The missing link in newcomer adjustment: The role of perceived organizational support and leader-member exchange

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Purpose ‐ The role of social support has been largely ignored in the organizational socialization literature. The purpose of this paper is therefore to examine this missing link in this research through the discussion of the role of perceived organizational support (POS) and leader-member exchange (LMX) on newcomer adjustment. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A pilot data including 191 newcomers were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate the construct validity of the measurement scales on a Chinese sample. The main study data drawn from 167 newcomers in a leading insurance organization in China was then subjected to structural equation modeling to test the hypotheses and model fitness. Findings ‐ Results suggest that LMX plays a significant role in influencing newcomers' POS and social integration. Moreover, newcomers' POS was found to associate with their turnover intentions. Research limitations/implications ‐ This research was based on cross-sectional and self-report data, which may not permit strong causal connections between variables. Practical implications ‐ The results signal, the message that it is essential for organizations to put greater emphasis on encouraging supervisors to establish healthy work relationships with newcomers, and organizations may find it possible to influence newcomers' turnover intentions by demonstrating organizational support. Originality/value ‐ Very few studies have investigated the role of POS and LMX on newcomer adjustment, possibly because social support is not well accounted for in the literature. This paper is one of the first to discuss such links in the context of China.

Keywords: Employees; Leaders; Socialization

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 15, 2011

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