Getting Newcomers On Board: A Review of Socialization Practices and Introduction to Socialization Resources Theory

Alan M. Saks and Jamie A. Gruman

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Socialization

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199763672
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Getting Newcomers On Board: A Review of Socialization Practices and Introduction to Socialization Resources Theory

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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There are many practices and methods that organizations can employ to socialize new hires and get them on board. In this chapter, we review five socialization practices that have received the most attention in the socialization literature: orientation programs, training programs, socialization tactics, job characteristics, and socialization agents. We conclude that as a whole, the socialization literature remains fragmented, undeveloped, and incomplete, as it has failed to adequately identify and study the socialization practices used by organizations today. In an effort to address these limitations, we review the practitioner literature and provide examples of what several organizations do to socialize their new hires. Based on this information in combination with the research literature, we then introduce a new, more complete and integrated approach to organizational socialization called Socialization Resources Theory (SRT). Socialization Resources Theory focuses on the resources that newcomers require for a successful adjustment and socialization. We describe 17 socialization resources that organizations can provide before entry, immediately after entry, during the first 6 months of the socialization process, and after the formal socialization period. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of SRT for socialization theory, research, and practice.

Keywords: Socialization Resources Theory; socialization tactics; orientation programs; training programs; job characteristics; socialization agents

Article.  21463 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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