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Costs and Benefits of Organization Socialization

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Organization socialization is a process by which new employees in a corporation acquire necessary behavior, knowledge and skills so that they become important members in the organization (Chatmann, 1991). Employees may use monitoring techniques, trial and error techniques, and negotiating techniques to carry out organization socialization. In monitoring strategy, the employee observes other workers in an attempt to understand how they work. The employee uses the activities in the working environment so that they help him/her figure out how best to fulfill their roles (Cooper-Thomas & Anderson, 2006). Trial and error techniques involve trying out different ways of performing a task in an attempt to figure out which way works best. It involves experimenting with different techniques to discover which technique works and which one does not work (Haueter, Macan, & Winter, 2001). Negotiating techniques involve approaching managers and other employees and agreeing with them upon the specifics of the role of the employee and how he/she would be doing it (Chatmann, 1991). It is important to study organization socialization since the employees will have higher job satisfaction. The employees will be more satisfied with what they do and this will improve their efficiency. Furthermore, it improves the job performance of the employees. The employees will improve their commitment to the organization and thus improve their loyalty (Horton, 2005). The study of organization socialization helps to reduce stress levels in all the employees since they have all the skills and knowledge of performing tasks.

It is important to focus on newcomers’ behavior enacted through tactics that companies adopt. This is because the management needs to know the skills of the workers so that it determines the methods of training that it needs to adopt in order to improve the skills of the employees (Miller, 2008). Furthermore, most of the employees take on personal responsibility of the success of their careers and thus, they rely more on their decisions to adjust their behavior (Saks, Uggerslev, & Fassina, 2007). The factors of newcomers’ behavior that an organization should consider are work withdrawal and turnover (Rollag, 2007). In work withdrawal, the management should consider whether the employees psychologically disengages themselves from attending meetings, whether they do substandard work and whether they avoid being given tasks to perform. In turnover factor, the employee completely withdraws himself or herself from work setting. This mainly results from poor socialization of the workers.

The first hypothesis for my research was that opportunistic tactics will have lower perceived costs than shared tactics, and these in turn will have lower costs than self-determined tactics. According to the research conducted by Kammeyer-Mueller, opportunistic tactics have the lowest perceived costs than shared tactics and self-determined tactics. They carried a meta-analysis and discovered that it has the lowest costs since it enables the employee have the clarity of the role he/she is to perform easily by observing others. Morrison also discovered that opportunistic tactics have the lowest costs since they lead to the most positive socialization outcomes and at a faster rate .According to a research conducted by Bauer, opportunistic tactics have lower perceived costs than shared tactics and self-determined tactics (Bauer, Bodnar, Erdogan, & Truxillo, 2007). This is because it leads to a more positive socializing outcome since the employee will be able to learn of the activities and emotions of other employees easily by observation. This supports my hypothesis. Neil Anderson also stated that opportunistic tactics have lower perceived costs compared to self-determined tactics and shared tactics (Cooper-Thomas & Anderson, 2006). He argued that the observer has an active role in socialization since he/she is able to influence group and performance outcomes.

The second hypothesis for my research was that performance benefits will weigh more in newcomers’ decisions regarding tactic use than ego benefits and both will outweigh social benefits. Performance benefits ensure that the employees understand and improve their roles, understand organizational requirements and code of ethics better, and improve their efficiency in all the organizational tasks. According to Fedor, performance benefits weigh more in newcomers’ decision on tactic use compared to ego benefits and social benefits. He proposed that this was caused by the fact that employees concentrate more on how to improve the productivity of their output (Chatmann, 1991). This was similar to my hypothesis. An employee achieves ego benefits if he/she improves his/her self-efficacy and self-esteem after successfully implementing a tactic.  Fischer and Reichers conducted their analysis and discovered that although ego benefits are important for the success of organization socialization, the benefits of performance weighs more on employees’ decisions regarding tactic use (Haueter, Macan & Winter, 2010). According to Kammeyer Mueller, seeking feedback is positively associated with job satisfaction and fit for personal organization. He argued that since there is indirect evidence between tactic use and positive attitudes, then the ego of employees is more important. Chao and Tan did research on socialization benefits. They discovered that although social integration lead to increased commitment by the employees to the organization, it does not lead to the maximum benefits since there may exist a relationship between work group integration and work withdrawal (Rollag, 2007). They supported this theory by claiming that employees who find a pleasant social environment at work may not find their actual tasks pleasant and thus they proposed that employees concentrate on performance benefits while choosing weight of newcomers’ benefits.

Results

In hypothesis No. 1, it was proposed that opportunistic tactics would have lower perceived cost than shared tactics, and this in turn would have lower perceived costs than self-determined tactics. Results from my survey showed that opportunistic costs had a mean of 3.69 and a standard deviation of 0.18. Shared tactics had a mean of 4.31 and a standard deviation of 0.86. Self-determined tactics had a mean of 4.30 and a standard deviation of 0.86. Thus, these survey results provide some support for hypothesis No. 1. Although opportunistic tactics had lower perceived costs than shared tactics, as I had proposed in my hypothesis, shared tactics did not have lower perceived costs than self-determined costs, since the mean of shared tactics was 4.31, while the mean of self-determined tactics was 4.30.

