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Organizational socialization of women in the Italian Army: Learning processes and proactive tactics

Milena Atzori (Dipartimento di Psicologia e Antropologia Culturale, Università degli Studi di Verona, Verona, Italy)
Luigi Lombardi (Dipartimento di Scienze della Cognizione e della Formazione, Università degli Studi di Trento, Polo di Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy)
Franco Fraccaroli (Dipartimento di Scienze della Cognizione e della Formazione, Università degli Studi di Trento, Polo di Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy)
Adalgisa Battistelli (Dipartimento di Psicologia e Antropologia Culturale, Università degli Studi di Verona, Verona, Italy)
Sara Zaniboni (Dipartimento di Scienze della Cognizione e della Formazione, Università degli Studi di Trento, Polo di Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 4 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the organizational socialization of women soldiers in the Italian Army.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an interactionist interpretation of socialization, a model was tested to determine the influence of organizational socialization tactics, proactive behaviours, supervisor support on organizational identification, and cohesion of teamwork. This study used a comparative research design. The sample consisted of 324 soldiers, 43 per cent of whom are men and 57 per cent per cent are women.

Findings

Structural equation models showed the influences exerted by general socialization and by the acquisition of organizational values/goals on the outcomes of socialization. Multisample analysis showed gender differences. Compared to men, women seemed to set greater value on tutoring by expert colleagues. Women also seemed to value the support provided by their superiors for learning the organizational values and goals on which the degree of identification with the military structure depends.

Practical implications

These findings could add new information concerning the organizational socialization strategies (e.g. newcomers' training, tutoring/shadowing programmes) giving some guidelines for the insertion of woman newcomers in a non‐traditional organization.

Originality/value

In a systemic perspective the present study explored the process of organizational socialization using the content of organizational learning. The research highlighted the gender difference regarding the socialization process in a male‐dominated organization.

Keywords

Citation

Atzori, M., Lombardi, L., Fraccaroli, F., Battistelli, A. and Zaniboni, S. (2008), "Organizational socialization of women in the Italian Army: Learning processes and proactive tactics", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 327-347. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665620810882932

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited