Jump-Starting the Socialization Experience: The Longitudinal Role of Day 1 Newcomer Resources on Adjustment

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Journal of Management

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We examine the newcomer adjustment patterns of 985 new hires at a Fortune 500 technology organization across their first year on the job. Data were collected from newcomers, their managers, and company records from organizational entry (employee’s first day) to the end of the first year of employment. We examined, first, whether newcomer resources (material, personal, social, and status resources) related to early newcomer adjustment levels (role clarity, task mastery, and acceptance) and rates of adjustment and, second, how newcomer resources and the rate of adjustment related to manager ratings of newcomer adjustment at 9 and 12 months post-entry. The average of every adjustment variable was higher at the latest data collection point, indicating that time was on newcomers’ side and was related, overall, to higher adjustment levels. Finally, we explored which resources related to the three newcomer adjustment indicators and the shapes adjustment trajectories took depending on resources at organizational entry. Results indicated that personal resources (proactive personality, optimism, and organizational knowledge) were related to early adjustment. Regarding material resources, having a work station ready the first day on the job was related to adjustment. For social resources, meeting one’s manager the first day on the job was related to early social acceptance. For status resources, greater newcomer job level was unexpectedly not related to early adjustment. We found partial support for the direct relationships between early adjustment levels or adjustment rates and manager ratings of adjustment at 9 months but limited support for manager ratings of adjustment at 12 months.


© The Author(s) 2020.



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