In hypothesis No. 2, it was proposed that performance benefits would weigh more heavily in newcomer’s decisions regarding tactic use than ego benefits, and both will outweigh social benefits. Results from my survey showed that performance benefits had a mean of 5.35 and a standard deviation of 0.69, while ego benefits had a mean of 4.45 and a standard deviation of 0.58. Social benefits had a mean of 4.45 and a standard deviation of 0.67. Therefore, these results provide some support for hypothesis No. 2. Although performance benefits weigh more heavily in newcomer’s decisions regarding tactic use, as I had proposed in the second hypothesis, social benefits had the same weight with ego benefits with both of them standing at 4.45.

Discussion

This research makes a significant contribution to organization socialization. From my survey, I discovered that opportunistic tactic costs had a lower mean compared to shared tactic cost and self-determined costs .These findings contribute to research on organization socialization. They will help researchers know the percentage that performance, ego, and social costs have in negotiating, trial error and monitoring targets (Neider, 2006). Thus, researchers will be able to know how to vary these aspects in order to recommend the best tactic that employees should adopt in order to adopt the most appropriate organizational socialization (Langan-Fox, Cooper, & Klimosaki, 2007).

The findings from my research survey make a very big contribution to the research of organization socialization. It was discovered that opportunistic tactics have lower perceived costs than shared tactics and self-determined tactics. Helen D. Cooper and Marie Gee Wilson need to reconsider their findings, according to which opportunistic tactics have a higher inference costs than other tactics, in light of my survey results (Cooper-Thomas & Wilson, 2011). These survey findings also fit research results from analysis carried out by Beaur and Neil Anderson (Bauer et al, 2007). My survey results revealed that performance benefits had more weight in the tactic than social and ego benefits. These results fitted with results from past research conducted by Fedor, who proved that performance benefits weigh more than ego and social benefits. In light of my findings, Kammeyer Mueller and Vande Wall need to reconsider their results from past research, since they argued that social benefits and ego benefits weigh more than performance benefits (Kammeyer-Mueller &Wamberg, 2003). I hypothesized that shared tactics would have lower perceived costs than self-determined tactics, but my survey conflicted with this hypothesis. This was because performance costs in shared tactics were higher than in perceived costs. It was also hypothesized that ego benefits would weigh more than social benefits, but their results reflected the same figure from my survey results. This was because they all had the same benefits. The survey results also fit with the research carried by Kammeyer-Muller that revealed that opportunistic tactics had lower perceived costs than shared tactics and self-determined tactics (Kammeyer-Mueller & Wanberg, 2003). Hypothesis 2 was also true since survey results revealed that performance benefits had the highest weight on newcomers’ decision on socialization tactic. The results from this survey were in line with the research conducted by Fischer and Reichers who found out that ego benefits did not weigh more than performance benefits (Champoux, 2010). They were also in line with the theory of Chao and Tan that stated that although socialization benefits are important in employees’ decision on tactic use, they do not have more benefits than performance benefits.

Limitations

Several weaknesses exist in the research design adopted by the survey company that generated the results of this research. When it used the monitoring technique, the employees whom it was observing may feel uncomfortable since they know somebody else is watching how they perform their tasks (Groysberg, 2010). Some of the participants who conducted the survey complained that the trial and error tactic took most of their time and that they were tired after engaging in different activities in order to learn how the workers in the organization conducted their research. This may have affected their judgment and thus they may have generated wrong results that I used to test my hypothesis. The participants may also have received dishonest responses from the managers and the work colleagues in the company that they obtained their data. Some workers do not like to be interviewed about their work or how they perform their tasks and thus the survey may generate wrong results. This may thus have affected the negotiation strategy (Saks, Uggerslev, & Fassina, 2007). to leave their tasks in order to advise me which is the best task that I should do. There may also be errors that may have occurred during the generalization of the results. The value of the standard deviation and the means may be inflated or deflated due to rounding of figures. In order to mitigate these weaknesses, I need to calculate confidence intervals in order to know how much I should rely on this data.    

Practical Implications

Management of an organization may apply these results in order to help it ensure that organization socialization is effective in their company. If the management wants to adopt an organization socialization tactic that has the least costs, then it should advise its employees to adopt opportunistic costs (Jex, 2002). The employees would, therefore, prefer learning skills and behavior that they would apply in the new organization by observing how the other employees are doing them. If the employees want to reap the highest benefits from organization socialization techniques, then they should consider adopting opportunistic techniques (Jones, 2009). By observing how other workers are performing their tasks, the employees will benefit more since they will be able to get first hand information on how to perform tasks.

Future research

I suggest that researchers should carry future research on several areas. Researchers should try finding out how organizations should reduce performance costs in opportunistic shared and self-determined tactics (Neider, 2006). Furthermore, researchers should find out why performance benefits in negotiating tactics are the highest and the ways that an organization can adopt in order to increase social benefits in self-determined techniques. They should also consider researching on ways of improving the self-efficacy and self-esteem of all employees in order to improve the ego benefits (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007). The researchers should find ways of reducing costs of shared tactics, especially performance costs of shared tactics. This would help in improving shared tactics as a way of improving organization socialization.

Conclusion

To conclude, it is evident that organization socialization is important to every employee. This helps the employees improve their job satisfaction and job performance. From my research, I found out that opportunistic tactic costs had a lower mean compared to shared tactic cost and self determined costs. Thus, it is important for employees to use opportunistic tactics in organization socialization in order to incur least costs. Performance benefits have the highest benefit in all the tactics and thus, employees should concentrate on these benefits to improve organization socialization. However, I interrupted the tasks that the employees were performing when I applied monitoring tactic, and this was a weakness in my research. Management can use the results from my survey to advise their employees on which tactic they should use in organization socialization. Researchers need to conduct future research on how to reduce performance costs in the organization socialization tactics.

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