the very best in me in the 
way of job performance. 

37. If I had a different job, my health would probably improve. 

38. The most important things that happen to me involve my work. 

39. I can trust the people I work with to lend me a hand if I need 
it. 

40. I feel a great sense of personal satisfaction when I do this 
job well . 

41. I'm really a perfectionist about my work. 

42. The major satisfaction in my life comes from my job. 

43. My job tends to directly affect my health. 

44. Generally speaking, I am very satisfied with this job. 

45. I have felt nervous before attending meetings in the company. 

46. I have felt fidgety or nervous as a result of my job. 



106 



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
Disagree Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Agree 
Strongly Slightly SI ightly Strongly 



47. I find that my values and the organization's values are very 
similar. 

48. If I had an idea about improving the way work was done in this 
department, I doubt I could get action on it. 

49. I am generally satisfied with the kind of work I do in this 
job. 

50. I am willing to put in a great deal of effort beyond that 
normally expected in order to help this organization be 
successful . 

51. I am proud to tell others that I am part of this organization. 

52. I live, eat and breathe my job. 

53. Most of my co-workers can be relied upon to do as they say they 
will do. 

54. For me this is the best of all possible organizations in which 
to work. 

55. I feel quite confident that the firm will always try to treat 
me fairly. 

56. I feel I have a lot of influence in my unit. 

57. I really care about the fate of this organization. 

58. Problems associated with my job have kept me awake at night. 

59. I am very much involved personally in my work. 

60. Management at my firm is sincere in its attempt to meet the 
worker's point of view. 

61. I am extremely glad that I chose this organization to work for, 
over others I was considering at the time I joined. 

62. I have a lot of opportunities to influence the way things are 
done here in my organization. 

63. People on this job often think of quitting. 

64. I talk up this organization to my friends as a great 
organization to work for. 

65. Most people on this job are very satisfied with the job. 



107 



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
lisagree Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Agree 
Strongly Slightly Slightly Strongly 



66. Most people on this job feel bad or unhappy when they find they 
have performed the work poorly. 

67. I work under a great deal of tension. 

68. If I got into difficulties at work I know my co-workers would 
try and help me out. 

69. Most things in life are more important than work. 

70. My own feelings generally are not affected much one way or the 
other by how well I do on this job. 

71. I frequently think of quitting this job. 

72. Our management would be quite prepared to gain advantage by 
deceiving the workers. 

73. I feel bad and unhappy when I discover that I have performed 
poorly on this job. 



APPENDIX C 
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (ALPHA UTILITY) 



Alpha Utility 
Instructions for Part III 

The questions below will be used to help categorize the responses to the 
questions in Parts I and II. 

1. Please indicate below the one category which most closely reflects 
the type of work you do. 

Clerical (i.e., mail operation, files, secretarial) 

Sales 



Technical (i.e.. Enclosing, Telemarketing, Shareowner 
Services) 

Para-Legal (i.e.. Account Representation) 

Support Staff (i.e.. Accounting, Medical Staff, HRD, 
Security) 

Maintenance (i.e., facility maintenance, groundskeeping) 
Management (i.e.. Team Manager, Director, Project Leader) 



2. How long have you been employed by Alpha Utility? 



& 



years months 
3. How long have you been in your present position? 

& 



years months 

4. How old were you on your last birthday? 

less than 25 

25-34 

35-44 

45-55 

more than 55 

5, Are you 



Male Female 

6. Are you 1 

Full-time Part-time 

109 



APPENDIX D 
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (BETA NAVAL SQUADRON) 



Beta Naval Squadron 

Instructions for Part III 

The questions below will be used to help categorize the responses to the 
questions in Parts I and II. 

1. Please indicate below the one category which most closely reflects 
the type of work you do. 

Air Crew (Pilot, Co-Pi lot, ASW) 

Technical (Maintenance) 

Clerical 

Management (Supervisor, Department Head, Section Head) 



2. How long have you been in the Navy? 

& 



years months 
How long have you been in your present unit? 

& 







years months 


4. 


How old 


were you on your last birthday? 
less than 25 
25-34 
35-44 
45-55 
more than 55 


5. 


Are you 


? 




Male Female 


6. 


Are you 


? 



Officer Enlisted 



111 



APPENDIX E 
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (GAMMA BILLING SERVICE) 



Gamma Billing Service 

Instructions for Part III 

The questions below will be used to help categorize the responses to the 
questions in Parts I and II. 

1. Please indicate below the one category which most closely reflects 
the type of work you do. 

Clerical 

Secretarial 

Supervisory 

Management 



2. How long have you been employed by this organization? 



& 



years months 
3. How long have you been in your present position? 

& 



years months 

4. How old were you on your last birthday? 

less than 25 

25-34 

35-44 

45-55 

more than 55 

5. Are you ? 

Male Female 

6. Are you 



Full-time Part-time 



113 



APPENDIX F 
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART III (DELTA CLINIC) 



Delta Clinic 

Instructions for Part III 

The questions below will be used to help categorize the responses to the 
questions in Parts I and II. 

74. Please indicate the category below which most closely reflects 

the type of work you do. 

1. Clerical (i.e.. Office Support, Secretarial, File, Medical 
Records) 

2. Nursing (i.e., RN, LPN, Instructor) 

3. Technical (i.e.. Medical Technologist, X-Ray) 

4. Service (i.e.. Housekeeping, Cashiers, Dietary, 
Janitorial ) 

5. Physician 

6. Maintenance (i.e.. General labor, repairs, physical 
facility upkeep, building maintenance) 

7. Management (i.e.. Supervisor, Department Head) 

How long have you been employed by this organization? 

75. & 76. 

years months 

How long have you been in your present position? 

77. & 78. 

months 







years 


79. 


How 


old were you 




1. 
2. 
3. 
4. 
5. 


less than 25 

25-34 

35-44 

45-55 

more than 55 


80. 


Are 


you ? 




1. 
2. 


Male 
Female 


81. 


Are 


you ? 




1. 
2. 


Full-time 
Part-time 



115 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 

H. Eugene Baker, III, received his Bachelor of Business 
Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees at the 
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida. His course 
concentrations included the areas of management, collective bargaining, 
and personnel administration. He is certified by the American Society of 
Personnel Administration as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). 

Prior to beginning doctoral studies at the University of Florida, 
Gainesville, Florida, he worked in the automobile distribution industry 
and held various positions in the health care industry. He held 
positions in line management, auditing, methods analysis, and research. 
He is currently a visiting instructor of management at the University of 
North Florida, teaching organizational behavior, organization theory, and 
administrative management. 



116 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully 
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy. 



Daniel C. Feldman, Chairman 
Professor of Management 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully 
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy. 

\ 





HT Joseph Reitz, Coohairtitan 
ProYgssor of Management—^ 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully 
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy. 



Lawr^ 
Profes 




ce J. Sev 
ssor of Ps 



This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the 
Department of Organizational Behavior and Business Policy in the College 
of Business Administration and to the Graduate School and was accepted as 
partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of 
Philosophy. 



December, 1988 

Dean, Graduate School 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 



3 1262 08553 7586