Toward a Communication Model for the Socialization of Voluntary Members
Because most socialization/assimilation research focuses on employment as the primary membership role in groups and organizations, the accompanying models have failed to consider the unique characteristics of voluntary membership. In addition, those models have been criticized for being
too linear and based on concepts of organizations as containers. Using principles of the bona fide group perspective and a case study, this paper develops a model that emphasizes the unique characteristics of the socialization of voluntary members. The multilevel model also examines how membership
in various other groups, such as work and family, influence and interact with individuals' voluntary memberships. With a focus on communication, the model emphasizes the fluid process of voluntary associations in organizations with ambiguous boundaries.