Group Title: effects of two organizational socialization strategies
Title: The effects of two organizational socialization strategies
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Title: The effects of two organizational socialization strategies on job satisfaction, general satisfaction, participation, and workfamily conflict
Physical Description: xi, 158 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Zahrly, Janice Honea
Publication Date: 1984
Copyright Date: 1984
Subject: Socialization -- Case studies   ( lcsh )
Management and Administrative Sciences thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Management and Administrative Sciences -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1984.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 149-157.
Statement of Responsibility: by Janice Honea Zahrly.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099599
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000479235
oclc - 11802275
notis - ACP5959


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This dissertation could not have been completed without

the significant contributions of many people. My committee

members have each made unique contributions. The theoret-

ical guidance, constant questioning, push for excellence,

and patient editing of Professor Henry Tosi were invaluable.

Professor Roger Blair's direction and support have been con-

stant through my Ph.D. program. Professor John James has

clarified the focus of this study and the implications of

the research findings. The guidance in statistical method-

ology and analysis of Professor Kim Sawyer was particularly


The enthusiastic cooperation of the employees of Metal

Container Corporation, Gainesville Lid Plant, Gainesville,

Florida, made this research effort a positive experience.

Their willingness to give time and information is greatly

appreciated. The full cooperation of the plant manager,

Gary Reynolds, was essential to the completion of this pro-


Data collection and some analysis were supported by

a research grant from the National Science Foundation to

Professor Henry Tosi. I received financial support as a

research assistant from the grant.

Many friends encouraged me. In particular, Kelly

Vaverek, Larry Varela, and Eleanor Brown, were always a

source of encouragement and emotional support. Also,

Kelly's constant assistance with the computer analysis was


Finally, I acknowledge the contribution of my parents,

John Wiley Honea, Sr., and Lillian McKown Honea. They have

always believed that I could do anything and have supported

my dreams, even when surprised by my endeavors.




LIST OF TABLES . . . . .


ABSTRACT . . . . . . .



The Bases of Socialization
Socialization Strategies
The Proposed Research . .
Summary . . . . .


Research Setting . . .
Measures . . . . .
Methodology . . . .
Summary . . . . .

III RESULTS . . . . .

Socialization Strategies-Outcomes
Relationships . . . . . .
Factors Contributing to Desired Outcomes
Summary . . . . . . . . .


The Influence of Socialization Strategy .
Implications . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . ii

. . . . . vi

. . . . . ix

. . . . . x



A INSTRUMENTS . . . . . . ... 139



BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . 149

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . ... 158


Table Page

1. Base Wage Progression Steps . . . ... .50

2. Demographics . . . . . . . .. 52

3. Internal Consistency of Scales . . . .. .54

4. Schedule of Employment and Training . . .. .59

5. Schedule of Measurement of Variables ... .67

6. Regression Formulae . . . . . ... 72

7. Correlation Coefficients . . . . .. 77

8. Mean Scores on Dependent Variables . . .. .80

9. Job Satisfaction Regression Using Full Model .83

10. Job Satisfaction Stepwise Regression ... .84

11. General Satisfaction Regression Using Full
Model . . . . . . . . ... . 86

12. Participation Regression Using Full Model . 87

13. Work/Family Conflict Stepwise Regression
Using Full Model . . . . . ... 89

14. Mean Scores on Independent Variables ... .92

15. Job Satisfaction Regression Using Entry Skill
Level . . . . . . . . ... . 94

16. Job Satisfaction Moderated Regression Using
Entry Skill Level . . . . . . .. .94

17. Work/Family Conflict Regression Using Entry
Skill Level . . . . . . . ... 95

18. Work/Family Conflict Moderated Regression
Using Entry Skill Level . . . . .. 95

LIST OF TABLES (continued)

Table Page

19. Job Satisfaction Regression Using Similar Work
Experience . . . . . . . ... 98

20. Job Satisfaction Moderated Regression Using
Similar Work Experience . . . . .. 98

21. Work/Family Conflict Regression Using Similar
Work Experience . . . . . . .. 99

22. Work/Family Conflict Moderated Regression
Using Similar Work Experience . . ... 99

23. Job Satisfaction Regression Using Job
Variety . . . . . . . . . 101

24. Job Satisfaction Moderated Regression Using
Job Variety . . . . . . . . 101

25. Work/Family Conflict Regression Using Job
Variety . . . . . . . . ... 102

26. Work/Family Conflict Moderated Regression
Using Job Variety . . . . . ... .102

27. Job Satisfaction Regression Using
Self-Monitoring . . . . . . .. .104

28. Job Satisfaction Moderated Regression Using
Self-Monitoring . . . . . . ... .104

29. Work/Family Conflict Regression Using
Self-Monitoring . . . . . ... .105

30. Work/Family Conflict Moderated Regression
Using Self-Monitoring . . . . . .. .105

31. Job Satisfaction Regression Using Locus of
Control . . . . . . . . ... 107

32. Job Satisfaction Moderated Regression Using
Locus of Control . . . . . ... .107

33. Work/Family Conflict Regression Using Locus of
Control . . . . . . . . ... 108

34. Work/Family Conflict Moderated Regression Using
Locus of Control . . . . . ... .108

35. Summary Results of Tests of Hypotheses . . 110

LIST OF TABLES (continued)

Table Page

36. Regression Results . . . . . ... 120

37. Mean Scores on Job Satisfaction by Social-
ization Strategy and Entry Skill Level . 122

38. Mean Scores on Work/Family Conflict by
Socialization Strategy and Self-Monitoring 126



Figure Page

1. Models of Socialization . . . . .. 14

2. Organization Chart . . . . . .. 44

3. Plot of the Residuals of Socialization
Strategy and Entry Skill Level Against Job
Satisfaction Using a Moderated Regression 96

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



Janice Honea Zahrly

August, 1984

Chairman: Henry L. Tosi
Major Department: Management and Administrative Sciences

The relationship of specific organizational socializa-

tion strategies to job satisfaction, general satisfaction,

participation, and work/family conflict was studied in a

natural field experiment. Subjects were sixty-four new

employees at a manufacturing plant which was beginning oper-

ations. Half of the new employees experienced formal group

socialization into the organization; the other half exper-

ienced informal individual socialization. Formal group

socialization lasted from five to nine weeks, encompassed

technical information as well as company policies and proce-

dures, and occurred before employees began work. Employees

who experienced informal individual socialization began work

on the production floor immediately upon entry into the

organization and learned on the job.

Personality and demographic measures were obtained when

subjects were initially employed. These were measures of

entry skill level, similar work experience, self-monitoring,

and locus of control. During the first four months of work,

the variety of job assignments was assessed by observation.

Approximately four months after beginning work, job satis-

faction, general satisfaction, participation, and work/

family conflict were measured.

The mode of socialization appears to have some fairly

strong effects. Those employees who were socialized by for-

mal group methods had significantly higher job satisfaction

and higher work/family conflict than employees who experi-

enced informal individual socialization. Socialization

strategy did not contribute to general satisfaction or


The differential effect of socialization strategy was

greatest for new employees with low job skills. Highly

skilled employees were influenced slightly by the socializa-

tion strategy experienced.

Self-monitoring, the sensitivity to social cues and

subsequent adjustment of self-presentation by individuals,

was found to be negatively related to work/family conflict.

Job variety, similar work experience, and locus of control,

concomitant with socialization strategy, did not demonstrate

significant relationships with job satisfaction, general

satisfaction, participation, or work/family conflict.



When I first went out on the floor to work, I knew
what I was supposed to be doing because we had
been taught about the equipment in class. We knew
what was expected. I also knew who I could depend
on and who I could trust because I had been in
class with them for weeks. I knew who would help
me. But I remember Sam's first day on the job.
He was bagging and it was awful. He was sweating,
making a lot of mistakes. He was just dropped in
on the floor with no training. He didn't even
know the people or who to go to for help. I know
it was a rough day for him. I guess I did have an
advantage after all. (Hourly Employee, 1984)

Socialization is the process by which individuals

acquire the values, beliefs, and behaviors that are neces-

sary for satisfactory membership in society. The socializa-

tion process occurs through many activities such as parental

guidance, formal training, informal observation and role

modeling, trial and error, apprenticeship, etc. (Caplow,

1964; Van Maanen, 1976; Wanous, 1980). The construct of

socialization has been developed and researched extensively

in sociology and developmental psychology but has only

recently become an area of interest to behavioral scien-

tists who study organizations. While there were some early

theoretical articles concerning socialization in organiza-

tions, the construct was given its current definition and

empirical validation primarily through the work of Schein

(1968, 1971, 1978, 1980).

Generic definitions of socialization are broad and

non-specific. For example, Mead (1972, p. ix) defines it as

"the process by which human children born potentially human

become human, able to function within the societies in which

they are born," and Williams (1972, p. 293) defines it as

"the process of transmission of human culture." Organiza-

tional socialization is more restricted. Organizational

socialization is focused on adults rather than children, who

are often the subjects of sociological and developmental

psychological socializational analyses. Work organization

socialization is the "process by which a person learns the

values, norms, and required behaviors which permit him to

participate as a member of the organization" (Van Maanen,

1976, p. 67). An even more elementary conceptualization of

socialization is that it is the process of "breaking in"

(Van Maanen, 1976). Organizational socialization directs

attention to the specific processes in an organization


Socialization is the influence of the organization on

the individual, as differentiated from the individual's

influence upon the organization. It is recognized that

individuals are not pawns, subject only to the organi-

zation's pressures. Organizations change because of

individual influence; individuals change because of organ-

izational influence. Bakke (1955) wrote of the newcomer

"personalizing" the organization; Porter, Lawler, and

Hackman (1975) refer to the "individualization" process when

a newcomer influences the organization; Schein (1971)

describes the "role innovator" who influences the organiza-

tion. Influence in both directions is important. However,

this study is limited to the effects of the organization, as

a total entity and as groups and/or individual members upon

the newcomer.

A final point of clarification regarding the socializa-

tion construct is in order. The construct is defined in

terms of both processes and outcomes. The word "process" is

a part of most definitions of socialization with the under-

standing that process can be a multitude of procedures or

behaviors used to bring about socialization. The particular

procedures used to influence the novice are contingent on

the situation, the individuals being socialized, and the

socializing agents (those who attempt to influence the


Socialization is also defined in terms of the desired

outcomes such as "participating and effective members"

(Feldman, 1981), or persons who "acquire the social know-

ledge and skills necessary to assume an organizational role"

(Van Maanen and Schein, 1979), or "society creates persons

suitable to carry out its functional requirements" (Brim,


The Bases of Socialization

The effects of socialization can be understood in terms

of role theory and socialization theory. Specific models of

socialization follow from socialization theory.

