Organizational goals and values: A socialization model

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<ul><li><p>ORGA~~~T~O~AL GOALS AND VALUES: A SOCIALIZATION MODEL </p><p>Maria L. Kraimer University of Illinois-Chicago </p><p>Research on the content of s~ia~ation has incorporated multiple content areas into one general framework. However, it has been suggested that the organizational content areas actually assess diierent constructs, thus, re- searchers should examine the content areas independently. The purpose of this article is to present a model of socialization that focuses on the anteced- ents and outcomes of socialization in one specific content area: organiza- tional goals and values. The model suggests that an individuals agreement with the organizations values (work value congruence) and the importance of the individuals own work values interact to determine the outcomes of socialization to the organizational goals and values. When there is low work value con~ence, the individu~ may engage in detrimental hehaviors if the individual has a strong belief in his/her own vahres. </p><p>Louis (1980) defined organizational socialization as a process by which an individual comes to appreciate the values, abilities, expected behaviors, and social knowledge essential for assuming an organizational role and for partici- pating as an organization member (pp. 229-230). Research on the content of s~ialization has suggested that there are several org~ization~ areas or do- mains that newcomer must master in order to become effective org~izational members including, organizational goals and values, task/role proficiency, or- ganizational history, special languages, politics, and social integration (Chao, OLeary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein, &amp; Gardner 1994; Morrison 1993b). Thus far, re- search on the content of socialization has examined the socialization process by including multiple content areas as part of the same process (e.g. Chao et al. 1994; Morrison 1993a, 1993b; Ostroff &amp; Kozlowski 1992). This research has consistently found that an individual who acquires more knowledge of the organizational domains through various socialization tactics and/or informa- tion-seeking during his or her first year on the new job, are more adjusted to the o~anization and display more positive attitudes. However, it has been </p><p>DIreot aII correspondence to: Maria L. Kraimer, Department of Managerial Studies (MC 2431, University of IIlinois-Chicago, 601 South Morgan St,, Chicago, IL 60607. E-mail: hfKraIml@uic.edu </p><p>Human Resource Management Review, Copyright 0 1997 Volume 7, Number 4,1997, pages 425-447 by JAI Press Inc. AI1 rights of reproduction in any form reserved. ISSN:l053-4622 </p></li><li><p>426 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REVIEW VOLUME 7, NUMBER 4,1997 </p><p>suggested that scholars should take caution in treating the various organiza- tional domains as a single construct in the socialization process (Bauer, Mor- rison, &amp; Callister in press). Instead, researchers should recognize that the domains each have a different focus and actually reflect multiple concepts. Thus, it seems worthy to develop socialization models specific to a few, or even one of the domain areas in order to develop a better understanding of the socialization process. </p><p>The purpose of this article is to present a conceptual framework of socializa- tion that focuses on the antecedents and outcomes of socialization in one spe- cific domain: organizational goals and values. The goals and values domain is concerned with the rules and policies that uphold the integrity of an organiza- tion (Chao et al. 1994; Schein 1968). The focus is on goals and values for two main reasons. First, Chao et al. (1994) found that knowledge of the organiza- tional goals and values dimension had the strongest relationship with mea- sures of career effectiveness (p. 741). Specifically, individuals knowledge of goals and values positively related to career involvement, adaptability, and job satisfaction. Second, organizational research has shown that the organizations values have a significant impact on all aspects of a persons job. Chatman (1989) states that U . . . the organizationlsl . . . value systems provide an elabo- rate and generalized justification both for appropriate behaviors of members and for the activities and functions of the system (p. 339). She further sug- gests that organizational norms and values are agreed upon and supported by a majority of organizational members. Because organizational values have a strong effect on the members activities and attitudes, it is especially critical to examine how newcomers come to learn and accept the organizations values and goals. </p><p>This article will contribute to the socialization and work value congruence literature in three primary ways. First, the conceptual framework acknowl- edges that socialization does not take place in isolation by integrating both the proactive and reactive sides of socialization. The traditional view of socializa- tion is that newcomers are fairly reactive in that they simply respond to