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Socialization of new members (chapter 8)

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Socialization of new members (chapter 8)

  1. 1.   Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason, COMS 404
  2. 2.  ―Organizational socialization is an inherent interactional, communicative process—the self socialization attempts of the organizational member affect and are affected by the attempts of the organization to socialize the new member (Griffin, Colella, & Goparaju, 2000)‖ o Modaff, Butler, & Dewine, 2012, p. 147  ―As communication practices, socialization processes both shape interaction and are shaped through interaction over time‖ (Gomez, 2009) Think about it… Examine the organization you selected for the semester. What information can you find about their new member socialization processes?
  3. 3.  Organizational structure is not a concrete entity, but it is produced as people interact on a daily basis, attempting to accomplish individual and collective purposes This can be a little tricky to get the first time around. Basically, Giddens was saying that structure happens on both a MACRO and MICRO level Structure on the MACRO level is the organization. This type of structure is the way we socially interact AND the outcome of how we interact -> Meaning we both create the environment by our interactions AND have an environment. Structure on the MICRO level would be represented by our individual social interactions. SO…Behavior and structure are intertwined!
  4. 4. Although we can’t see it, both sides MUST be present. They co-exist to make up the coin. A coin cannot exist without BOTH sides Both STRUCTURE and AGENTS in the structure are related. They co-exist.
  5. 5.  Organizational structure is NOT concrete. It is produced, it changes, it mediates and even constrains later interactions  Principles o Agency: Members daily actions create structure. Members are knowledgeable and know their interactions either maintain or change existing organizational structure o Awareness: Members have different levels of awareness • Discursive consciousness – some activities/feelings are easily explained by individuals • Practical consciousness – some experiences, behaviors, and feelings are not easily put into words
  6. 6.  Principles (continued) o Rules/practices: Routinized practices shape structure. • These are the activities/behaviors members engage in without being aware they are doing them o Power: Part of interactions and used to accomplish outcomes • Power may involve domination/control (focus on action) • Every individual has SOME degree of power on the structure and how it operates o Unintended consequences: • Individual actions CAN result in unintended consequences • For example, we CAN control how we interact with others, but we CANNOT control how they will respond/react. Think about it… What routinized practices have you performed as a member of an organization? Do those practices impact organizational structure?
  7. 7.  The theory of structuration highlights the centrality of communication and interaction to organizational life.  If organizational members do indeed have agency in organizational life, then the possibilities of individual member’s choices and actions being in sync with each other are low.  As members enact their agency, they will produce unintended consequences. Think about it… We’ve examined a lot about misunderstandings this semester. Consider how communication fits into the connection between structuration and misunderstandings.
  8. 8.  A new employee NEEDS information. o Information about tasks. o Cultural information (often vague/implied) Organizations spend LESS time communicating their cultures, mission, and values, than they do explaining the details of tasks.
  9. 9.  Communication can reduce uncertainty  The more uncertain (equivocal) the message, the more the recipient needs help from others to understand it (Weick, 1979)  Communication strategies HELP increase certainty  When a situation is clear, members rely on rules to guide behavior  When a situation is unclear, members have difficulty understanding and following rules
  10. 10.  Being ―different‖ from the dominant group in the organization can create additional barriers to being successful o Differences may be the result of our race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, language, political views, etc.  As new members assimilate, they may feel the need to downplay their culture and adopt the culture of the organization (―selling out‖)
  11. 11.  Blank & Slipp (2000) guidelines for buying in instead of selling out o Your fundamental value system, that which you hold close to your heart, is the final arbiter of ―right‖. o If you know yourself—that is, have validated your talents, skills, and abilities—and perform a function or accept a position well beneath your talents, you could be in danger of ―selling out.‖ o If you accept, without question, the culture of an organization that flaunts its discrimination against or disrespect for your culture, you could be in danger of ―selling out.‖
  12. 12.  Compare what you are learning to the ―traditional‖ organizations that spend effort on precise actions  Consider ―humanistic‖ organizations and their beliefs about knowing employees
  13. 13.  Assimilation is the process by which an individual becomes integrated into the culture of an organization (Jablin, 2001)  Two inter-related processes Planned and unintentional efforts by the organization to ―socialize‖ employees Attempts of organizational members to ―individualize‖ or change roles and work environment to better fit their values, attitudes, and needs
  14. 14.  Assimilation and Socialization are NOT the same terms  Assimilation may be based upon three assumptions (Bullis & Stout, 2000) 1. Individuals AND organizations are active agents in assimilation • They influence each other • Socialization is HALF of the assimilation process—along with individualization efforts by the new member 2. Organizations are ―bounded‖ entities • We adopt language of insiders/outsiders • Individuals cross through a boundary to/from an organization 3. Assimilation occurs in phases • Anticipatory socialization • Encounter • Metamorphisis
  15. 15.  New member forms expectations of what it would be like to be a member of the organization o Vocational anticipatory socialization • Information gathered during childhood and adolescence o Organizational anticipatory socialization • Information intentionally and unintentionally gathered as job seeker interacts with potential employing organization (from a variety of sources) Think about it… The word ―anticipate‖ is key in the phrase.
  16. 16.  This entry phase takes place as the new member begins to confront the reality of his or her organizational role. o ―I’m new, but I don’t know all of the ―insider‖ stuff that everyone else knows‖  Information shared in formal orientation programs, socialization strategies, training programs, formal/informal mentoring, media sources, etc.  Depending on their levels of uncertainty, newcomers may try to learn more through: Overt questioning Indirect questioning Third-party questioning Testing Disguising conversations Observations Surveillance Think about it… What strategies have you used? Why? Did they work?
  17. 17.  Organizational identification involves an individual's sense of members in and connection with an organization o Kenneth Burke, George Cheney, Phillip Tompkins  Sources of identification for an organizational member o IntraOrganizational Sources (work teams, departments, unions, lunch groups, supervisor, etc.) o ExtraOrganizational Sources (family, customers, influential public figures, the media, etc.)  Targets: organizational members a person looks to for connection  Pulls: organizations or groups seeking to connect with newcomer  Disidentification: seeking separateness, disconnection, exclusion  Related to job satisfaction, performance, decision making,
  18. 18.  Final phase  New member begins to CHANGE some of his/her behaviors and expectations in order to meet the standards of the new environment  Alter the requirements of his/her role to match his/her needs, desires, and skills Consider a time you were in phase 3 as you joined an organization. Explore your feelings, emotions, and reactions to this memory and the information about this phase
  19. 19.  The process by which an individual acquires the social knowledge and skills necessary to assume an organizational role (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979) o How an organization socializes newcomers affect how the newcomer reacts to the organization and her/his role in it  Loyalty o Affects socialization o Moral obligation to engage in a mode of conduct reflecting loyalty and duty  Congruency o Affects socialization o Congruency between core values held by organization and those of individual
  20. 20. Custodial Response  Newcomer accepts the role as it is presented  Does not question the status quo Innovative Response  Newcomer makes changes to knowledge base/strategy associated with the role  Redefines the purpose of role functions
  21. 21. Collective Individual Formal Informal Sequential Random Fixed Serial Investiture Variable Disjunctive Divestiture
  22. 22.  Employees should collect LOTS of information about the organization  Managers should actively monitor the progress of new employees during initial days  New employees should assess how much of their culture they may need to set aside to adopt the organization’s culture  Managers should consider what works best for the new employee REMEMBER: The socialization process in organizations is critical to maintaining a dedicated, loyal workforce.
  23. 23. What are your feelings about socialization and assimilation? Think of your current organizational involvement. Based on your reading, how can/should processes be changed?

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