Role Theory

Not only is socialization theory founded in role

theory; it uses the language of role theory. Social rela-

tionships are defined as any relationship between people in

any situation, including work situations. Role theory

provides a model for understanding and defining the struc-

ture of social relationships (Shaw and Costanzo, 1982). In

their seminal book on role theory, Biddle and Thomas (1966)

argue that there is no "one grand" theory of role. Instead,

there are many hypotheses about roles which may or may not

be related. They point out that these hypotheses are often

difficult to test empirically. In general, researchers do

not attempt to test complete theories of role. Instead,

researchers study many role variables such as role conflict,

role ambiguity, role reversal, or expected behaviors in


Underlying constructs of role theory are best explained

as categories and in relation to each other. Biddle and

Thomas (1966) present exhaustive classification schemes

which are used to partion persons, behaviors, sets of

persons and behaviors, and to relate sets of persons and


Persons are differentiated as to the actor (e.g. focal

person, self, ego) and the "other" person (e.g. target

person, alter-ego). Shaw and Costanzo (1982) explain that

the "other" is a "generalized entity which the person

utilizes as a reference point for his own behavior"

(p. 297).

Behaviors may relate to performance, prescription,

evaluation, description, and sanction. Behavior may be

overt or covert; it may be individual or aggregate. Perfor-

mance is classified in terms of ends or goals, not means to

an end. Outcomes are the results of role performance.

Role prescription defines the expected behaviors.

Norms are covert prescriptions and role demands are overt

prescriptions, although some writers use norms and prescrip-

tions interchangeably. Role prescriptions are often couched

in phrases such as "ought to" or "should" or "expected."

Prescriptions are generalized expected behaviors. Behaviors

may be evaluated or judged against particular standards or

values. Behaviors may also be described or sanctioned.

Concepts which involve sets of persons and behaviors

are positions and roles. Position is a recognized category

of persons with a common attribute, common behavior, or

common reactions of others toward the individual or group.

A general definition of role is that "role is the set of

prescriptions defining what the behavior of a position

member should be" (Biddle and Thomas, 1966, p. 29). Katz

and Kahn (1966) call roles "standardized patterns of

behavior required of all persons playing a part in a given

functional relationship" (p. 37). Bakke (1955) points out

that roles are never in isolation. Persons always perform

roles in relation to others or perceived expectations of


Actors have many sets of expectations imposed upon them

simultaneously. For example, a particular actor may have a

position of college professor, i.e. a category of people

with many common attributes and behaviors who elicit common

reactions from others in society. There are certain

expected behaviors (norms or role demands) for the person

occupying the position of college professor. Students

expect the professor to lecture, assign grades, advise, etc.

and perform the role of a teacher. Other professors expect

the professor to act as a colleague, to discuss theories and

research, to collaborate, and to act in accordance with

their similar professional values. The department chair-

person and dean expect the professor to teach and get good

student evaluations, research and publish, get outside

financial support in the form of grants and contracts, and

be supportive of administrative practices. All "others" who

interact with the professor expect specific behaviors from

the professor. These behaviors define the roles which the

professor enacts. It should be noted that this relationship

is reciprocal. The professor also has a set of prescriptive

behaviors for all of the "others" whom he or she encounters.

In addition, the professor will have other roles in the

position of parent, lover, consultant, community leader,

etc. Each of these roles carries sets of prescribed behav-

iors or norms.

The final role concept is one of relationships between

sets of persons and behaviors. This covers such areas as

similarity of behaviors, interdependence of behaviors and

various combinations of similarity and interdependence such

as conformity and adjustment. With the basic constructs of

role theory delineated, it is possible to understand social-

ization theory.

Socialization Theory

The culture of a group can be expressed in terms of its

values, attitudes, knowledge, and norms. In broad terms,

individuals acquire the culture of their social groups

through socialization (Brim, 1976). Learning the culture

allows the individual to be a functioning member of the

group or society.

Those people who do not learn the necessary norms,

behaviors, values, and motives are deviants. They are

punished physically or emotionally by society, and in

extreme cases are removed from the general social group and

isolated in facilities such as prisons or mental institu-

tions (Brim and Wheeler, 1976).

Role prescriptions define the allowed deviance. Some

expected behaviors allow no deviance. For example, college

students must pay tuition if they wish to remain in the

role of students. The expected behavior must occur with no

deviation. On the other hand, there is a great range of

behavior and deviance from that behavior when evaluating the

acceptable behavior of students at a school athletic event.

The expected behaviors range from polite cheering to rowdy

chants to obscene chants, gestures, and signs.

The norms and demands of roles define the behaviors as

well as the range of behaviors and the amount of deviance

allowed before punishment. Of course, the legal system of a

society also defines expected behaviors and limits the range

of those behaviors. When deviance occurs, society almost

always continues resocialization efforts in an attempt to

bring the deviant behaviors into generally accepted (i.e.

conforming) behaviors. Most people choose to comply with

society's values rather than become total deviates.

Deliberate socialization efforts are one method of

effecting control. The more effective the socialization,

the less the need for overt organizational controls (Simon,

1957). As individuals become socialized, that is they learn

and perform the expected behaviors, less organizational

control, less managerial effort and fewer organizational

resources are needed to direct their behaviors within the

organization. Socialization brings about the expected

behaviors because many role demands (overt prescriptions)

are internalized by the individual over time and become

norms. For example, an organization might consistently tell

employees that the primary production goal is a quality

product. After hearing this enough and after receiving

positive reinforcements for quality production, employees

may internalize this goal of a quality product, i.e. accept

the goal as a personal one, and would then work to produce a

quality product regardless of the organization's goals or

reinforcements. Norms, in turn, can influence values which

are used in evaluation procedures. In the language of role

theory, socialization is concerned with having the newcomer

learn the role prescriptions and with evaluations of the

behaviors enacted.

Schein (1968) argues that the stability and the effec-

tiveness of an organization is a function of the sociali-

zation of new members. The speed and effectiveness of the

socialization process will determine the members' levels of

commitment, loyalty, productivity, and turnover. All of

these elements contribute to the quality and quantity of the

organization's final output.

Etzioni (1964) points out that organizational control

and socialization are related. Three types of organiza-

tional control exist. Coercive control is physical force,

as in prisons. There is no selection of members. Utili-

tarian control is by the giving or withholding of material

rewards. Most business organizations are in this category.

They are quite selective, especially at the higher ranks.

Normative control is control by symbols such as moral

values. Organizations which use normative control vary as

to the degree of selectivity of members. Churches are

examples of organizations which use normative control.

There is a trade-off between selection and socialization

(Etzioni, 1964). Organizations which are highly selective

take in individuals who come close to meeting the organiza-

tion's standard of the ideal member who will achieve the

goals and objectives valued by the organization. Therefore,

there is little need for intense socialization efforts and

control is easier. On the other hand, less selective

organizations take in a variety of people and have to invest

organizational resources in socialization or teaching new

members the necessary and expected behaviors. The military

is an example of a less selective organization, particularly

at the lower ranks. The military takes in enlisted person-

nel who do not conform to military standards. This means

that the military must spend time and resources in basic

training of recruits in order to inculcate the desired

values and objectives.

Socialization is always defined in terms of the desired

outcomes. The desired outcomes are usually not isolated

behaviors. Instead, organizations want members to acquire

and display particular values, motives, repeated behaviors

or bodies of knowledge over the individual's tenure in the

organization. For example, a utilitarian organization, such

as a law firm, might desire that members exhibit certain

standards of quality in courtroom performance or that mem-

bers become committed to doing pro bono work. These are

examples of values and motives that the law firm desires

each member to have. The organization expects these values

and motives, establishes role prescriptions and then eval-

uates members against the prescriptions. Overall, the goal

of socialization of any organization remains the transfor-

mation of a new member into a functioning, contributing

member who can perform the desired activities.

Socialization theory describes outcomes and processes

but places little emphasis on the content of socialization.

The values and norms which the organization seeks to trans-

mit are varied. It is specific to the individuals, groups

and situations where socialization is occurring. The

important aspect of socialization is that a process occurs.

The process of socialization takes many forms such as

training, apprenticeship, trial and error, etc., and is

discussed extensively in the literature. (See Caplow, 1964;

Wanous, 1980; Van Maanen, 1976; Maier, 1973 and others for

exhaustive listings.) The process of socialization can

occur by a formal organizationally planned procedure, by

informal unplanned interaction with others in the organ-

ization, or by any combination of efforts between these

two extremes. Socialization can take place by individual

efforts, multiple efforts, interactive procedures or activ-

ities in isolation.

Socialization is a continuous process, occurring

throughout a lifetime. In organizations, socialization is

continuous throughout the individual's membership. However,

many believe that early socialization experiences are a

major factor in the individual's acceptance of significant

organization norms, values, behaviors, and motives (Van

Maanen, 1976; Schein, 1980; Berlew and Hall, 1966; Irwin,

1970). Berlew and Hall (1966), in one of the few research

efforts on initial socialization, found a strong relation-

ship between early job challenge and later job performance

for managers. They conclude that the first year of employ-

ment is "a critical period of learning." Van Maanen (1976)

reviews research which shows that first offenders' long term

orientations toward imprisonment were usually dependent upon

early jailing experiences. The obvious conclusion is that

the potential for organizational influence is greatest

during transition periods, when the individual is moving

from one role or set of expectations to another. The

ambiguity and demands of a new role produce anxiety and

individuals are usually motivated to reduce the anxiety by

learning the requirements for the new role (Van Maanen and

Schein, 1979).

Finally, organizational socialization does not occur in

a social vacuum. Many organizations, groups, and individ-

uals influence the newcomer at the same time. For example,

a person may be employed by an organization and experience

the influence of the formal work organization as well as the

influence of the informal work group that is encountered

daily. Simultaneously, he or she is a part of, and influ-

enced by, a family group, various social and civic groups,

such as churches and clubs, and is also a member of the

community where he or she lives. The socialization efforts

of all of these entities are interactive and are difficult

to separate.

A Socialization Model

Socialization can be described as a multiple stage

process model. A multiple stage process model is one which

has sequential stages or phases with specific processes in

each stage. All members must pass through each stage, in

the proper sequence, in order to become fully socialized

into the organization. There are several socialization

models which are very similar (Porter, Lawler and Hackman,

1975; Van Maanen, 1976; Feldman, 1976; Feldman, 1981;

Schein, 1978; Wanous, 1980). They all describe sequential

periods through which a novice must pass on his or her way

to full membership.

The socialization model used in this study, derived

from several recent models, contains the following sequen-

tial stages:

Stage 1--Pre-Entry/Anticipatory

Stage 2--Initial Entry

Stage 3--Maturation

Stage 4--Outcomes

Figure 1 compares the stages in this model with the stages

in several of the more prominent socialization models.

