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Socialization resources theory and newcomers’ work engagement: A new pathway to newcomer socialization

Alan M. Saks (Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Jamie A. Gruman (Department of Management, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 23 January 2018

Issue publication date: 19 February 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

Although work engagement has become an important topic in management, relatively little attention has been given to newcomers’ work engagement in the socialization literature. The purpose of this paper is to explain how newcomers’ work engagement can fluctuate during the first year of organizational entry and the role of organizational socialization in developing and maintaining high levels of newcomers’ work engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the socialization literature indicates that uncertainty reduction theory has been the basis of research on socialization tactics and newcomer information-seeking both of which function by providing newcomers with information to reduce uncertainty. Socialization resources theory is used to develop a new pathway to newcomer socialization which focuses on providing newcomers with resources during the first year of organizational entry and socialization.

Findings

The uncertainty reduction pathway to newcomer socialization is narrow and limited because it primarily focuses on minimizing and reducing the negative effects of job demands rather than on providing newcomers with resources that are necessary to facilitate work engagement and socialization.

Practical implications

Organizations can use newcomers’ work engagement maintenance curves to map and track fluctuations in newcomers’ work engagement during the first year of organizational entry and they can conduct an audit of socialization resources to determine what resources are required to develop and maintain high levels of newcomers’ work engagement.

Originality/value

This paper describes newcomer work engagement maintenance curves and explains how socialization resources can be used to develop and maintain high levels of newcomers’ work engagement. A model of a new pathway to newcomer socialization is developed in which socialization resources, personal resources, and job demands influence newcomers’ work engagement and socialization outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Saks, A.M. and Gruman, J.A. (2018), "Socialization resources theory and newcomers’ work engagement: A new pathway to newcomer socialization", Career Development International, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 12-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-12-2016-0214

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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