infor- mation provided by the organizations various socialization tactics (Allen &amp; Meyer 1990; Jones 1986; Van Maanen &amp; Schein 1979). However, several theo- retical discussions of socialization have emphasized the importance of informal interactions between newcomers and organizational insiders (Ashford &amp; Tay- lor 1990; Baker 1995; Louis 1980; Keichers 1987). Reichers (1987) argued that newcomers interactions with experienced organizational members largely contributes to the rate at which newcomers come to understand the meaning and reality of organizational life. Furthermore, newcomers can be proactive in this process. While research has since examined the newcomer as a proactive agent (e.g. Bauer &amp; Green 1998; Morrison 1993a, 1993b; Ostroff 8z Kozlowski 1992), few theoretical discussions combined the proactive perspective with the reactive perspective of organizational socialization. This is an unfortunate oversight because it limits the conclusions that can be drawn about the nature of the socialization process (Bauer et al. in press). </p><p>Second, this article contributes to the research on work value congruence. </p></li><li><p>SOCIALIZATION AND VALUES 427 </p><p>Work value congruence occurs when there is a match between the individuals values and the organizations values (Chatman 1989). The notion of work value congruence is based on the interactionist point of view that employees work attitudes and behaviors are a function of individual characteristics and situa- tional characteristics (Chatman 1989; George 1992; Kristof 1996; Terborg 1981). Furthermore, it is consistent with theories of person-environment fit (Dawis &amp; Lofquist 1984; Pervin 1968) which suggest that when the individuals characteristics match the demands of the environment (i.e., there is fit), the individual will express higher levels of satisfaction and performance. While work value congruence is considered to be a measure of person-environment fit (Chatman 1991; George 1992; Kristof 1996) it has had only moderate effects on work attitudes and performance. By examining an individuals value belief strength in combination with work value congruence, explanations for the moderate relationships between work value congruence and attitudes can be offered (Kristof 1996). At the same time, both positive and negative behavioral outcomes of work value congruence that have not been theoretically linked to work value congruence in the past can be offered. </p><p>Finally, this article contributes to our understanding of how newcomers learn the goals and values of an organization by integrating research on work value congruence and socialization. Despite the fact that socialization has been conceptualized as one of the primary ways in which organizational culture is transmitted and maintained (Louis 19801, few studies have examined how newcomers learn about organizational goals and values (see Chatman 1991 and Morrison 1993a for exceptions). Because organizational goals and values are important predictors of individuals attitudes and behaviors and to the overall functioning of the organization (Chatman 1991), it is important to ex- amine how newcomers learn organizational goals and values and the process by which organizational goals and values affect behavioral and attitudinal outcomes. </p><p>After introducing a conceptual framework for socialization to organizational goals and values, the socialization and information-seeking literatures as it relates to the organizational goals and values content area will be briefly reviewed. Next, the work values and work value congruence literatures will be reviewed. Lastly, outcomes of the socialization process will be proposed based on an interactional framework between the individuals work values belief strength and work value congruence. Throughout the above literature reviews, propositions will be developed. The article concludes with suggestions for fu- ture research. </p><p>CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK </p><p>The conceptual framework is based on Fishbein and Azjens (1975) theory of reasoned action which develops a model for predicting attitudes and behaviors. They suggest that based on existing knowledge and experiences, a person will develop a belief about Object X, which leads to the persons attitude and behav- </p></li><li><p>428 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REVIEW WLUME 7. NUMBER 4.1997 </p><p>ioral intention toward Object X. Furthermore, the model developed here builds upon Chatmans (1991) study in which she found that work value congruence mediated the relationship between two socialization tactics (social activities and mentors) and the newcomers job satisfaction and turnover intentions. </p><p>Specifically, the model (presented in Figure 1) suggests that newcomers seek-out information about the organizational goals and values through mon- itoring organizational insiders. At the same time, organizations provide vari- ous socialization tactics such as mentors, formal training programs, and social activities in order to teach newcomers the organizational goals and values. Together, newcomers information-seeking and