Anticipatory/Pre-entry. This stage of the socializa-

tion process occurs before the recruit actually becomes a


Initial Entry


Porter, Lawler,
Hackman (1975)

Van Maanen

Feldman (1976)

Feldman (1981)

Schein (1978)

Wanous (1980)







Entry: The




and Accepting
Achieving Role

Change and


Role Management

Change and

Locating Oneself
in the organ-




Signposts of

Figure 1. Models of Socialization


member of the organization. Individuals come to the organ-

ization with "a set of cultural baggage that they have

acquired previously" (Porter et al., 1975). People have

existing values, motives, knowledge and expectations that

may color their views of the organization. Cultural values,

education, and prior experiences are part of the anticipa-

tory socialization phase. In addition, information about

the organization influences the newcomers' perceptions.

This may range from vague misinformation to specific details

presented in realistic job previews. This is the period

when applicants need to learn as much as possible about the

organization. Feldman (1976) indicates two processes that

should occur during this stage. They are acquisition of a

full and accurate picture of life in the organization

(realism) and the matching of the organization's resources

and needs with the individual's skills and needs (congru-

ence). Anticipatory socialization is viewed as "an imper-

fect and unfinished process" (Van Maanen, 1976). For this

preliminary socialization to be meaningful, it must be

supported and expanded by the organization.

Initial entry. This phase, termed encounter, accom-

modation, or socialization in some models, is a period in

which new members must begin to learn the required tasks,

learn the work group and organizational norms, learn to

interact with others on the job, and define their roles

within the group. Hughes (1958) calls this a period of

"reality shock." The level of reality shock is a function

of how realistic the recruit's evaluation of the organiza-

tion was prior to employment, and the level of congruence

between the organizational demands and the individual's

ability to meet the demands.

This initial entry stage is most critical to the

socialization process for it is during this period that the

new member is most susceptible to the organization's influ-

ence (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979; Brim, 1976; Irwin, 1970;

Berlew and Hall, 1966). Initial placement and the associ-

ated challenge of that placement correlate strongly with

performance and later success (Berlew and Hall, 1966). This

phase is of a short duration, probably a few weeks or a few

months. It is truly the initiation period. It is charac-

terized by ambiguity and disconfirmation of expectations

(Van Maanen and Schein, 1979).

Maturation. The third socialization stage can last

from a few months to several years. This is a time for

members to settle into roles, resolve conflicting role

demands, and acquire necessary organizational goals and

values. Wanous (1980) indicates that the recruit must

"locate oneself in the organizational context."

The maturation stage is when the new member establishes

to self and others what role or roles he or she will enact

with respect to the organization. Compliance with or rebel-

lion to the norms, values, and standards of the organization

will occur. This will establish a pattern that will be

recognized by the organization. This pattern will be

generally accepted and will be difficult to change, once


In his classic Principles of Organization, Capiow

(1964) lists four requirements for the new member to become

a "successful incumbent." Recruits must acquire a new self

image, new involvements, new values, and new accomplish-

ments. The new image will reflect the new member's organi-

zational role and will include the values, status rankings

and activities of the organization.

New involvements are required when the recruit inter-

acts with an aggregate of individuals who compose the work

group. This phase of the socialization requires more than

the development of new relationships; old relationships are

often changed and even abandoned. The acquisition of appro-

priate new values is a multifaceted process. Values of the

new role are first communicated in such a way that the

recruit understands them. They must then be accepted by the

novice and, eventually, internalized if the newcomer is to

be successfully socialized.

Finally, new accomplishments must occur that are unique

to the particular role of the recruit. He or she must learn

the necessary skills and then actually complete the speci-

fied tasks. By completing a task that is new, the recruit

experiences the sense of accomplishment that is identified

with the new role. The new accomplishments more firmly

establish that the recruit is becoming a fully functioning

member of the organization. The maturation stage is best

understood as the time when newcomers establish themselves

as functioning and contributing members of the organization.

Outcomes. Even though some socialization models do not

delineate the specific outcomes desired, the overall goal of

all models is to explain the process which transforms the

recruit into a satisfactory member. Most of the models

discuss outcomes in a very general way. As Feldman (1976)

notes, there is a difference between successful socializa-

tion and complete socialization. Successful socialization

occurs at any time the individual becomes more proficient at

any socialization task. Completed socialization indicates

that the individual is contributing to the organization and

has accomplished the tasks of the maturation stage. He or

she has moved from "newcomer to insider" (Schein, 1978).

Outcomes may be organizationally or individually

desired. The effects of socialization are assessed by such

factors as general and job satisfaction, salary increases,

positive performance appraisals, new job assignments,

promotions, influence and participation in organization

decisions, internal work motivation, job involvement, and

work/family conflict. Instead of discussing outcomes,

Wanous (1980) calls these factors "signposts of successful

socialization." While theorists acknowledge that organiza-

tional socialization is a continuous process, there are

definite milestones which signify that an individual is a

member. The outcomes stage of a socialization model marks

the point where members are evaluated as to their contribu-

tion and their acceptability to the organization.

In general, organizations want their members to be

satisfied, particularly with the job. Not only is this a

humane attitude for management to take, but it is also a

practical one. Overall satisfaction and job satisfaction

lead to more pleasant working conditions, less absenteeism

and tardiness, less turnover, and lowered production costs.

Some organizations want members to actively participate

in decisions which influence the organization and its mem-

bers. Higher levels of participation usually lead to higher

commitment on the part of employees. Those employees with

high organizational commitment are easier to control because

they have internalized or adopted the organization's goals

as their own. The organization does not have to expend a

lot of time and effort trying to influence the member's


Another desired outcome for organizations is minimal

conflict between work roles and other roles, especially the

family role. Many jobs can force the employee to take time

and resources away from the family to devote to the job.

This can lead to great conflict, and, in turn, to high dis-


Socialization Strategies

Socialization can take many forms. The organization

can shape and structure the socialization experiences in

varied ways. Socialization strategies are the "people

processing" modes that the organization uses to bring new

members into conformity (Van Maanen, 1978). The strategies

used by the organization may be selected consciously or

unconsciously; they may be planned innovations or rely on

habit (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979).

The effects of socialization are cumulative and inter-

active. Each new socialization effort adds to the total

lifetime socialization. Organizations usually use more than

one strategy in the total socialization process. Van Maanen

(1978) and Van Maanen and Schein (1979) suggest the most

comprehensive list of strategies. Strategies of organiza-

tional socialization are

collective versus individual processes

formal versus informal processes

sequential versus random processes

fixed versus variable processes

serial versus disjunctive processes

investiture versus divestiture processes

Van Maanen and Schein (1979) list many propositions

about each of these strategies but also point out that the

strategies are interactive. Organizations will probably use

several strategies simultaneously so it is difficult to test

hypotheses about single strategies.

Collective Versus Individual Processes

Collective socialization occurs when a group of

recruits go through a common set of experiences designed to

aid them in becoming full members. Examples are basic

training in the military or pledgeship in a fraternity.

This collective process tends to strengthen group cohesive-

ness and camaraderie which, in turn, leads members to share

problems and solutions to those problems. Through this

process, newcomers "arrive at a definition of the situation,

its problems and possibilities, and develop consensus as to

the most appropriate and efficient ways of behaving"

(Becker, 1964, p. 47). This group consensus then constrains

the behaviors of individual members with respect to group

acceptance or requirements.

The other end of the continuum is individual socializa-

tion. Recruits enter the organization singly and go through

a unique set of experiences. An individual apprenticeship

program where the novice learns alone with an expert and

"on-the-job" training are examples of individual socializa-

tion. Results of this mode of socialization are quite

variable and are largely a function of the specific social-

ization agent who trains and guides the novice. That is,

one person experiencing individual socialization might

become a fully functioning member very quickly through the

guidance of a concerned mentor and friend. Another person

in the same organization might be assigned to learn from a

disinterested or negative employee who could hinder the

socialization process. The second newcomer may be poorly

socialized and may never become a functioning member. This

socialization tends to be an intense, value-oriented process

and is most likely to be associated with complex roles (Van

Maanen and Schein, 1979).

Formal Versus Informal Processes

Formal socialization occurs when newcomers are segre-

gated from regular organization members while undergoing

specific experiences designed to orient and train them. All

members understand that the recruits have a "special" role

(Wheeler, 1976) and that the special role entails the

participation in a series of scheduled activities. "Spe-

cial" roles for recruits entail such concepts as a lighter

work load, permission to violate some of the group norms,

or permission to make mistakes without the usual contingent

reprimands and punishments. Scheduled activities are spe-

cific classes, orientation sessions, introductions to par-

ticular employees or suppliers, etc. Professional schools

and company training courses are examples of formal social-

ization. This mode of socialization is often used when it

is important for the novice to learn the "correct" values,

attitudes, and behaviors required for the new role. By

isolating the newcomer and making his or her role explicit

and different from the existing members' roles, it is easier

for the newcomer to know what the organization wants.

In contrast, informal socialization processes do not

segregate the newcomer from more experienced members and the

newcomer role is not emphasized. On-the-job training is the

most obvious example of informal socialization. The recruit

must negotiate his or her own way through the new situations

although there are usually certain socialization agents to

guide the newcomer. Sponsors or guides may be assigned by

the organization or the newcomer may gravitate to those

experienced members who give advice and aid entry into the


Sequential Versus Random Processes

This socialization strategy refers to the specificity

of the sequence of events which lead to the target or

desired role for the newcomer. Sequential socialization

reflects a "given sequence of discrete and identifiable

steps" (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979) which the recruit must

pass through. These steps are defined as to the content of

the step and the particular order in which the experiences

must occur. A medical education is an example of a sequen-

tial process where third year students experience certain

activities that first and second year students do not.

Similarly, interns and residents have experiences that

students do not go through.

Random socialization occurs when there is no sequence

to the steps in the socialization process. The route to

being accepted as a functional member is ambiguous, unknown,

or constantly changing. The newcomer must discover the

various methods available for becoming socialized and then

try those methods to see which ones work best for him or

her. The socialization of a highly skilled employee is

often random. There is no sequential process since the

employee already has many skills and can begin work

immediately. He or she will learn about the culture of the

organization in a random fashion and will probably "learn

the ropes" as it becomes important.

Fixed Versus Variable Processes

Fixed and variable socialization are concerned with the

established timetable for the socialization process. A

fixed process has a definite timetable for the newcomer's

passage from a recruit to an experienced member. Formal

educational situations, such as public schooling or police

training, have established periods of time for each step in

the phases of socialization. Variable socialization pro-

cesses have no set timetable for the newcomer to experience

certain activities. Recruits can often move at their own

paces. Apprenticeships, which may only require minimum

training periods, are examples of variable processes.

Serial Versus Disjunctive Processes

This mode of socialization deals with the degree of

intergenerational activity that occurs during the socializa-

tion. Intergenerational activity is activity that occurs

between employees of different work generations. For

example, one group is hired, socialized, and the individuals

become mature and experienced workers; then another group is

hired and begins the same process. The two groups are two

work generations and the learning about work by the second

group from the first group is intergenerational. A serial

socialization process is one in which an experienced member

prepares the newcomer to occupy the same or a similar role.

