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Toward a Communication Model for the Socialization of Voluntary Members

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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.
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Keywords: Bona Fide Group Perspective; Model; Socialization/Assimilation; Voluntary Members

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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