Reviewing two sides of the socialization literature: A comprehensive theoretical model of social receptivity of newcomers

Annalisa Theodorou


The purpose of this paper is to review the literature that investigated the
socialization process, considering different perspectives and highlighting existing
gaps. Ultimately, proposing a comprehensive theoretical model of social receptivity
of newcomers. In the first part, the focus is on the flourishing literature that
examined the newcomer’s perspective of socialization, which was depicted as a
learning or an adaptation process. In the second part, the studies that investigated
the co-workers’ perspective during the socialization process are reported. The
social receptivity to a new member is interpreted as the resulting of two levels: the
newcomer characteristics and the co-workers’ characteristics. In the third and last
part, relying on the two lines of research reviewed, it is proposed a model of the
socialization process, in which the two levels of analysis predict social receptivity.
In turn, social receptivity should intervene in enhancing newcomer adjustment, as
depicted by proximal (role clarity, self-efficacy, knowledge of organizational
culture, and stress) and distal (job attitudes, engagement, performance, and
turnover) outcomes.


socialization; newcomers; social receptivity; adjustment.

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