Chapter 8 Review.docx
DepartmentManagement and Organizational Studies
Course CodeMOS 2181A/B
Chapter 8 – Social Influence, Socialization and Culture
In many social settings, and especially in groups, people are highly dependent on others. This
dependence sets the stage for influence to occur. Two kinds of dependence are information
dependence and effect dependence.
Information Dependence refers to Reliance on others for information about how to think, feel, and
act. Information dependence gives others the opportunity to influence our thoughts, feelings, and
actions via the signals they send to us. The effects of social information can be very strong, often
exerting as much or more influence over others as objective reality.
Effect Dependence refers to reliance on others due to their capacity to provide rewards and
punishment. The group frequently has a vested interest in how individual members think and act.
Group members desire the approval of the group.
One of the most obvious consequences of information and effect dependence is the tendency for
group members to conform to the social norms that have been established by the group. The
motives for social conformity vary across situations and can be classified as follows:
–Compliance: Conformity to a social norm prompted by the desire to acquire rewards or avoid
punishment. Compliance is the simplest, most direct motive for conformity to group norms. It
primarily involves effect dependence.
–Identification: Conformity to a social norm prompted by perceptions that those who promote the
norm are attractive or similar to oneself. Information dependence is especially important. An
imitation process is involved in which established members serve as models for the behaviour of
–Internalization: Conformity to a social norm prompted by true acceptance of the beliefs, values,
and attitudes that underlie the norm. Conformity occurs because it is seen as right. Conformity is
due to internal, rather than external forces.
Simple compliance can set the stage for more complete involvement with organizational norms and
roles. The process through which this occurs in organizations is known as organizational
Socialization is the process by which people learn the attitudes, knowledge, and behaviours that are
necessary to function in a group or organization. It is a learning process in which new members
must acquire knowledge, change their attitudes, and perform new behaviours. It is the primary
means by which organizations communicate the organization’s culture and values to new members.
Socialization methods influence immediate or proximal outcomes which lead to more distal or
longer-term outcomes. Learning during socialization involves four main content areas or domains
of learning: task, role, work group, and organization. An important objective of organizational
socialization is for newcomers to achieve a good fit.
Person-job (P-J) fit refers to the match between an employee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities and
the requirements of a job. Person-organization (P-O) fit refers to the match between an employee’s
personal values and the values of an organization. P-J and P-O fit are strongly influenced by the
socialization process and are related to job attitudes and behaviours.
An important distal outcome of socialization is organizational identification. The extent to which an
individual defines him-or herself in terms of the organization and what it is perceived to represent.
It reflects an individual’s learning and acceptance of an organization’s culture.
Stages of Socialization
Socialization is an ongoing process that involves three stages. One of the stages occurs before entry,
another immediately after entry, and the last occurs after one has been a member for some period
of time. The first two stages represent hurdles for achieving passage into the third stage.
Anticipatory Socialization: Socialization that takes place before a person becomes a member of a
particular organization. Includes formal and informal experiences. Not all anticipatory socialization
is accurate and useful for the new member.
Encounter: The new recruit encounters day-to-day reality of organizational life. Includes formal
events such as orientation programs. Informal aspects include getting to know and understand the
style and personality of one’s boss and co-workers. If successful, the recruit will have complied with
critical organizational norms and should begin to identify with experienced organizational
Role Management: New member begins to actively manage his or her role in the organization. Might
modify one’s role to better serve the organization. Must balance the organizational role with non-
work roles and family demands. Begins to internalize the norms and values that are prominent in
People entering organizations hold many expectations that are inaccurate and often unrealistically
high. When they enter an organization they experience a reality shock and their expectations are
not met. Newcomers who have higher met expectations have higher job satisfaction, organizational
commitment, job performance, and job survival and lower intentions to quit. Unrealistic
expectations are a result of occupational stereotypes, the media, and recruiters who paint rosy
pictures to attract job candidates to the organization.
Psychological Contract is beliefs held by employees regarding the reciprocal obligations and
promises between them and their organization. An employee might expect to receive bonuses and
promotions in return for hard work and loyalty. Employee perceptions that his or her organization
has failed to fulfill one or more of its promises or obligations in the psychological contract.