The role is established and recognized within the organiza-

tion before the newcomer attempts to enact the role. Role

occupants serve as role models for the recruits. An excel-

lent example of this strategy is the seasoned politician who

trains, protects, and guides a protege.

When newcomers are to enact a role that is new in the

organization or when there are no role models, the process

is a disjunctive one. Newcomers must create the role and

often the socialization is by trial and error. The first

astronauts and the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court

were socialized by disjunctive processes.

Investiture Versus Divestiture Processes

This socialization strategy deals with the degree to

which the organization attempts to confirm or disconfirm the

existing values and behaviors of the newcomer. Investiture

processes seek to strengthen and ratify the newcomers'

existing identities and assure them that they bring valu-

able characteristics to the organization. This type of

socialization often occurs when the newcomer has been pre-

viously socialized into the profession. Recruits to upper-

level management positions in an established firm go through

an investiture process. Long time employees will reinforce

the newcomer's self-image because he or she is bringing

desired characteristics and capabilities to the organiza-


Divestiture processes have a goal of removing certain

personal characteristics of the newcomers. The intent is to

destroy or remove certain aspects of the personalities and

replace them with characteristics which are valued and

desired by the organization. The priesthood and the Marine

Corps are examples of organizations which attempt to destroy

old values and behaviors and replace them with others.

The Proposed Research

The overall goal of socialization efforts is to convert

newcomers into functioning organization members. One way to

evaluate these socialization efforts is to assess how well

the members achieve the organization's desired outcomes such

as high job satisfaction, high worker participation in

company decisions, minimal conflict between family and work,

and high productivity.

Research Questions

The basic research question addressed in this thesis is

whether the particular socialization strategies employed by

the organization do, in fact, influence the desired out-

comes. Certainly the content and intensity of socialization

efforts have an influence on outcomes. But do the different

modes of socialization affect outcomes? Will the results of

socialization be the same within an organization regardless

of the methods of orientation and training imposed on the


Another issue revolves around the specific situational

and individual factors that contribute to outcomes, given

different socialization strategies. Do situational and

individual factors influence outcomes such as job satis-

faction and participation differently when individuals are

socialized by different means?

If significant differences in outcomes occur when new-

comers are socialized by different strategies, one could

argue that certain of the organization's strategies had

different effects. If there are no significant differences

in outcomes between individuals socialized in different

ways, the implication would be that the mode of socializa-

tion does not influence desired outcomes. Regardless of

whether differences in outcomes occur with different strat-

egies, factors which influence outcomes are of interest to

the organization. If certain factors significantly influ-

ence desired outcomes under one socialization strategy but

not under another, predictions of adjustment may become more

accurate and organizationally desired outcomes are more


Organization socialization strategies are often a

complex case of several strategies. The interaction of

strategies may render exact measurement of a single strategy

impossible. For example, one person may experience infor-

mal, individual, serial, variable, and divestiture sociali-

zation processes while another person is socialized in a

formal, group, fixed, sequential, investiture process. It

is not reasonable to compare individual strategies for these

two people. However, if groups of newcomers are socialized

differently on one or two strategies only, it is possible to

compare the groups to evaluate the effects of the one or two


This thesis examines whether formal group socialization

and informal individual socialization have differential

effects. All subjects experienced random, variable, dis-

junctive, and investiture socialization. There were only

two strategies, group versus individual and formal versus

informal, which were different for the new employees.

Relationship of Socialization Strategies and Outcomes

Van Maanen and Schein (1979) predict responses to

socialization strategies either in terms of the way individ-

uals will enact organizational roles or in terms ot certain

situations where different strategies will be used. How-

ever, not much is known about the effects of the various

strategies. In only one situation do Van Maanen and Schein

predict outcomes. They argue that individual socialization

is more likely to produce the specific outcomes desired by

the organization than is group socialization. They believe

that an individual strategy presents a greater opportunity

for socialization without the moderating effect of the group

processes which will occur during group socialization.

Satisfaction. While there is a paucity of evidence

supporting a direct relationship between performance and

satisfaction (Cherrington, Reitz, and Scott, 1971; Greene,

1972), business organizations usually desire employees to be

generally satisfied, particularly with the job. High

satisfaction is correlated with less absenteeism and

tardiness, lower turnover and fewer grievances. These, in

turn, lead to lower costs for the organization as well as a

more pleasant environment.

If the Van Maanen and Schein argument is correct,

newcomers who experience individual socialization will be

more likely to achieve the organization's desired outcome of

satisfaction. This leads to the following hypotheses about

general and job satisfaction:

H1: Newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into an organization will report

higher job satisfaction than will newcomers who

undergo formal group socialization.

H2: Newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into an organization will report

higher general satisfaction than will newcomers

who undergo formal group socialization.

Participation. Employees who are involved in important

decisions tend, in general, to feel more commitment to the

organization and are more satisfied. Greater participation

may bring enhanced motivation for certain employees (Locke

and Schewiger, 1979; Steers, 1975). Employee participation

is a desired outcome for many organizations.

Van Maanen and Schein's proposition would support

higher participation among recruits who experienced individ-

ual socialization. However, research shows that members of

groups learn the behaviors and attitudes of other group

members, develop norms, and establish a cohesiveness which

can lead to greater understanding of team members and to

greater trust (Jewell and Reitz, 1981). Holding other

variables constant, group members might feel a greater

ability to participate than if they entered the organization

as a single individual. Employees who experience group

socialization are more likely to know the norms and could

feel more comfortable with participation than individuals

who are just learning the expected roles.

H3: Newcomers who experience formal group sociali-

zation into an organization will report higher

participation in organizational decisions than

will newcomers who undergo informal individual


Work/Family Conflict. Most organizations prefer not to

have dysfunctional conflicts, such as a conflict between the

work role and the role as a family member. Results of

research efforts indicate that role conflict on the job is

related to lower job satisfaction and lower levels of

performance (Rizzo, House and Lirtzman, 1970; House and

Rizzo, 1972; Schuler, 1977). If the demands of the job

interfere with the family structure or activities, overall

satisfaction, as well as job satisfaction, will probably be


The newcomers who are socialized as a group have an

opportunity to develop social support systems quickly at

work. Individual entrants will take a longer time to meet

co-workers, learn the norms and values of the work group,

and establish a social support system within the work

setting. Supportive co-workers can help relieve the stress

of conflict related to a new job or can comfort and advise

about problems at home or on the job. In addition, formal

socialization specifies the role expectations more defini-

tively than does informal socialization, thereby reducing

role ambiguity and stress. The cohesiveness of a training

group can also contribute to stronger support systems. This

leads to the following hypothesis:

H4: Newcomers who experience formal group sociali-

zation into an organization will report lower

work/family conflict than will newcomers who

undergo informal individual socialization.

Contributing Factors to Outcomes

Both situational and psychological factors contribute

to the achievement of desired organizational outcomes.

While the particular organizational strategy of sociali-

zation is one situational variable, there are other sit-

uational variables which are unique to the individual

recruits. Most recruits will experience some anxiety upon

entering the organization and most have some level of

ambiguity initially about the roles they are expected to

perform. There are other variables which might influence

desired outcomes, and which are the independent variables in

this study. In this study, the following factors are

considered: entry skill level, similarity of past work

experience, job variety, self-monitoring, and locus or


Situational variables. The individual's level of

knowledge which is required to complete the assigned tasks

is likely to influence the socialization effort, as well as

the desired outcomes. The recruit who has the required job

knowledge at the time he or she enters the organization will

have to spend less time learning and performing the task and

can spend more time discovering the expected role and

working toward desired outcomes. Conversely, the newcomer

who has little or no knowledge of the task will have to

invest personal resources in learning the task and will have

less time to devote to the role and desired outcomes.

H5: The influence of entry skill levels on desired

organizational outcomes will be greater for new-

comers who experience informal individual social-

ization into an organization than for newcomers

who undergo formal group socialization.

A variable which is analogous to knowledge of the task

is similarity of past work experiences. Again, employees

with experiences which are similar or familiar should have

higher performance than those with less similar work exper-

iences. The novice who is accustomed to the situation can

invest more effort in learning the desired role. A newcomer

who has no or few similar experiences must expend more

effort in analyzing the situation and becoming accustomed to

the task instead of learning the expected role.

H6: The influence of similar work experiences on

desired organizational outcomes will be greater

for newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into an organization than for new-

comers who undergo formal group socialization.

A wide range of operations and the necessity of using a

great variety of equipment and procedures to complete the

task constitute high job variety. The variability of the

task has been shown to significantly influence outcomes such

as job satisfaction (Hackman and Oldham, 1980). However,

the newcomer who is individually learning on-the-job might

be distracted and/or disturbed by high job variety. Low job

variety would give the novice an opportunity to learn the

task as well as devote some effort to the enactment of the

expected role and discovery of desired organizational


H7: The influence of high job variety on desired

organizational outcomes will be greater for new-

comers who experience formal group socialization

into the organization than for newcomers who

undergo informal individual socialization.

Psychological variables. There are some psychological

characteristics which may influence the socialization of

individuals and the subsequent outcomes of socialization.

There are many possible factors. Some which are of special

interest here are self-monitoring and locus of control.

Self-monitoring is the degree to which an individual is

sensitive to others in social situations and the subsequent

use of social cues to direct self-presentation (Snyder,

1974; 1979b). As Briggs, Cheek, and Buss (1980) point out,

the three characteristics of a high self-monitoring person

are concern for the appropriateness of social behavior,

sensitivity to important cues, and self-regulation of

behavior. Research has demonstrated that self-monitoring

was "most important during the period of early tenure" for

persons in boundary-spanning positions (Caldwell and

O'Reilly, 1982a). Newcomers who enter individually and have

an informal introduction to the job must rely heavily on

their personal characteristics and capabilities. The novice

who is trained formally in a group of newcomers can rely not

only on his or her individual capabilities, but also on the

group capabilities, and on the formal socializing agent.

Hg: The influence of self-monitoring on desired

organizational outcomes will be greater for

newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into the organization than for

newcomers who undergo formal group socialization.

Locus of control is a personality dimension which

reflects the level of perceived control by the individual

over pertinent events. People can attribute control over

events to themselves (internal orientation) or to outside

forces or luck (external orientation). Research supports

the thesis that internals, in general, have higher job

satisfaction and performance, seek more relevant information

in complex tasks, and prefer participative management styles

(Spector, 1982). However, locus of control is often a

moderating or interactive variable in conjunction with many

other personality and situational variables (Phares, 1976).

Because internals perceive more personal control over their

environments than do externals, individual socialization

might strengthen the perception of control whereas sociali-

zation in a group might weaken the individually perceived


H : The influence of locus of control on desired

organizational outcomes will be greater for

newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into the organization than for

newcomers who undergo formal group socialization.


