Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Encounter Stages in Organizational Socialization

In the last byte, we looked at the anticipatory socialization stage, in today's byte we discuss the encounter stage of organizational socialization. 

Encounter is the stage where the newcomer learns the tasks associated with the job, clarifies roles, and establishes new relationships at work.
In terms of timelines, this stage begins with the first day at work and could go to the first six to nine months on the new job. The demands on the new comer during this stage could be classified into:
  1. task demands
  2. role demands
  3. interpersonal demands

Tasks demands involve the actual work performed. Learning to perform tasks is related to the organization's culture - here are some scenarios: In some organizations, new comers are given considerable latitude to experiment with - to do the job, and creativity is values; there are others where newcomers are expected to learn the established procedures for their task.
Note: Early experiences in trying to master task demands can affect employee's entire career.
Role Demands involve the expectations placed on newcomers. These newcomers may not know exactly what to expect of them (role ambiguity) or may receive conflicting expectations from other individuals (role conflicts).  The way newcomers approach these demands is dependent to a good extent on the culture of the organization.
Interpersonal demands arise from relationships at work. Politics, Leadership style, and group pressure are interpersonal demands. All these reflect the values and assumptions that operate within the organization.
At this stage, the expectations formed in anticipatory socialization stage might clash with the realities of the job.

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