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Influence of relational learning and job autonomy in associations between social capital resources and newcomer adjustment: a moderated mediation study

Lisa Harris (School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Helena Cooper–Thomas (Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, AUT - City Campus, Auckland, New Zealand)
Peter Smith (Business School, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Gordon W. Cheung (Business School, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 11 October 2022

Issue publication date: 2 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to test the propositions of socialization resources theory, specifically focusing on social capital resources and their prediction of proximal (relational learning) and distal (job satisfaction and intent to quit) outcomes. The authors include the job design characteristic of job autonomy as a moderator of these associations.

Design/methodology/approach

Cheung et al.’s (2021) four-step SEM procedure was used to test our mediation, moderation and moderated mediation hypotheses. The sample consisted of newcomers (N = 175) measured at two time points.

Findings

The results support the proposed model. Relational learning mediates the associations between social capital resources and outcomes; the utility of these social capital resources is stronger when job autonomy is lower.

Practical implications

Organizations can use social capital resources to reduce newcomers' uncertainty during socialization, facilitating learning and positive outcomes. Organizations should also carefully consider the amount of job autonomy they grant to newcomers, as too much can be detrimental.

Originality/value

Despite the acknowledged importance of workplace resources and relationships, few studies have focused on social resources provided during socialization. Moreover, job design is rarely included in socialization research, despite its influence on workplace processes. Thus, this study provides information about two novel areas of investigation: socially-oriented socialization resources and the impact of job autonomy.

Keywords

Citation

Harris, L., Cooper–Thomas, H., Smith, P. and Cheung, G.W. (2022), "Influence of relational learning and job autonomy in associations between social capital resources and newcomer adjustment: a moderated mediation study", Career Development International, Vol. 27 No. 6/7, pp. 566-583. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-02-2022-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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