A multiple stage model of organizational socialization

was presented in this chapter. The various socialization

strategies available to organizations were discussed.

This study will assess the differential effects of

socialization strategy on the organizationally desired

outcomes of job satisfaction, general satisfaction,

participation and work/family conflict. Some effects of the

socialization strategies of formal group entry and informal

individual entry are evaluated. In addition, the influence

of entry skill level, similar work experience, job variety,

self-monitoring and locus of control, concomitant with

socialization strategy, will be assessed.



Socialization effects are most likely to be obvious

when persons take on new roles. The research focus of this

thesis is the socialization of new manufacturing employees.

The socialization process was studied during the start-up of

a new manufacturing facility. This chapter will describe

the site, the subjects, the data collection, and the data

analysis which was undertaken to test the hypotheses pre-

sented in Chapter I.

Research Setting

A new manufacturing facility was available as the

research site; all of the employees were new and there were

no existing organizational roles. After preliminary discus-

sions with management, a study was designed to assess the

effects of socialization on all employees. This site lent

itself well to the study because all employees were hired

within a few months while the plant was still becoming

operational. Because of this, it was possible to study the

establishment of roles and norms, the taking of roles, role

outcomes, and relate this to socialization strategies.

The employees were oriented and trained in different

ways. Half of the employees were oriented and trained in a

formal group situation. The other half of the employees

entered the organization individually and did not undergo

formal orientation or training. They were initially trained

and socialized on-the-job informally. Thus, there is an

important difference in the way the two groups were social-


Research Site

The manufacturing plant uses a continuous process

automated operation and produces a single product, an

aluminum lid. This lid is used exclusively on one-piece

aluminum beverage cans. This is one of four manufacturing

facilities in the company. The company is wholly owned by a

major corporation in the beer industry.

The nature of the production work is complex. The

product requires narrow production tolerances. While there

are some simple, routine jobs, employees at the lowest skill

level have enriched jobs with several tasks assigned to each

position. Some work assignments require that the employee

perform equipment retooling, design and develop prototypic

additions or changes to equipment, and train others to

maintain, operate, or repair equipment. Team members also

rotate the jobs of cleaning the break room and locker rooms,

as well as clean up on the production floor. A janitorial

service cleans the staff offices.

The work is dirty, noisy, and can be dangerous if

safety precautions are not observed. The noise and speed of

the equipment require that anyone on the production floor

must wear safety glasses, ear protectors, and safety shoes

with steel toe-protectors.

Workers are skilled at various functions. For example,

some are trained electricians and mechanics; another is a

welder with twelve years experience; others are hydraulics

experts and master tool and die makers. All are expected to

rotate jobs and become skilled in all tasks. No job is

assigned permanently to a single person. All employees

participate in cleaning their area and all are expected to

be rotated into the quality assurance lab. This is par-

ticularly unusual in that quality assurance is usually a

specialized task and separate from production.

There is a great amount of pressure to meet target

production budgets. In some respects this was due to many

unexpected problems in the start-up of the plant. The

prototypic equipment presented more rework and redesign

problems than had been anticipated. Production targets were

rarely met during the first year of production. The plant

began operating with one-third of the equipment and received

other machinery over time. Workers had a two-fold task.

They had to get the equipment operational, which often

entailed down time for the machines, and they also had to

produce a quality, marketable product. With the start-up

problems, these goals sometimes produced a stressful

situation for the operatives on the floor as well as the

managerial staff.

Innovation. The plant differs both technically and in

management philosophy from other facilities in the company

and the industry. From a technical viewpoint, the machinery

is prototypic and was designed specifically for this plant.

Similar equipment has been used in the industry but all of

the equipment for this plant was specially designed. The

equipment is high speed, highly automated and integrated,

and has a production capacity which substantially exceeds

existing levels in the industry.

Secondly, the management philosophy at this plant is

very different from most facilities in the container indus-

try. The industry is characterized by high-pressure man-

agement, low employee involvement, high levels of unionism,

and specialized jobs. In contrast, at the research site,

the work force is non-unionized and the prevailing manager-

ial culture is participative. Almost all of the employees

are new to the industry. Quality of work-life is emphasized

and supported by the parent company. The managerial concept

for this plant was conceived and implemented by a corporate

officer, the plant manager, and the plant employee relations

manager. All management personnel at this plant had worked

at traditional facilities in the container industry before

1This characterization comes from in-depth interviews
with staff members, other workers in the industry, and
equipment suppliers.

coming to this plant. Because of this dramatic difference

in management philosophy, and because all of the managers

had practiced a more directive style of management that was

generally typical in the industry, it would seem that there

would have been a great amount of training and development

undertaken to implement the particular philosophy at this

plant. However, no specific management training occurred to

facilitate implementation of this participative style

although the philosophy was emphasized repeatedly during

pre-employment interviews with staff and hourly workers and

during the plant start-up.

Based upon the in-depth interviews with staff members,

the management began the operation of this plant with the

following approaches:

1. There will be a climate of trust, honesty, and

openness at all times.

2. The work force will have much discretion in the

performance of work. They will have a "license to

fail." If there is a failure, it will be studied

in order to learn how to prevent it later.

3. There will be semi-autonomous work teams. Each

team is headed by a superintendent (managerial)

who is supported by a team leader (hourly). The

team leader assignment is to be rotated among

several team members. The team leader may have

managerial responsibility and authority in the

absence of the superintendent. Each team is

encouraged to work as a unit and to make team

decisions, where relevant.

4. A person's potential to work in a highly partici-

pative environment and to work with the semi-

autonomous work team concept is very important in

selection. Communication skill is an important

selection criterion.

5. There will be an opportunity for workers to have a

vehicle for discussing work and personal problems

in strict confidence. (This was to have been

accomplished through the creation of an "ombuds-

man" position, a liaison between management and

hourly employees.)

6. There will be, to the greatest extent possible,

worker participation in the operation of the

plant. The range of participation may be from

total autonomy in some situations to simple input

for consideration in other cases. The level of

participation in various areas is emerging and is

still being defined.

7. Workers are to be cross-trained, up to each

person's potential, in all skills required to

operate the plant. The purpose of cross-training

is to facilitate rotation of the workers through

the different jobs in the plant.

8. Compensation is skill-based; that is, pay level is

determined by the number of skills a person has

rather than the specific job assignment. One

purpose of this system is to support the concept

of cross-training and job rotation. Pay levels

are high for this geographical area.

There is an informal atmosphere around the plant.

Formal lines of communication and authority exist but the

overwhelming modes of communication and relationships are

informal. Employees are encouraged to suggest improvements,

look for solutions to problems, and interact freely with all

staff members. Hourly employees, managers, and staff

members use a single cafeteria/break room that looks out on

the plant floor; staff and managers occasionally do produc-

tion work on the plant floor.

From interviews, it appears that the management struc-

ture is "flat", relative to other firms in the industry.

That means that many people report to one supervisor. (See

Figure 2 for the organization chart by job titles.) There

are fifteen managerial, staff, and supervisory personnel.

First line supervisors report directly to the plant manager

and have a great amount of responsibility. In other plants

of this size, there is a level of supervision between the

plant manager and the first line supervisors, usually a

position such as "production manager." The eighty hourly

employees report to one of the four superintendents. There

are few staff specialists compared to other firms in the

industry. There is a plant engineer, an employee relations

manager, an accountant, and a quality assurance director.

Plant Manager

Employee Controller









Team A

- Superintendent
Team B

Team C

- Superintendent
Team D

Figure 2. Organization Chart

Most plants have other specialists on staff such as a

machine shop foreperson, shift quality control managers,

shipping and delivery managers, etc.

Selection. The selection process at this plant was

different from common practice. In most manufacturing

facilities, selection procedures are usually limited to

skill tests, interviews, and reference checks. In this

situation there was an effort to select people both for

their technical competence or potential for technical

competence and for their perceived willingness and ability

to work within the framework of a participative management


Each job applicant was screened through staff inter-

views to assess technical ability or potential. Those who

passed the initial screening were invited to attend a

42 hour course at the local community college. This course

was designed by the company and covered areas such as

blueprint reading, mathematics, safety, and mechanical

design and repair. Applicants attended the class on their

own time at night and received no pay. There was some

competence testing during the course and individual scores

were used in selection.

Job applicants who made it to the community college

course were interviewed by at least seven of the managerial

staff, including the four superintendents. Interviews were

at least one hour long and, often, were longer. Staff

interviews were intended to assess technical skills,

interpersonal skills, and the potential for working within

the stated managerial framework. There was no interview

protocol and staff members were free to ask questions and

form opinions any way they chose. For example, one staff

member asked everyone if he or she had ever been a member of

a volunteer fire department in order to make a judgment

about whether the applicant could work as a member of a team

and make voluntary contributions. The ability to work in

teams and in a participative environment was an important

criterion. Staff members looked for initiative, good

communication skills, the ability to work without direct

supervision, high achieving work orientation, and a sense of

personal responsibility for desired organizational outcomes.

These selection criteria were never formally dissemin-

ated in policies or in writing. Employment criteria emerged

from discussions among key staff members. Selection of

personnel was done by a consensus process. Periodic staff

meetings were held and each applicant was discussed before

hiring decisions were made. The employment offer was always

made by the plant manager and was made both to the applicant

and the applicant's spouse. This was an attempt to involve

the spouse and to present the job in a realistic framework.

Both applicant and spouse were told about the demanding

schedule, the parent company's philosophy, the plans for a

participative work environment with high quality of work

life, and about the required training after employment.

Work team. The team concept was intended to be very

important in the operation of this plant. There are four

teams made up of twenty hourly employees and a superinten-

dent. Assignments to teams are permanent. Teams are

encouraged to work semi-autonomously; they are urged to work

together as a unit, look for problems and solutions, help

and train each other while producing high quality lids.

Specifically, each team member is encouraged to accept

personal responsibility for the operation and maintenance of

equipment on his or her shift, and to accept responsibility

for the quality of lids produced by his or her team. While

there are certain people assigned to a quality control task,

all team members share an aggregate responsibility for good


No one has a permanent job assignment. Workers are

trained to do several tasks and rotate among job assign-

ments. The ultimate goal is to have each team member

capable of doing every job. Hourly workers rotate jobs

according to their capabilities which are constrained by the

skills they brought with them to the job and the skills they

have acquired since beginning employment. Team members

learn additional skills in formal classes and informally

from managers and from their co-workers on the job.

Each team superintendent is assisted by a team leader,

who is an hourly employee and who is selected by the mana-

gerial staff. Team leaders are highly skilled, have a

working knowledge of all of the equipment, have additional

responsibilities such as record keeping, and often serve as

superintendent in the absence of the superintendent. They

are paid a small wage differential as team leaders.

Team members work at a particular task from a few days

to many months. Job assignment and rotation is a function

of the individual's skills, the time others on the team have

to train co-workers, the smoothness of the operation of the

equipment, and the specific team's needs at any one point in

time. Assignments are primarily the responsibility of the

superintendent, with varying degrees of input from the team

leader, team members, and staff.

