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Organizational commitment through organizational socialization tactics

Cathrine Filstad (Department for Leadership and Organization, Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The aim of this paper is to investigate how organizational socialization tactics affect newcomers' organizational commitment and learning processes.


A survey was conducted using a measurement tool based on Van Maanen and Schein's theory on organizational socialization tactics and Kuvaas' measurement tools of organizational commitment. The respondents were newcomers in two large Norwegian government organizations.


It was found that there was no significant relationship between organizational socialization tactics on the context and content dimensions and affective organizational commitment. That means that facilitating formal training and timetables for career development does not necessarily lead to organizational commitment. The research finds, however, a significant relationship between institutionalized social dimensions and organizational commitment. That means providing newcomers with role models and support and acknowledgement from experienced colleagues, positively affect their organizational commitment. Consequently, the extent that newcomers have the chance to participate in work activities and socially interact with established colleagues, positively affect their affective commitment and learning processes.

Research limitations/implications

The measurement tool was translated into Norwegian, which might affect losing the validity of two out of six dimensions of organizational socialization. Also, the social dimension only explains 25 percent of the factors resulting in organizational commitment. Thus, other factors need further investigation, also to address the complexity in newcomers' learning processes when facilitating organizational socialization.

Practical implications

The paper recognizes the importance of newcomers having access to, and being able to learn from established colleagues through participation and practice in work activities.


There are no previous studies of organizational socialization tactics in Norway, and only limited research combining these tactics with organizational commitment, including recognizing organizational tactics' limitation in sufficiently understanding the complexity of newcomers' learning processes.



Filstad, C. (2011), "Organizational commitment through organizational socialization tactics", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 376-390.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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