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Organizational socialization: A new theoretical model and recommendations for future research and HRM practices in organizations

Helena D. Cooper‐Thomas (Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Neil Anderson (University of Amsterdam Business School, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 1 July 2006




The aim of this paper is threefold: to provide an overview of organizational socialization (OS) research; to present a new model of OS focusing on successful outcomes; and finally to draw from both of these to suggest practical steps for both organizations aiming to socialize newcomers, and for newcomers themselves.


A summary literature review of the OS literature post‐entry, focusing on organizational, insider and newcomer actions.


The literature is used to develop and propose a new model of OS success, with five OS success indicators. Testable relationships are proposed between these indicators and both five learning domains and five learning sources.

Research limitations/implications

The research model has not been tested empirically. Further, the fifth success indicator, external representation, is a new and untested concept in the OS literature.

Practical implications

The paper provides a model that managers and newcomers may find useful to successfully negotiate the OS process. Further, the third section of the manuscript extensively discusses practical implications from the model and more broadly from the initial literature review.


The model proposed is novel and raises the important issue of appropriate OS success indicators. New propositions are made regarding relationships between learning sources and domains with these success indicators. This testable model is a valuable resource for researchers. Further, for managers, whether newcomers themselves or responsible for newcomers, the model provides a framework for considering what they are aiming to achieve and how they might get there.



Cooper‐Thomas, H.D. and Anderson, N. (2006), "Organizational socialization: A new theoretical model and recommendations for future research and HRM practices in organizations", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 492-516.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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