The Influence of Organizational Socialization Tactics and Information Seeking on Newcomer Adjustment: Evidence from Two Studies in China

  • Jie Chen

Student thesis: Phd


Given the urgent need to integrate newcomers into organizations quickly in the age of globalization, it becomes essential to enhance knowledge on how to facilitate newcomer adjustment in the workplace. In the literature, organizational socialization tactics and newcomer information seeking are widely investigated in the western context as two critical factors influencing socialization outcomes. However, since most existing findings are based on western experience, the first purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of organizational socialization tactics and newcomer information seeking on socialization outcomes in an Asian context, specifically in China. Further, given that many existing studies have discussed the overall influence of organizational socialization tactics, but failed to explore in detail how specific socialization tactics affect newcomer adjustment, the second purpose of this research is to address this omission by taking an in-depth look. Additionally, in spite of the recognition of the practical value of perceived organizational support (POS) for newcomer adjustment, no research to date has been conducted to explain how to develop newcomers' POS. Therefore, the third purpose of the research is to explore this issue through the discussion of the influence of organizational socialization tactics. Finally, although the significance of information seeking has been widely recognized, given that studies have found only weak or neutral relationships between information seeking and socialization outcomes, there are some research calls for unveiling such relationships through a discussion of potential moderators. Therefore, the last purpose of this research is to clarify the conditions under which newcomer information seeking really matters to socialization outcomes through the involvement of a moderating factor, leader-member exchange (LMX).The proposed hypotheses are examined through two studies in China following a pilot study. In the first study, data were collected through 177 newly hired insurance agents in a leading insurance organization in south China. In the second study, data were collected from 245 newly appointed doctors/nurses in southeast China. Results from hierarchical multiple regression indicate that of the three aspects of organizational socialization tactics, the social aspect is the strongest influential factor on socialization outcomes as against the context and content aspects. Moreover, the results signal a message that under collective, formal, fixed, sequential, serial and investiture organizational socialization tactics, newcomers are more likely to develop POS. The results also confirm the significance of information seeking on newcomer adjustment in China and go further to indicate that the influence of information seeking on socialization outcomes is weaker at a high quality of LMX than at a low quality of LMX. The implications of findings on theory and managerial practices are then discussed, followed by the research directions, strengths and limitations.
Date of Award31 Dec 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDerek Eldridge (Supervisor) & William Mccourt (Supervisor)


  • newcomer
  • organizational socialization

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