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Newcomers Taking Different Paths: Proximal Socialization Outcome Profiles among Police Officers
Swedish Defence University, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Leadership and Command & Control Division Stockholm. Stockholm University, (SWE).
Stockholm University, (SWE).
Karolinska Institutet, (SWE).
Stockholm University, (SWE).
2022 (English)In: 15th EAOHP Conference 2022. Supporting knowledge comparison to promote good practice in occupational health psychology: Book of Proceedings / [ed] Kevin Teoh; Fiona Frost; Jasmeet Singh; Maria Charalampous; Miguel Muños, Nottingham: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology , 2022, p. 532-533, article id P37Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Answering calls for an interactionist approach that would help clarify the complexity of organizational socialization, this study applied a person-centered analytic approach aiming to examine the role of proximal socialization outcome profiles for distal outcomes. Organizational socialization concerns the learning and adjustment process enabling newcomers to adapt to an organizational role. Proximal outcomes (or adjustment indicators) are assumed to reflect how well individuals adjust on their way to become organizational insiders, while distal outcomes reflect the ultimate organizational socialization outcomes. Thus, proximal outcomes precede distal outcomes, mediating effects of various organizational and individual socialization factors (known as antecedents) that foster the socialization process.

Method: In this study, a person-centered analytic approach was used to examine the role of proximal socialization outcome profiles for distal outcomes. Data from new police officers in Sweden (N = 430), from three time points (T0 = Application process [spring 2008], T1 = Near end of field training [end of 2010], and T2 = Near end of first work year [end of 2011]), were analyzed. First, latent profile analysis (LPA) was performed to identify proximal outcomes profiles. Then, the identified profiles were validated by a complementary analysis, which examined differences in antecedents and distal socialization outcomes among officers with different profiles.

Results: Among the new police officers, three proximal outcome profiles were identified – a vulnerable (35%), a troublesome (11%), and a successful (54%) – with profiles exhibiting distinct patterns in the proximal outcome indicators role conflict, task mastery, and social integration. Complementary analysis showed subgroup differences in some antecedents (e.g., personality and psychosocial working conditions) and distal outcomes (e.g., organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and work-related anxiety), thus emphasizing the role of personality and psychosocial working conditions in organizational socialization.

Implications: The study showed that proximal socialization outcome indicators may form profiles that characterize subgroups of newcomers following different socialization paths. Depicting how the socialization process may differ among subgroups is a significant theoretical contribution that adds nuance to traditional stage models. Findings also emphasize that both psychosocial working conditions and personality are important antecedents, which support viewing organizational socialization as an interactive process including both the individual and the environment. Accordingly, the study suggests the person-centered approach as promising for gaining new insights regarding organizational socialization processes. Further, this study indicates that the socialization process was successful for most new police officers. Still, for a fairly large proportion (i.e., the Vulnerable and Troublesome groups), the proximal outcome profiles indicated a less favourable adjustment. The differences in proximal outcome profiles suggest that the Troublesome and the Vulnerable groups struggled with somewhat different adjustment challenges, which may yield organizational challenges. From an applied perspective, the findings suggest that targeting the challenges and needs that characterize different groups of newcomers may help organizations to tailor actions facilitating learning and adjustment among newcomers. Moreover, to facilitate newcomers’ socialization, organizations may also benefit from monitoring newcomers’ experiences of their working climate as well as their personality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nottingham: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology , 2022. p. 532-533, article id P37
Keywords [en]
organizational socialization, police officers, interactionist approach
National Category
Psychology Sociology
Research subject
Leadership and Command & Control
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11289ISBN: 978-0-9928786-6-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11289DiVA, id: diva2:1725368
Conference
15th Conference of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, Bordeaux, France, 6-8 July, 2022
Available from: 2023-01-10 Created: 2023-01-10 Last updated: 2023-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Annell, Stefan

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CiteExportLink to record
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