organizations socialization tac- tics positively relate to the newcomers knowledge about the organizations goals and values. This knowledge relates to the newcomers assessment of beliefs concerning work value congruence. Work value congruence is related to various outcomes depending on the individuals work values belief strength. When the individual has a weak belief strength in a value that is inconsistent with the organizations values (low work value congruence), the individual is more likely to alter his or her values in order to increase work value congru- ence. When the individual has a weak value belief strength and high work value congruence, the individual is likely to display moderately positive atti- tudes and engage in compliant behaviors. Individuals with a strong value belief strength and high work value congruence will display the most positive outcomes. Finally, individuals with a strong value belief strength and low work value congruence will most likely display negative attitudes and behaviors. These relationships will be explained in more detail in subsequent sections. </p><p>Before fully explaining the model presented in Figure 1, a primary assump- tion needs to be mentioned. Specifically, an assumption is made that it is impossible for recruiters to select only employees that share the same values of the organizational insiders as suggested by the Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Hypothesis (Schneider 1987). Schneiders ASA model is based on the theory that different people are attracted to different types of situations and </p><p>Organizations Socialization </p><p>Knowledge of P4 Organizational - </p><p>Goals and Values </p><p>ps_ ~13 Attitudinal and - Behavioral </p><p>Outcomes </p><p>Information- </p><p>- Monitoring Individuals Belief Strength in Work Values </p><p>Figure 1. Organizational Goals and Values: A Socialization Model </p></li><li><p>SOCIALIZATION AND VALUES 429 </p><p>that it is peoples values that attract people to situations. The ASA model s~i~cally states that people are u~~r~~e~ to an organization that is similar to themselves. At the same time, the organization selects individuals who appear to fit in with the existing organizational members. Finally, there is attrition by those who do not fit (Schneider 1987). The research that followed Scheiders ASA hypothesis has found that recruiters do attempt to select individuals that share similar values to themselves (Adkins, Russell, &amp; Werbell994; Chatman 1991; Rynes &amp; Gerhart 1990) and that organizations do tend toward homoge- neity with regard to the types of people in them over time (Schneider, Gold- stein, &amp; Smith 1995). However, while these studies have found significant results in support of the ASA model, the overall effect sizes are moderate. Further, as the workforce demographic trends continue, it will become more difficult for organizations to select only employees with matching values (Ash- forth &amp; Saks 1996). Demo~aphic characteristics, such as national origin (Hofstede 1980), gender (Lefkowitz 19941, and professional-level education (Raelin 1986) have been demonstrated to be related to different cultural and work values. Consequently, it will become even more likely that individuals will experience low work value congruence at their employing organizations. </p><p>ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION </p><p>This section provides a review of socialization research from which research propositions will be offered. The section begins with a review of the organiza- tional domains, followed by a detailed review of the socialization research. There are two distinct lines of research on socialization: organizational tactics and newcomers information-seeking. Both lines of research examine socializa- tion to organizational domains. </p><p>Organizational domains refer to the various aspects of the organization that the individual needs to be familiar with, such as his or her job duties, his or her role in the orga~zation, and the organizations policies and values, in order for the individual to be a full organizational member (Chao et al. 1994). Early frameworks of organizational domains were developed by Schein (19681, Feld- man (19811, and Fisher (1986). All three of these researchers suggested that an organization consists of three domains: (a) the individuals work role; (b) the organizations goals; and (c) the organizations values. More recent researchers have suggested the domain areas to include a (a) task domain-task duties, assignments, and priorities; (b) role domain-boundaries of authority, respon- sibility, and appropriate behaviors; (c) group domain-coworker interactions and group norms and values; and (d) organizational domain-politics, power, values, and special languages (Morrison 199313; Ostroff &amp; Kozlowski 1992). Chao et al. (1994) expanded the domains to six content areas: performance proficiency, people, politics, language, organizational goals and values, and history. An important point for this article is that all of these researchers suggested that organizational goals and values is a content area of socializa- tion. Moreov...</p></li></ul>