ProfessorJulie Mc Carthy
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Chapter 8 Social Influence, Socialization, and Culture
1. Social influence in organizations
Information dependence and effect dependence:
Information dependence: Reliance on others for information about how to think, feel, and act.
----Individuals are motivated to compare their own thoughts, feelings, and actions with those of
others as a means of acquiring information about their adequacy.
Effect dependence: Reliance on others due to their capacity to provide rewards and punishment.
----The group has a vested interest in how individual members think and act because such matters
can affect the goal attainment of the group.
----The member frequently desires the approval of the group.
2. Social influence in action: (why norms are supported)
Motives for social conformity:
Compliance: conformity to a social norm prompted by the desire to acquire rewards or avoid
punishment. (External forces)
Identification: conformity to a social norm prompted by perceptions that those who promote
the norm are attractive or similar to oneself. (Imitation)
----Information dependence is important.
Internalization: conformity to a social norm prompted by true acceptance of the beliefs,
values, and attitudes that underlie the norm. (Internal forces, seen as right)
The subtle power of compliance:
A compliant individual is doing something that is contrary to the way he or she thinks or feels.
----Ways to reduce the dissonance:
To cease conformity: when the required behavior is at great variance with one’s values or
moral standards. But the person has to adopt an isolated role.
To gradually accept the beliefs, values, and attitudes that support the norm: when the required
behavior is not so discrepant with one’s current value system.
3. Organizational socialization:
Socialization: the process by which people learn the norms and roles that are necessary to
function in a group or organization.
----A learning process for new members to acquire knowledge, change attitudes, and perform new
----A primary means by which organizations communicate the organization’s culture and values to
new members, it is also called “onboarding”.
Socialization process: Exhibit 8.1 (socialization methods – proximal socialization outcomes –
distal socialization outcomes)
Learning: help to reduce role ambiguity and role conflict.
Achieve good fit: strongly related to job attitudes and behaviors.
Person-job fit: the match between an employee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities and the
requirements of a job.
Person-organization fit: the match between an employee’s personal values and the values of and
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Stages of socialization:
Anticipatory socialization: socialization occurs before organizational membership. (Formal or
Encounter: new recruit, armed with some expectations about organizational life, encounters
the day-to-day reality of life. (Formal: orientation programs, informal: getting to know one’s
boss or coworker)
----Recruits are interested in having personal needs and expectations fulfilled. If successful,
comply with organizational norms.
Role management: to fine tuning and actively managing his or her role in the organization.
Unrealistic expectations and the psychological contract:
Unrealistic expectation: People entering organizations hold many expectations that are
inaccurate and often unrealistically high.
----New members have unrealistic expectations because of occupational stereotypes, media
communicates, and overzealous recruiters who paint rosy pictures to attract job candidates. These
factors demonstrate the need for socialization.
Psychological contract: Beliefs held by employees regarding the reciprocal obligations and
promises between them and their organization.
----Perceptions of psychological contract breach occur when an employee perceives that his
organization has failed to fulfill one or more promised obligations of the psychological contract. It
is related to lower organizational trust, which in turn related to less cooperative relations and
----The reason is recruiters are tempted to promise more than their organization can provide to
attract the best job applicants; newcomers often lack sufficient information to form accurate
Organizations need to ensure that truthful and accurate information about promises and
obligations is communicated to new members before and after they join an organization.
4. Methods of organizational socialization
Realistic job previews: The provision of a balanced, realistic picture of the positive and
negative aspects of a job to applicants.
----Realistic job previews are effective in reducing inflated expectations and turnover and
improving job performance.
Employee orientation programs: orientation programs are an important method of
socialization because they can have an immediate effect on learning and a lasting effect on
the job attitudes and behaviors of new hires,
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.
Collective vs. individual tactics: a number of new member are socialized as group/ individual.
Formal vs. informal tactics: formal, segregate newcomers from regular organizational
members with formal learning experience; informal, not.
Sequential vs. random tactics: with a sequential tactic, there is fixed sequence of steps leading
to the assumption of the role, compared with the random tactic, in which there is an
ambiguous or changing sequence.
Fixed vs. variable tactics: fixed, there is a time table for the assumption of the role; variable,
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