The Role of Time in Socialization Dynamics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

46 Scopus citations


Although socialization is explicitly about preparing newcomers for the future, time plays only a backstage role in most models and studies. To help move time to the front stage, six issues are discussed. First, the distinction between clock time and event time suggests that learning and adjustment are "lumpy" in that they are often prompted by a series of events. Second, the rate of learning and adjustment are strongly influenced by temporally oriented individual differences, the difficulty of transitioning from one's former role to one's current role, and various features of the work context. Third, the rate is also strongly influenced by socialization processes enacted by the organization (socialization tactics) and newcomers (proactivity). Fourth, time lags, the duration of effects, the relative stability of learning and adjustment, and evolving newcomer needs are considered. Fifth, the increasing need for "swift socialization" is recognized, along with how organizations are addressing this need. Finally, prescriptions are offered for when and how often to measure socialization dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Organizational Socialization
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199971152
ISBN (Print)0199763674, 9780199763672
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012


  • Adjustment
  • Events
  • Learning
  • Proactivity
  • Role transitions
  • Socialization tactics
  • Swift socialization
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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