Organizational Socialization: Background, Basics, and a Blueprint for Adjustment at Work

Georgia T. Chao

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology, Volume 1

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928309
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Organizational Socialization: Background, Basics, and a Blueprint for Adjustment at Work

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology



Organizational socialization is defined as a learning and adjustment process that enables an individual to assume an organizational role that fits both organizational and individual needs. It is a dynamic process that occurs when an individual assumes a new or changing role within an organization. A description of general socialization within the field of psychology is presented as a background for the study of organizational socialization. Four theories: uncertainty reduction theory, the need to belong, social exchange theory, and social identity theory are presented as theoretical foundations for organizational socialization. Against this background, the basic components of organizational socialization—its processes, content, and outcomes—are reviewed. Emphasis is given to organizational and individual tactics used to facilitate socialization, as well as to the specific content of what is learned. Finally, a blueprint for future research directions is presented to address current gaps in a general model of organizational socialization. In particular, a call for research to understand how organizations learn from the socialization process is presented to balance the study of work adjustment from individual and organizational perspectives.

Keywords: organizational socialization; newcomers; person-organization fit; work adjustment

Article.  25239 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »