According to Louis (1980), organizational socialization is a process by which individuals come to be familiar with and to appreciate the value, norms, missions and required behaviors of organizations in which they are going to work. Each newcomer of any organizations has to experience a transition period, which typically last between 6 to 10 months, to adapt to a new setting, in another word, to be organizational socialized in the new setting (Louis, 1980). Experiences during this time largely influence the newcomer’s impression and future adjustment of the organization (Song & Chathoth, 2011). Taormina (1994) concluded that there were four factors that impact a worker’s organizational socialization: the received training from the organization, the understanding of the organizational context, the supports from significant co-workers, and the prospects of the future of the organization. Based upon the four aspects, Taormina (1994) created an Organizational Socialization Inventory (OSI) to measure workers’ socialization in organizations. This inventory has been used and examined by following researchers as a reliable measurement of organizational socialization (e.g. Bigliardi et al., 2005; Bauer et al., 2007).
For social work students, their experiences in field placements are similar to newcomers’ transitional experiences. Every student has to get familiar with a field placement, which generally is an organization, within a limited time for the requirement of field education. Working as professional social workers in field placements provides students opportunities to apply knowledge from classroom into practice in reality (Fortune, McCarthy & Abramson, 2001). Learning the policies, values, culture and duties of the organization is one important requirement in field education. Thus, an intern’s learning process can be regarded as a process of organizational socialization. On the other hand, given the theory that interns’ perceptions of one organization influence their performances in the organization (Fortune, McCarthy & Abramson, 2001), the level of organizational socialization, a process of perceiving and internalizing the characteristics of an organization, can be a prediction of an intern’s performance in field placement. From this point of view, social work interns’ organizational socialization and their internship performance may be related. Moreover, different levels of professional knowledge may lead to different perceptions of one organization, thereby may result in different levels of organizational socialization.
Research questions for this study are: does higher level of organizational socialization of social work interns indicate their better performances in field placements? Does higher level of education of social work interns indicate higher level of organizational socialization in their field placements?
This study will use quantitative method to address these questions.
Sample: A field education program of a...