The Comparative Effects of Supervisor Helping Motives on Newcomer Adjustment and Socialization Outcomes

Alex L. Rubenstein, John D. Kammeyer-Mueller, Tomas G. Thundiyil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The preponderance of organizational socialization research has focused on the perceptions and interests of newcomers. Yet, insiders-particularly immediate supervisors-are central to newcomers' adjustment, primarily in providing newcomers help. To facilitate such behavior, however, it is necessary to understand supervisors' helping motivations. Beginning from a new theoretically grounded taxonomy, we examined how supervisor reports of their own self-oriented, other-oriented, and normative motives predicted newcomer-rated received help and subsequent adjustment/socialization outcomes. We also examined the moderating role of newcomer motive perceptions on whether help was reciprocated to supervisors. Our model was tested with multiwave data from newcomers and supervisors during the first 3 months of starting a job. Newcomers reported receiving greater help from supervisors who described themselves as being motivated by self-oriented tangible gains and other-orientation, whereas supervisors who described themselves as being motivated by self-oriented enhancement were seen as less helpful. Further, when newcomers perceived that supervisors were more motivated by other-orientation and less by self-oriented tangible gains, newcomers reciprocated more help to the supervisor later on. Our results advance theory about the role of interpersonal helping during socialization, revealing that not all provided help is interpreted similarly by newcomers, and that differing supervisor motivations should also be factored into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Helping behavior
  • Helping motives
  • Newcomer adjustment
  • Socialization

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Comparative Effects of Supervisor Helping Motives on Newcomer Adjustment and Socialization Outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this