Schedule. The plant operates 24 hours a day,

seven days a week. The normal shift is twelve hours long

and operatives work three days or nights, then have

three days or nights off. Every four months, the day shift

changes to night shift and vice versa. This schedule is

different from the traditional manufacturing schedule with

three eight-hour shifts a day and 21 shifts per week.

However, a twelve-hour shift appears to be typical in the

container industry. Three days on and then three days off

is not typical. Neither is the day/night rotation every

four months typical in the industry.

There are no time clocks and employees record the time

worked once a week on a time card and turn it in to the

superintendent. Since the production process is continuous,

certain tasks must be performed constantly. Team members

relieve each other for breaks informally. In general,

employees receive four ten-minute breaks and a twenty-minute

lunch break during a twelve hour work period. However,

one team has modified this schedule and has two twenty-

minute breaks and the lunch break. In addition, each team

has an informal, non-required, non-paid meeting just before

the work day starts. These meetings last about fifteen min-

utes and most employees attend voluntarily. The informality

of the breaks and decisions on the structure of breaks, the

lack of a time clock, and the voluntary attendance at daily

team meetings represent ways to transfer responsibility to

the work force.

Compensation. The plant uses a skill based compensa-

tion system. Employees are paid for their skill levels or

what they know, not for the tasks they complete. For

example, a highly skilled electrician might work at elec-

trical jobs but he might be assigned to quality assurance or

to the operation of a specific machine if there are no

pressing electrical problems. Regardless of the assignment,

the electrician is paid for the skill he or she possesses,

not for the task he or she completes.

There are three basic skill levels, trainee, production

technician, and plant technician. There are several pay

grades within each level. The trainee level has five skill

levels and five corresponding pay grades; the production

technician level has five skill grades; the plant technical

level has three skill grades. (See Table 1 for the skill

levels.) The lowest trainee wage is $11.43 an hour.

Table 1

Base Wage Progression Steps


TECHNICIAN 13.13 13.49

TECHNICIAN 12.60 12.84


A shift premium of $.20 per hour will be added to the base
night shift.

The base wage rates will be reviewed quarterly and will be J
increases have occurred in the industry wage rates, and if
warrant the increase.



13.08 13.32 13.56

11.79 11.97 12.15

rate for employees working the

increased if significant
)lant economic conditions

Workers are paid only for the hours that they work.

There is no paid sick leave. All employees are eligible for

one paid holiday on a day of their choice if they complete a

year of work with no absences or tardies. Hourly workers

receive pay premiums after eight hours on the job, for the

night shift, for overtime, and for holidays. The plant is

occasionally shut down for major holidays.

Employees' skills are assessed for pay purposes by

management at the time of employment. Informal training

on-the-job and formal training on off-days lead to addi-

tional skills for promotion. Employees may request skill

assessment for skill level upgrading at any time. Team

superintendents also have regular schedules for skill



The eighty hourly employees are the subjects of this

research. Only four of them had experience in the lid

industry before coming to this plant. Hourly workers are

divided equally between the four teams and there are no

significant demographic differences between teams. (See

Table 2 for demographic information.) Eight of the subjects

are female and seven of them are racial minorities. The

average age is 33 and 76 percent are married. Sixty-eight

of the subjects have completed some education beyond high

school. Three of the subjects have college degrees. Almost

Table 2


Dimension Organizational Organizational
Entry by Group Entry as Individual Total

Average Age 32.28 33.10 32.68

Percentage Married 80 72 76

Percentage Women 7.5 12.5 10.0

Percentage Racial
Minority 7.5 10.0 8.75

Percent with Education
Beyond High School 61 77 68

one-third of them moved to this area specifically for this


Participation in this study was voluntary. The initial

questionnaire, measuring personality and demographic varia-

bles, was completed during training classes at the community

college or at the site. Later questionnaires, measuring

attitudes toward work, were completed on the employees' own

time, away from work.


The various instruments used to test the hypotheses

are described in this section. The complete scales which

are not copyrighted are presented in Appendix A, along with

scoring procedures. Table 3 lists the scales, the number of

items in each scale and the internal reliability scores,

calculated by the coefficient alpha formula (Cronbach,


Dependent Variables

The dependent variables were chosen because they are

all outcomes that are desired by the organization for its

employees. These outcomes were measured approximately four

months after the subjects began to work on the production


Job satisfaction. A twenty item scale, a shortened and

modified version of one developed by Weiss, Davis, England,

and Lofquist (1967) as the Minnesota Satisfaction

Table 3

Internal Consistency of Scales

Number of Coefficient
Scale Items Alpha

Job Satisfaction 20 .94

General Satisfaction 8 .90

Participation 9 .89

Work/Family Conflict 8 .93

Self-Monitoring 25 .71

Locus of Control 20 .74

Questionnaire, was used to assess satisfaction with the job.

Subjects were asked to react to items which described

aspects of the job. Responses were on a five point contin-

uum, ranging from "very dissatisfied" to "very satisfied."

Responses to items were averaged to obtain a job satisfac-

tion score. Examples of the items are as follows:

The chance to do something that makes use of my abili-


The working conditions.

My pay and the amount of work I do.

The chances for advancement on this job.

General satisfaction. Feldman and Brett (1983) devel-

oped an eight-item scale that measures satisfaction with

many areas of life, including the job. An overall satis-

faction measure is obtained by averaging items on this

scale. Subjects are asked to respond on a five point

continuum to various areas of their lives. Responses range

from "very satisfied" to "very dissatisfied" and are in

answer to questions such as

How satisfied are you

with your health?

with your friendships?

with your standard of living?

Participation. High employee participation was one of

the major goals of management at the research site. It is a

measure of the employee's influence on the job. An a priori

scale was used to assess the participation in particular

areas where managers said they wanted employees to be

involved in decisions. This scale was designed specifically

for this plant and this study, and used some items from a

participation scale developed by Vroom (1960). The scale

has nine items and responses were on a five point Likert-

type continuum from "none" (i.e. no participation) to "a

very great degree." Sample items follow:

How much influence do you have over your daily job


How often does your boss ask your opinion?

How much influence do you have over the training of

employees, including yourself?

Work/Family conflict. Because of the unusual work

schedule, it was believed there was a great potential for

conflict between the work and the family roles. An eight-

item scale, developed by Kopelman, Greenhaus, and Connolly

(1982), was used to assess this conflict. Subjects

responded to statements on a five point continuum ranging

from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Sample items

are as follows:

My work schedule often conflicts with my family life.

My job makes it difficult to be the kind of spouse or

parent I'd like to be.

Because my work is demanding, at times I am irritable

at home.

Independent Variables

All of the independent variables except job variety

were measured before employees began work. Job variety was

assessed during the first four months of employment.

Group or individual entry. This is the ma3or indepen-

dent variable of the study. All of the hypotheses consider

the effect of the socialization strategy imposed by the

organization. Half of the subjects entered the organization

in a group and received formal training; the other half

entered the organization individually and did not undergo

formal training.

The original plan for selection and training was to

bring all employees into the organization in a group situa-

tion for formal training. After the first forty employees

were trained in groups, and as pressure for production grew,

management decided to hire forty people and bring them into

the organization individually, let them learn on-the-job,

and formally train them later. The first employees were in

the groups; the later employees were in the individual

situation. In general, the earliest applicants and those

immediately available for employment were hired first.

Later applicants and those with later availabilities were

hired last.

The first twenty employees went through a nine-week

training and orientation session together. They were

trained in special classes at the local community college

and in the plants where the equipment was being

manufactured. This plant was being completed and equipment

was not in place, necessitating travel and a longer training

period. During this training period, employees got to know

each other fairly well, experienced some unique and bonding

situations, and developed some close social relationships.

The other twenty employees who entered as a group began

training about one month after the first group finished

training. (See Table 4 for an employment and training

schedule.) They were trained at the plant site for five

weeks. Most of the training occurred in large conference

rooms, although some of the equipment was on the production

floor and the second group could view its operation. This

was not so for the first training group. The second group

of twenty had examinations and established study groups away

from work.

Both of the training groups had occasions when they

interacted socially. The first group went on training trips

together. The second group had unofficial study groups

after class. Members of both groups related experiences of

having meals together and other social events.

While the second group of twenty employees was in

training, management made the decision to drop the initial

group training and orientation. Individuals were hired and

began working on the production floor within an hour or so

of first coming to work. Their only orientation was exper-

ienced during the pre-employment interviews. Most of the

employees were hired within the first four months of the

Table 4

Schedule of Employment and Training

First Group
Hired, Began

First Group
Began Work

Second Group
Hired, Began

Second Group
Began Work

Began Work

Began Work

Began Work








plant's opening. There was no early systematic training or

orientation for those employees who entered the organization

individually and learned on-the-job. At best, newcomers

were assigned to another employee to learn the task. There

were no assigned sponsors or guides to help the new employee

"learn the ropes."

During the year and a half after the plant opened,

there were various training sessions in many different skill

areas for all employees. These formal training sessions

were systematic, covered most of the technical operations

required to produce lids, were required for all employees

who needed the skills or reviews of the skills, and occurred

on paid overtime.

Employees who entered in groups and individually were

assigned to teams equally. The only concern with who was

assigned to which team was when management tried to balance

the teams as to the skills of the team members. Each of the

four teams has ten members who were socialized by a group

strategy and ten members who experienced individual social-


Entry skill level. The skill level of each employee

was determined when he or she was hired. This variable was

assessed by the managerial staff, prior to employment, but

after interviews and past job experiences were reviewed.

Employees could enter at any one of thirteen skill positions

since there were five divisions in the first two skill

levels and three divisions at the highest skill position.

In actuality, new employees were initially categorized from

the first trainee level to the first plant technician level,

giving an entry skill level range of eleven positions.

Similar work experience. Similar work experience

reduces the stress of a new job and allows the new employee

to devote more time to learning the actual job. Employees

were interviewed by the researcher to determine previous

work experiences. The interview followed a strict protocol

(See Appendix A). Subjects were asked how many years

experience they had in making lids, in doing shift work, in

doing shift work where the shifts were rotated (such as day

and night), and in factory work.

To derive a composite similar work experience score,

equal weight was given to experience in lid making, shift

work, and work in a factory environment. This was done

because those who had previous lid experience were familiar

with the product and the production processes. Those with

experience in lid making were usually the team leaders.

Rotating shift experience was given less weight because this

experience was already included in the shift experience.

The derived score for this variable was estimated by the

following formula:

Similar Work Experience = Lid Making Experience + Shift

Work + .5 (Rotating Shift Work) + Factory Work

This formulation assumes that lid making experience is

valuable in acclimating oneself to this particular facility.

