Stages in socialization Process:
Socialization can be conceptualized as a process made up of three stages.
a. Pre-arrival Stage:
This stage explicitly recognizes that each individual arrives with a set of organizational values, attitudes, and
expectations. For instance, in many jobs, particularly high skilled and managerial jobs, new members will
have undergone a considerable degree of prior socialization in training and in school. Pre-arrival
socialization, however, goes beyond the specific job. The selection process is used in most organizations to
inform perspective employees about the organization as whole. In addition, of course, interviews in the
selection process also act to ensure the inclusion of the “right type” determining those who will fit in.
Indeed, the ability of the individuals to present the appropriate face during the selection process determines
their ability to move into the organization in the first place. Thus success depends upon the degree to which
aspiring members have correctly anticipated the expectations and desires of those in the organization in
charge of selection.
b. Encounter Stage:
Upon entry into the organization, new members enter the encounter stage. Here the individuals confront
the possible dichotomy between their expectations about their jobs, their coworkers, their supervisors, and
the organization in general and reality. If expectations prove to have been more or less accurate, the
encounter state merely provides a reaffirmation of the perceptions generated earlier. However, this is often
not the case. Where expectation and reality differ; new employees must undergo socialization that will
detach them from their previous assumption and replace these with the organization’s pivotal standards.
Socialization, however, cannot solve all the expectation differences. At the extreme, some new members
may become totally disillusioned with the actualities of their jobs and resign. It is hoped that proper
selection would significantly reduce this latter occurrence.
c. Metamorphosis Stage:
Finally the new member must workout any problems discovered during the encounter stage. This may mean
going through changes. Hence the last stage is termed as metamorphosis stage. Metamorphosis is complete
as is the socialization process – when new members have become comfortable with the organization and
their work teams. In this situation they will have internalized the norms of the organization and their
coworkers; and they understand and accept these norms. New members will feel accepted by their peers as
trusted and valued individuals. They will have gained an understanding of the organizational system- not
only their own tasks but the rules, procedures and informally accepted practices as well. Finally they will
know how they are going to be evaluated. They will know what is expected of them and what constitutes a
good job. Consequently, successful metamorphosis should have positive effect on a new employees
productivity and the employee’s commitment to the organization, and should reduce the likelihood that the
employee will leave the organization any time soon.