Organizational socialization: Making sense of the past and present as a prologue for the future

Alan M. Saks, Blake Ashforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

347 Scopus citations


There has been a remarkable resurgence of research in organizational socialization in the past 5 years. In fact, there have been more published studies in this period than in any previous period. The diversity of topics and the use of longitudinal designs has provided a substantial increase in our understanding of the socialization process. In this review of organizational socialization, we attempt to make sense of the last 5 years of research as a prologue for the future. First, we review several theoretical perspectives that have driven most of the research and present a multi-level process model of organizational socialization that integrates current theory and research. Second, we review the research in six major areas: socialization tactics; socialization training; proactive socialization; socialization learning and content; group socialization; and moderators, mediators, and individual differences. Third, we evaluate the methodology and measurement used in socialization research. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of research needs for the next 5 years of organizational socialization research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-279
Number of pages46
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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