So is shift work experience or the experience of working in

some other factory. While these experiences may or may not

have occurred at the same time, they are all facets of the

new job that employees had to accept and become accustomed

to. Thus, experience with shift work in a factory or a lid

factory more closely resembles the operation of this plant

than does other work experiences singly. Therefore, a

decision was made to weight such experiences more heavily.

Job variety. Two dimensions were considered when

determining this variable, average job variety and job rota-

tion. Job variety is similar to the concept of task variety

defined by Hackman and Oldham (1975). They define it as the

number of tasks, while keeping in mind the number of pieces

of equipment and the number of procedures required to do the

necessary tasks. During interviews, superintendents and

team leaders were asked to evaluate and rank the job variety

of tasks that composed each of the job assignments.

The job that had the most variety was ranked the

highest while the job with the least variety was ranked the

lowest. The rankings of the superintendents and team

leaders were averaged to obtain a single ranking of task

variety for each of the assigned jobs. (See Appendix B for

the rankings.)

The second dimension of this variable was the rotation

of the actual job assignments of the employees. The

researcher observed each team once during every other

three-day shift. That is, employees were observed on the

job one day or night out of every six days or nights they

worked. The job that each employee was doing was recorded.

Later, the jobs were numerically coded according to the task

variety rankings of the superintendents and team leaders.

The ranked scores were averaged over the first ten observa-

tions, which was approximately four months of employment.

The number of different jobs that the employee had been

assigned and the number of changes in job assignments were

also summed over the first ten job assignments. Thus, a

person who was a team leader or assigned to quality assur-

ance for the first ten observations had one job assignment

and zero job changes. The team leader would have a high

average job variety score while the employee assigned to

quality assurance would have a low average job variety

score. Someone else, with many different jobs would have

many job changes and a high number of jobs score. His or

her average job variety score would be a function of the

variety of the particular jobs assigned.

Correlation coefficients were calculated to determine

the particular formula or score which would best represent

job variety. As expected, the number of different jobs

and the number of job changes were highly correlated (.76,

p < .0001). However, neither the number of different jobs

nor the number of job changes was significantly correlated

with the mean job variety. A composite job variety score

was devised which seemed to represent both job changes and

average job variety. This was done because variety on

a single job as well as the variety of moving to another job

should influence total job variety. A composite score of

average job variety multiplied by the number of different

jobs was calculated and defined as job variety.

Self-monitoring. This psychological construct measures

the degree to which individuals exercise control over their

expressive behavior, self-presentation, and non-verbal

displays of emotion (Snyder, 1974). The twenty-five item

scale evaluates the individual's concern for the appropri-

ateness for social behavior, the sensitivity to social cues,

and the subsequent regulation of behavior based on the

social cues. Snyder reports internal reliabilities from .63

to .83 (1974). Subjects respond "true" or "false" in a

forced choice format to statements about themselves.

Examples are as follows:

I would probably make a good actor.

I'm not always the person I appear to be.

I can only argue for ideas which I already have.

A factor analysis on the self-monitoring scale was

performed since other researchers have found significant

sub-factors within the scale. Briggs, Cheek, and Buss

(1980) found three replicated factors which they named

acting, extraversion, and other-directedness. They had two

groups of subjects with over 500 people in each group.

However, Briggs et al. changed the response format to a

five point Likert scale rather than the original true-false


The self-monitoring scale was factor analyzed using an

orthogonal rotation. The Statistical Analysis System (SAS)

factor analysis package was used with a Varimax rotation. A

Varimax rotation is used when the objective is to interpret

the underlying factors or to understand the factor composi-

tion rather than to understand the variance composition

(Weiss, 1976).

No clear factors emerged. This may be because of the

small number of subjects relative to the number of items in

the scale, because the rotation was orthogonal rather than

oblique, because there is only one factor, or any combina-

tion of the above. Given the failure to replicate the

factor structure found by Briggs et al. (1980), the total

scale score is used as a single measure of social cueing and

the desire to act upon the social cues.

Locus of control. Rotter (1966) conceptualized this

construct as a measure of the individual's perception of the

control over rewards. A person with an internal locus of

control perceives rewards or outcomes as contingent on his

or her own behavior; a person with an external locus of

control believes rewards and outcomes are independent of his

or her own behavior. Rotter (1966) reports many tests of

internal consistency above .7 on this scale.

This twenty item scale consists of paired statements

from which subjects must choose one. One statement reflects

control of outcomes by self (internal), and the other

statement indicates luck or the control of others brings

about outcomes (external). Subjects are asked to choose the

statement which they more strongly believe. Examples of the

items follow:

a. What happens to me is my own doing.

b. Sometimes I feel that I don't have enough control

over the direction my life is taking.

a. Unfortunately, an individual's worth often passes

unrecognized no matter how hard he tries.

b. In the long run, people get the respect they

deserve in the world.

a. Becoming a success is a matter of hard work, luck

has little or nothing to do with it.

b. Getting a good job depends mainly on being in the

right place at the right time.

Schedule of Measurement.

The schedule of measurement of the variables is shown

in Table 5. Entry skill level, similar work experience,

self-monitoring, and locus of control were baseline mea-

sures, assessed upon entry. Job variety was measured during

the first four months of employment. After four months on

the job, employees rated their job satisfaction, general

satisfaction, participation, and level of work/family


Subjects were asked to identify themselves on all

measures so their scores could be matched later but were

guaranteed confidentiality by the researcher. Subjects and

Table 5

Schedule of Measurement of Variables


Group/Individual Entry

Entry Skill Level

Similar Work Experience


Locus of Control

During First Four
Months of Work

Job Variety

After Four Months
of Work

Job Satisfaction

General Satisfaction


Work/Family Conflict

researcher signed an agreement of participation and confi-

dentiality. (See Appendix C for a copy of this agreement.)


This study is a natural field experiment which the

researcher was able to evaluate since she had previously

gained access to the site. Data collection had begun before

the plant opened as part of a large two-year research

project which looked at a plant start-up, stress in the

factory, strategies for coping with stress, and productivity

with "non-traditional" management approaches. Subjects were

observed systematically during training and on the plant

floor. The researcher attended team social functions,

interviewed staff and hourly employees, and even occasion-

ally did unskilled tasks on the production floor to aid the


The abrupt change in the mode of organizational entry

for new employees presented an opportunity to study the

differential effects of socialization strategy.

Natural Field Experiment

Field experiments have a major concern with the situa-

tion or context of the situation, rather than with the

particular participants and their behaviors. As Katz (1953)

notes, the field study is "unique in enabling us to observe

and measure social processes in their natural occurrence"

(p. 81). The reality and richness of the data in the

natural situation have long been recognized as valuable

assets in predicting actual behaviors. And Kerlinger (1973)

argues, "The more realistic the research situation, the

stronger the variables" (p. 402).

In an experiment, one or more independent variables are

manipulated. This is often difficult to achieve in actual

organization settings since those who control organizations

are often unwilling to allow an experimenter to intervene in

the operations of the organization for the sake of research.

In the natural field experiment the researcher can "oppor-

tunistically capitalize upon some on-going changes and

study their effects in the experimental design" (French,

1953, p. 99). However, the manipulation of variables is a

decision of the management or officers of the organization,

not the researcher. Barnes (1967) argues that this is an

advantage since research roles are divided. Management

decides upon and implements the natural experiment, while

the outside researcher collects and analyzes data. The

outside researcher is not influenced by the desires of

management and can independently develop hypotheses that may

or may not be favorable to management. Barnes (1967,

p. 104) believes that the "loss of experimenter control" in

natural field experiments is greatly exaggerated. Most of

the "relatively few controls available to an outside

researcher" are also available under natural experiment

conditions to an outside researcher.

One of the most positive views of natural field exper-

iments is that of Daniel Katz (1953, p. 78). He writes:

The best opportunity for the use of hypothesis
testing is on the occasion of the "natural exper-
iment." The difficulty with the use of hypotheses
in field studies is the inability to determine
causal relationships with any definiteness, since
most of our measures are not taken with respect to
systematic changes in some ascertained independent
variable. Now, a natural experiment is a change
of major importance engineered by policy-makers
and practitioners and not by social scientists.
It is experimental from the point of view of the
scientist rather than of the social engineer.

Experimental Design

The design of an experiment is concerned with the

scheduling of observations, the choice of treatments and

comparisons, the selection and measurement of control

variables, and the assignment of subjects (Cook and

Campbell, 1979). In this study, management took on the task

of assigning the employees to different treatments, that of

group or individual organizational entry. There is no

reason to believe that management systematically differen-

tiated between employees in either situation. In fact, the

groups are fairly equivalent on demographic dimensions as

shown in Table 2.

The design of this study is called the "Compromise

Experimental Group-Control Group" design by Kerlinger

(1973). The threat to internal validity is selection. This

means that systematic differences between groups may occur

because of the selection process. This might have direct

effects on the outcomes which are assessed here. This

design can only attempt to control for selection bias by

evaluating the equivalence of the two groups on the indepen-

dent variables.

The two groups are fairly similar on demographic dimen-

sions. Still subjects were not randomly assigned to the

formal group entry on the informal individual entry. Sub-

jects were treated in the same manner by the organization

up to the point of employment. The experimental treatment

is the assignment to a formal group orientation and training

or to informal individual entry. There were no differences

in working conditions, task assignments, or team assignments

based on the method of organization entry. As Kerlinger

(1973, p. 331) points out, "Comparisons are essential in all

scientific investigation." This research allows the compar-

ison of desired organizational outcomes with only one major

difference between the groups; the differentiation is the

organizational mode of socialization.

Statistical Analyses

The major statistical technique used in this study was

multiple linear regression. The regression formulae used

are listed in Table 6.

Regression procedures are concerned with three main

questions (Hays, 1981).

1. Does a statistical relation affording some

description or predictability appear between the

random variables X and Y?

2. How strong is the apparent degree of the statis-

tical relation, in the sense of possible descrip-

tive or predictive ability the relation affords?

Table 6

Regression Formulae

(1) Job Satisfaction

= f (socialization strategy, entry skill level, similar work

experience, job variety, self-monitoring, locus of control)

(2) General Satisfaction = f (socialization strategy, entry skill level, similar work

experience, job variety, self-monitoring, locus of control)

(3) Participation

f (socialization strategy, entry skill level, similar work

experience, job variety, self-monitoring, locus of control)

(4) Work/Family Conflict = f (socialization strategy, entry skill level, similar work

experience, job variety, self-monitoring, locus of control)

3. Can a simple rule be formulated fcr predicting or

describing Y from X, and if so, how good is this


By using multiple regression equations, it is possible to

determine whether there is a statistical relationship

between the predictor (independent) variables and the

outcome (dependent) variables. This is done by determining

those variables which contribute significantly to the total

variance. Then, by determining the regression formulation

which accounts for the greatest proportion of variance in

the dependent variables, the descriptive or predictive

ability of this combination of independent variables can be

assessed. The regression equation which has the highest R2

would thus represent the combination of variables with the

best descriptive or predictive ability. Stepwise regres-

sions were performed to assess the predictive cr descriptive

ability of independent variables.

Hierarchical moderated regression techniques were also

used to assess the extent to which various independent

variables might interact as moderator variables, but not

have a main effect on the dependent variable. In effect,

this evaluates the extent to which dependent variables are

influenced jointly by a predictor (or independent) variable

and another moderating variable (Peters, O'Connor and Wise,


Finally, the coefficients of the independent variables

were examined to evaluate the relative weights of each of

them. The strength of the relationship between the indepen-

dent and dependent variables is demonstrated by the varia-

bility and significance levels of the coefficients. The

signs of the coefficients indicate the direction of the


SAS programs GLM, STEPWISE, and RSQUARE were used to

determine the models that explained the most variance and to

calculate the coefficients for the independent variables.

The calculated coefficients for the independent variables in

the full models are partial regression coefficients. They

measure the change in the dependent variable per unit change

in the specific independent variable when all the other

independent variables are held constant. Another way to

express this is that the partial regression coefficients

measure the change in the dependent variable per unit change

in the specific independent variable when the linear associ-

ation with all other independent variables has been removed

(Green, 1978). Only in the case where the predictor or

independent variables are totally uncorrelated will the

partial regression coefficients equal the simple regression



A natural field experiment was conducted at an innova-

tive manufacturing facility. Subjects were new employees

who experienced formal group entry or informal individual

entry into the organization.


Multiple linear regression was used to assess the

influence of socialization strategy, concomitant with other

variables, on organizationally desired outcomes of job

satisfaction, general satisfaction, participation and

work/family conflict.



This chapter contains the results of the data analyses

performed to test the hypotheses presented in Chapter I.

Statistical test results are presented with the relevant

hypotheses. Tests which produced significant results will

be briefly discussed.

The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients

between all variables are listed in Table 7, with signifi-

cance probabilities in parenthesis. Since socialization

strategy is a dummy variable, coded zero and one, the

correlations between strategy and other variables are

analogous to tests for significant differences between means

of those who had group socialization and those who were

socialized individually. Significant correlations, or

significant differences between strategies, occurred with

the dependent variables of work/family conflict and job

satisfaction. Independent variables which had significant

correlations with socialization strategy were locus of

control and previous work experience indicating a difference

in mean scores on those variables between those who were

socialized individually and those who were socialized as a


Table 7

Correlation Coefficients

Work/ General Job
Partici- Family Satis- Satis-
Strategy pation Conflict faction faction

Strategy ----


Work/ .388** .175
Family --
Conflict (.002) (.142)

.213 .134 .531****
General ----
Satisfaction (.091) (.262) (.0001)

.409*** .434**** .536**** .548****
Job --
Satisfaction (.0008) (.0001) (.0001) (.0001)

.131 .108 -.041 -.045 .043
Variety (.251) (.349) (.747) (.726) (.736)

-.262* .032 -.047 -.153 -.089
Locus of
Control (.020) (.778) (.711) (.229) (.483)

-.072 -.030 -.223 -.093 .024
Monitoring (.528) (.791) (.076) (.466) (.853)

.223* .156 .240 .145 .196
(.050) (.176) (.058) (.256) (.124)

Entry .207 -.033 .107 .164 .185
Level (.067) (.776) (.398) (.196) (.144)

p < .05
** p < .01
*** p < .001
**** p < .0001

Table 7


Job Locus Self- Experi- Skill
Variety Control Monitoring ence Level






Variety ----

Locus of ----
Control (.757)

-.061 -.096
Self- ----
Monitoring (.593) (.398)

.118 -.078 -.008
Experience ----
(.299) (.495) (.942)

Entry .373*** .013 -.246* .325**
Skill ----
Level (.0007) (.907) (.029) (.004)



The dependent variable of job satisfaction was posi-

tively correlated with the other dependent variables of

general satisfaction, participation, and work/family con-

flict. Work/family conflict and general satisfaction also

have a positive correlation.

The only independent variable which correlates with any

dependent variable is socialization strategy. Other than

the strategy correlations, there are only three significant

correlations within independent variables. Entry skill

level is positively correlated with job variety and similar

work experience and negatively correlated with self-


Socialization Strategies-Outcomes Relationships

Multiple regressions were calculated to determine

whether there were significant statistical relationships

between dependent and independent variables, and, if so, the

degree and direction of the relationship. The influence of

socialization strategy and the other independent variables

on each of the dependent variables was assessed. The mean

scores on the dependent variables for group entry and

individual entry are reported in Table 8, along with the

possible range of scores.

A basic assumption of multiple regression is that the

dependent and independent variables have a linear additive

relationship. The assumption that independent variables are

not correlated is violated in the full model regressions

Table 8

Mean Scores on Dependent Variables

Mean Score Mean Score
Variable Group Entry Individual Entry Range

Job Satisfaction

General Satisfaction


Work/Family Conflict


















because of the significant correlations between entry skill

level and other variables. Also, the assumption that the

disturbances in the regression have a normal distribution is

violated in that the range of the dependent variables is

limited from one to five. The variables are continuous over

a limited range. However, estimated coefficients are likely

to be fairly robust, given this departure from the standard


All usable data were included in the statistical cal-

culations. Sample attrition occurred for various reasons,

such as lack of interest in the research project, lack of

time, or personal problems. Non-responses are random and

are not related to other variables in this study. The

censoring problem does not systematically confound the


While the alternative hypotheses to those tested are

not stated, they are implicitly recognized in the analyses.

The alternative hypotheses are that there is no significant

influence of socialization strategy on desired organiza-

tional outcomes and that socialization strategy does not

interact with the other independent variables to signfi-

cantly influence outcomes.

Hypothesis 1: Job Satisfaction

The following hypothesis is concerned with the rela-

tionship between socialization strategy and job satisfac-


HI: Newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into an organization will report

higher job satisfaction than will newcomers who

undergo formal group socialization.

The results of multiple regressions, displayed in

Tables 9 and 10, do not support this hypothesis. In fact,

the opposite hypothesis seems true. Newcomers who experi-

ence group socialization have higher job satisfaction than

those who undergo individual socialization.

Because the initial regression on the full model, shown

in Table 9, approached a significance level (p = .0712), a
stepwise regression, using a maximum R~ improvement tech-

nique, was performed to determine the model which best

explained the relationship between the independent variables

and job satisfaction (Table 10). Variables are listed in

the order they entered the model. This procedure demon-

strates that a five variable model, with locus of control
removed, reached a significant level (R = .1810, p h .05).

However, the only independent variable which was significant

was socialization strategy, which contributed most of the

explanation of variance (.1589 of the R ). No other vari-

able approached significance. The positive coefficient on

the strategy variable and the mean scores in Table 8 indi-

cate that those employees who entered as a group had higher

job satisfaction than those who entered individually.

Table 9

Job Satisfaction
Regression Using Full Model

Variable Coefficient Level

Socialization Strategy .3808* .0059

Similar Work Experience .0132 .4353

Entry Skill Level .0121 .5437

Self-Monitoring .2606 .5662

Job Variety -.0025 .8284

Locus of Control .0724 .8457

Full Model R2 = .1816

(p = .0712)

N = 63
*p < .01

Table 10

Job Satisfaction
Stepwise Regression

Significance Contribution
Variable Coefficient Level to R

Strategy .3761** .0053 .1589

Similar Work
Experience .0130 .4362 .0136

Entry Skill Level .0124 .5302 .0032

Self-Monitoring .2441 .5811 .0047

Job Variety -.0024 .8333 .0006

Full Model R = .1810*

(p = .0392)

N = 63
*p < .05
**p < .01

Hypothesis 2: General Satisfaction

The hypothesis detailing the relationship of social-

ization strategy and general satisfaction follows.

H2: Newcomers who experience informal individual

socialization into an organization will report

higher general satisfaction than will newcomers

who undergo formal group socialization.

The statistical data analysis produced no support for

this hypothesis. Table 11 presents the regression results.

The regression explanation of variance (the R2) was not

significant and neither were any of the predictor variables.

The modes of organizational socialization tested here do not

appear to influence general satisfaction.

Hypothesis 3: Participation

The hypothesized relationship of socialization strategy

and participation is discussed below.

H3: Newcomers who experience formal group socializa-

tion into an organization will report higher

participation in organizational decisions than

will newcomers who undergo informal individual


Table 12 reports the results of the full model regres-

sion for participation. The data do not support the hypoth-

esis. The regression correlation coefficient is not sig-

nificant and neither are the independent variables. Only

socialization strategy approaches significance (p = .0691).

Table 11

General Satisfaction
Regression Using Full Model

Variable Coefficient Level

Socialization Strategy .1815 .2869 (ns)

Entry Skill Level .0188 .4539 (ns)

Similar Work Experience .0132 .5402 (ns)

Self-Monitoring -.3901 .4975 (ns)

Locus of Control -.3821 .4165 (ns)

Job Variety -.0103 .4910 (ns)

Full Model R2 = .0831

(p = .5398)

N = 63

Table 12

Regression Using Full Model


Socialization Strategy

Entry Skill Level

Similar Work Experience


Locus of Control

Job Variety









.0691 (ns)

.1548 (ns)

.1986 (ns)

.6897 (ns)

.4634 (ns)

.2942 (ns)

Full Model R2 = .0995

(p = .3798)

N = 63


From these data and analysis, we can not predict that

organizational participation will be influenced by group or

individual entry into the organization. However, since

employees with formal group socialization did have a higher

mean score on participation (Table 8) and because socializa-

tion strategy approached a significant level when correlated

with participation (Table 7), a relationship between social-

ization strategy and participation may exist and should be

investigated in future research.

Hypothesis 4: Work/Family Conflict

The influence of socialization strategy on work/family

conflict is hypothesized and discussed below.

H4: Newcomers who experience formal group socializa-

tion into an organization will report lower

work/family conflict than will newcomers who

undergo informal individual socialization.

This hypothesis is not supported as shown in the

stepwise regression results in Table 13. However, the

converse seems to be the case. New employees who experience

formal group socialization will have higher work/family

conflict than those who enter individually.

The full model produced a significant regression

(p = .0179) and a stepwise regression, using a maximum

R2 improvement technique, shows each individual variable's

contribution to the variance. Socialization strategy is the

only significant predictor variable with a contribution to

Table 13

Work/Family Conflict
Stepwise Regression Using Full Model

Significance Contribution
Variable Coefficient Level to R

Strategy .5810** .0044 .1428

Self-Monitoring -1.2394 .0668 .0428

Similar Work
Experience .0382 .1287 .0287

Job Variety -.0152 .3804 .0138

Entry Skill Level -.0155 .5941 .0038

Locus of Control .1041 .8483 .0005

Full Model R = .2323*

(p = .0179)

N = 64
*p < .05
**p < .01

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