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org newcomer socialization

org newcomer socialization - Flanagin Waldeck...

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10.1177/0021943604263290 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Flanagin, Waldeck / ORGANIZATIONAL NEWCOMER SOCIALIZATION TECHNOLOGY USE AND ORGANIZATIONAL NEWCOMER SOCIALIZATION Andrew J. Flanagin Jennifer H. Waldeck University of California at Santa Barbara This article developsaframework for theexaminationoforganizationalnewcomer socialization,inlight of recent developments in communication and information technologies. The proposed model specifies how newcomers to organizations select and use advanced technologies to access information and facili- tate interpersonal relationships that contribute to successful organizational socialization. In view of technological advancesandcurrent trends in organizations,the authors argue that such a model helps to make sense of contemporary socialization processes. The model is based on the premise that accurate, appropriate, and sufficient information is crucial to newcomers’efforts to become successfully social- ized and considers how newcomers’selection and use of advanced technologies can aid in information acquisition. The authors propose a number of factors that may predict organizational newcomers’use of technologies toward this end, including features of their socialization experiences, individual attitudes and personality characteristics, and group and organizationalnorms with regard to technology use. The article concludes by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of this perspective for organizations and their members. Keywords: organizational socialization; assimilation; organizational communication; communica- tion and information technologies Organizational newcomers typically have high uncertainty regarding how to do their job, how their performance will be evaluated, what types of social behaviors are normative, and what personal relationships within the organization might be beneficial to them (Miller, 1996; Miller & Jablin, 1991). Effective socialization reduces these uncertainties, helps newcomers cultivate productive relationships at work, and ensures that individuals and organizations benefit from their working relationship (N. J. Allen & Meyer, 1990; Fedor, Buckley, & Davis, 1997; Jablin, 1987, 2001; Lee, Ashford, Walsh, & Mowday, 1992; Meyer & Allen, 1988). Conse- Andrew J. Flanagin (Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1996) is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Jennifer H. Waldeck (M.A.,1996,CaliforniaState University, LongBeach)is a doctoralcandidateintheDepartmentofCom- munication at the University of California at Santa Barbara who is currently working as the director of Curriculum Development for the Scher Group in Cleveland, Ohio. Correspondence concerning this arti- cle should be addressed to Dr. Andrew J. Flanagin, Department of Communication, University of Cali- fornia at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4020; e-mail: [email protected]
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