Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Institutionalized Socialization Tactics as Predictors of Voice Behavior among New Employees

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Institutionalized Socialization Tactics as Predictors of Voice Behavior among New Employees

Article excerpt

In this competitive commercial world, organizations rely on employees' constructive ideas and suggestions to accelerate innovation. However, despite its critical function in an organization, voice behavior does not often appear in the everyday workplace (Detert & Burris, 2007). Thus, it is vital for organizations to find solutions to facilitate employee voice behavior.

Prior researchers have found that personality and demographic characteristics (Crant, 2003; LePine & Van Dyne, 2001), employee attitudes (Rusbult, Farrell, Rogers, & Mainous, 1988; Withey & Cooper, 1989), organizational context, and specific leadership (Detert & Burris, 2007) are related to voice behavior. Although institutionalized socialization is often employed by organizations to encourage conformity, Ashforth and Saks (1996) stated that institutionalized socialization can also be used to foster innovation. For example, Kunda (1992) described how a high-tech company relied on institutionalized-oriented training to promote employee output. Levine, Moreland, and Choi (2001) showed that group socialization had implications for newcomers' ability to be innovative. However, voice, a form of employee creative behavior, has not been sufficiently studied in the area of organizational socialization (Bauer, Bodner, Erdogan, Truxillo, & Tucker, 2007). Newcomers' voice behavior should be investigated because injecting fresh blood into an organization is a common method used to increase creative ideas (Rink, Kane, Ellemers, & van der Vegt, 2013).

In this time-lagged study, we contributed to the literature by increasing understanding of newcomer adjustment after the new employees had experienced organizational socialization tactics, with voice behavior as the desired outcome.

Literature Review and Hypotheses

Socialization Tactics and Employee Voice Behavior

Organizational socialization is a dynamic development process through which individuals learn to adopt the member role in an organization (Feldman, 1976). Van Maanen and Schein's (1979) typology of socialization tactics is a classic model comprising six tactics on a bipolar continuum: collective-individual, formal-informal, sequential-fixed, variable-random, serial-disjunctive, and investiture-divestiture. Jones (1986) divided their typology into three categories according to their main foci: context (collective-individual, formal-informal), content (changed to sequential-random, fixed-variable), and social (serialdisjunctive, investiture-divestiture). Jones also divided Van Maanen and Schein's typology into institutionalized socialization, which is a structured process, comprising collective, formal, sequential, fixed, serial, and investiture tactics, and individualized socialization, which is free of structure, comprising individual, informal, random, variable, disjunctive, and divestiture tactics.

Prior researchers have documented how behavioral outcomes can be used to measure organizational socialization. Katz (1964) showed that making creative suggestions was appropriate behavior for employees after organizational entry. Earlier, Hollander (1958) found a connection between adjustment to the work group and innovative cooperation. Although the relationship between employee socialization and innovative behavior has been explored, voice behavior as an outcome of institutionalized socialization tactics has been insufficiently examined (Bauer & Erdogan, 2012).

Van Dyne, Ang, and Botero (2003) described employee voice behavior as making work-related suggestions and sharing concerns. Liang, Farh, and Farh (2012) proposed a two-dimensional structure: Promotive voice behavior refers to the expression of innovative suggestions for organizational improvement, whereas prohibitive voice behavior involves the expression of concern to prevent events that are harmful to the organization from occurring. As both forms of voice behavior are correlated with innovation, the goal of which is to improve the status quo of, and contribute to, an organization, they are in line with Van Dyne et al. …

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