Organizational socialization in public administration research: A systematic review and directions for future research

SLV (Stéphane) Moyson, Nadine Raaphorst, SM (Sandra) Groeneveld, Steven Walle

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference contributionAcademic

Abstract

While the importance of public officials’ attitudes and behaviors for public value cannot be overstated, not much is known yet about the socio-psychological processes through which they are shaped. This paper centers on organizational socialization, defined as the process by which an individual acquires the attitudes, behavior, and knowledge needed to participate as an organizational member. Organizational socialization may refer to both cognitive and affective processes of internalization. Furthermore, it may be “individualized” but also “institutionalized”, depending on the way it is conducted by the organization (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). In this context, organizational socialization is part of HRM practices (Antonacopoulou & Güttel, 2010). Research on organizational socialization addresses how processes of socialization unfold over time, how socialization influences employee-organization fit and, in turn, other employee outcomes such as job performance, organizational commitment, job satisfaction and intentions to remain (Bauer et al., 2007). While organizational socialization has received much attention in disciplines like organizational psychology or business administration, fewer studies have been conducted about that topic in public administration research (Hatmaker, 2014). Most importantly, the state of the art resulting from those studies has never been assessed systematically. To address this gap, this paper reviews studies on organizational socialization in public administration research. The review addresses three research questions by comparing research articles on organizational socialization in public administration literature with twelve reviews on organizational socialization research at large: First, do studies on organizational socialization in public administration literature use specific approaches and definitions of organizational socialization and do they focus on specific aspects? Second, to what extent and in what way do those studies come to other findings compared to studies on organizational socialization in general? Third, what are the gaps in public administration research on organizational socialization? The review is systematic for at least three reasons. First, the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the studies considered in the review are clarified. Second, the methods applied to access the literature and to analyze the studies are presented. Third, the quality of the studies considered in the review is discussed in terms of data collection and data analysis. The analysis shows that public administration studies provide specific results on organizational socialization. These results relate, for example, to the connections between organizational socialization and constructs like public service motivation (e.g., Kjeldsen, 2014). The paper concludes with directions for future research about organizational socialization in public administration research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2014
EventPaper presented at NIG Annual Conference - Delft, The Netherlands
Duration: 27 Nov 201428 Nov 2014

Conference

ConferencePaper presented at NIG Annual Conference
CityDelft, The Netherlands
Period27/11/1428/11/14

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