Psychological contract breach is a common occurrence and is related to affective reactions, work
attitudes, and work behaviours. Breach results in negative emotions that stem from feelings of
violation and mistrust toward management. Organizations need to ensure that truthful and
accurate information about promises and obligations is communicated to new members.
Psychological contract breach is less likely in organizations where socialization is intense.
Methods of Socialization
Organizations differ in terms of who does the socializing, how it is done, and how much is done. Most
organizations make use of the following four methods of socialization:
Realistic job previews: The provision of a balanced realistic picture of the positive and negative
aspects of the job to job applicants. They provide “corrective action” to expectations at the
anticipatory socialization stage. The realistic job preview process can be compared to the
traditional preview process that often sets expectations too high by ignoring the negative aspects of
the job. Realistic job previews are effective in reducing inflated expectations and turnover and
improving job performance. Turnover reduction is due in part to lower expectations and increased
job satisfaction. They cause those not cut out for the job or who have low P-J and P-O fit perceptions
to withdraw from the application process, a process known as self-selection.
Employee orientation programs: Orientation programs are designed to introduce new employees to
their job, the people they will be working with, and the organization. They also teach newcomers
how to cope with stressful work situations. A Realistic Orientation Program for Entry Stress
(ROPES) teach newcomers how to use cognitive and behavioural coping techniques to manage
workplace stressors. Orientation programs can have an immediate effect on learning and a lasting
effect on the job attitudes and behaviours of new hires. Employees who attend orientation are more
socialized in terms of their knowledge and understanding of the organization and report higher
organizational commitment. Evidence of a reduction in the rate of turnover.
Socialization tactics: The manner in which organizations structure the early work experiences of
newcomers and individuals who are in transition from one role to another. There are six
socialization tactics that consist of a bipolar continuum.
Collective versus Individual Tactics: When using the collective tactic, a number of new
members are socialized together as a group, going through the same experiences
and facing the same challenges. The individual tactic consists of socialization
experiences that are tailor-made for each new member.
Formal versus Informal Tactics: The formal tactic involves segregating newcomers
from regular organizational members and providing them with formal learning
experiences. Informal tactics do not distinguish a newcomer from more experienced
members and rely more on informal and on-the-job learning.
Sequential versus Random Tactics: With a sequential tactic, there is a clear and fixed
sequence of steps or stages leading to the assumption of the role. With the random
tactic, there is an ambiguous or changing sequence of events.
Fixed versus Variable Tactics: With a fixed tactic, there is a time table for the newcomers’
assumption of the new role. If the tactic is variable, there is no time frame to indicate when
the socialization process ends and the newcomer assumes his or her new role.
Serial versus Disjunctive Tactics: The serial tactic refers to a process in which newcomers are
socialized by experienced members of the organization. The disjunctive tactic refers to a
socialization process where role models and experienced organization members do not
groom new members or “show them the ropes.”
Investiture versus Divestiture Tactics: The divestiture tactic involves experiences that are
designed to humble new hires and strip away some of their initial self-confidence. Having
been humbled and stripped of preconceptions, members are then ready to learn the norms
of the organization. The investiture tactic affirms the incoming identity and attributes of
new hires rather than denying them and stripping them away.
Institutionalization socialization consists of the collective, formal, sequential, fixed, serial, and
investiture tactics. Individualized socialization consists of the individual, informal, random, variable,
disjunctive, and divestiture tactics. Institutionalization socialization reflects a more formalized and
structured program of socialization that reduces uncertainty and encourages new hires to accept
organizational norms and maintain the status quo. Individualized socialization reflects a relative
absence of structure that creates ambiguity and encourages new hires to question the status quo
and develop their own approach to their role. Institutionalization socialization tactics are effective
in promoting uniformity of behaviour. When socialization is individualized, new members are more
likely to take on the particular characteristics and style of those who are socializing them –
uniformity is less likely. Institutionalized socialization is always followed up by some individualized