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The effect of equity and uncertainty on satisfaction and commitment during organizational entry

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Title:
The effect of equity and uncertainty on satisfaction and commitment during organizational entry
Creator:
Haglund, Björn
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English
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vii, 76 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Employee orientation ( lcsh )
Job satisfaction ( lcsh )
Employee orientation ( fast )
Job satisfaction ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Communication.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Björn Haglund.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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29150462 ( OCLC )
ocm29150462
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LD1190.L48 1993m .H34 ( lcc )

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THE EFFEcr OF BJUITY AND UNCERTAINTY ON SATISFAcriON AND MMITMENT DURING ORGANIZATIONAL ENTRY by Bjorn Haglund B.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1990 M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1993 A thesis stibmi tted to the Faculty of the Graduate School-of the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Cornrrnmication 1993

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Bjo:rn Haglund has been approved for the Department of Communication by Michael Monsour Sam Betty Date

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Haglund, Bjorn (M.A., Communication) The Effect of Equity and Uncertainty on Satisfaction and Commitment During Organizational Entry Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Michael Monsour ABSTRACT A poor and ineffective relationship between an organization and its employees could be costly to both. How this relationship originates may affect the level of satisfaction and commitment and set a predictable trend for the future of this relationship. To help understand this phenomenon, three manufacturing organizations participated in a study about how their orientation program affected the level of satisfaction and commitment in their new employees. The study proposed four hypotheses: The first hypothesis proposed that as the level of perceived inequity increases, the level of satisfaction decreases. The second hypothesis stated that as the level of perceived inequity increases the level of commitment decreases. Third, as the level of certainty increases, the level of satisfaction increases. The last hypothesis proposed that as the level of certainty increases, the level of commitment increases. iii

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Exploring the relationships between satisfaction, commitment, equity and uncertainty by using Pearson Correlation and Regression Analysis, the following results were obtained. The study found that there is a statistically significant relationship between equity and satisfaction, and uncertainty and satisfaction.The study showed that as the level of perceived inequity increases, the level of satisfaction decreases. The study also showed that as the level of certainty increased the level of satisfaction also increased. The relationship between equity and commitment, and uncertainty and commitment did not indicate such a relationship. However, there are indications that would suggest that commitment is a phenomena that takes time to develop. Further, the study indicated that organizations do not provide the new employees with enough information about future oriented issues such as pay/promotions and how they fit into organizational goals, and did not address interpersonal concerns such as introductions to their co-workers. iv

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Dedicated to my parents for instilling a sense of curiosity and perseverance and for encouraging a creative view of the world, and to June for her infinite patience and support throughout this process. v

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS With special gratitude to Mike Monsour for his guidance and support throughout this study, and the appreciation to Sam Betty for his help. vi

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CHAPTER I II III CONTENTS REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Personification of Organizations Social Exchange Theory Uncertainty Reduction Theory Organization Entry Summary METHODS Participants Surveys Statistical Analysis RESULTS & DISCUSSIONS Additional Findings Summary Applications for Organizations Limitations of the Study Directions for Future Research APPENDIX A. Organizational Questionnaire B. Questionnaire for Employees REFERENCES vii 1 8 11 17 22 26 28 29 30 36 40 52 54 58 61 62 6 5 68 73

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Each year American companies lose billions of dollars due to poor and ineffective interpersonal and role relationships in the workplace (Donnely, Gibson, and Ivancevich 1987; Tjosvold, 1986). This problem seems to be further complicated by the employee's relationship with his or her organization, where the task and work environment combine to form feelings of alienation and non-commitment to the organization and its goals (Kiesler, Collins, and Miller 1969; Wrightsman, 1977). Some organizations are begining to recognize that effective interpersonal skills are important components for the success of the organization, and are required in today's fast changing workplace. As a response, interpersonal and role relationship issues are increasingly being addressed through a variety of training and development programs (Mann and Staudenmier 1991 ), which incorporate psychological theories to deal with satisfaction and commitment once the employee has entered and been socialized into the organization. Unfortunately, similar efforts have been limited when it 1

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concerns the part of the organizational design that deals with the initial relationship between the individual and the organization. Although many organizations recognize the need for formal orientation programs (Alpander, 1982), they are generally poorly designed, providing the new employee with only a superficial indoctrination into the company (Cascio, 1989). Scholars studying organizational entry suggest that there is a need for the organization to play a more participative role in the new employee's socialization process, and that this may an important proactive environment to lower the cost of turnovers and absenteeism (Cascio, 1989; Wanous, 1980). However, in the task oriented environment of the manufacturing organization, the speed by which the new employee is required to start productive work helps to ensure that neither the direction of interest nor effort adequately take into account the organization/ employee relational issues (Davis, 1972; Huse and Cummings 1985). This seems to be especially true when it concerns the questions of what happens psychologically to an individual when he/she enters a new organization. Little attention has been given to the importance of 2

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perceived equity in the employee/organization relationship during the formation of a psychological contract (Davis, 1972), and the accompanying stress and anxiety that are associated with the uncertainty of entering into a new environment or situation (Arnold and Feldman 1986; Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn 1988). Studies on organization/employee relationships have been done spanning the entire organizational life of the employee. However, most of the organization behavior theories dealing with satisfaction and commitment in the workplace, seem to concentrate predominantly on the individual after he or she has entered into the organization, rather than upon initial entry. Terms such as Total Quality Management, empowerment, self direction, job-enhancement and job-enrichment are common in current organizational psychology and management literature. These organizational constructs have made their way into some organizations in the form of managerial/leadership training and in job design. However, there is not much comprehensive scholarly work available in the area of the organization/employee relationship during an individual's entry into the organization, and how this early relationship may proactively contribute to the conditions 3

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that leads to an individual's feeling of satisfaction and commitment to the organization. Wanous (1980) notes that entry has been primarily viewed from the perspective of the organization, and the matching of the individual's abilities to the organizational job requirements. He further contends that a balanced view of entry is needed to represent both the individual and the organization. Organizational entry is a broad topic which has led to fragmented and diffused efforts. There is a need, in the field of organizational entry, for more research that will lead to research and models predictive and easy to generalize (Ferris and Rowland 1990). With some important exceptions, relatively little research has been done in the investigation on how the disclosure of pertinent information by the organization during the orientation process, contributes to the new employees' level of satisfaction and commitment. One of the notable exceptions is the concept known as "Realistic Job Previews," where the.job interview presents an opportunity for the organization to disclose accurate information about itself, and where there is then an opportunity for dissonance to be aroused in the new 4

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employee. This dissonance affects the new employee's perception of the relationship with the organization, which in turn could result in a lower level of satisfaction and commitment if the information was found not to meet expectations from that disclosure (Ferris and Rowland 1990; Wanous, 1980). The initial period with an organization can have a major effect on a new employee (Cascio, 1989), and understanding the process and conditions under which the relationship between an organization and its employees begin and develop into a mutually beneficial and productive relationship may have some important financial outcomes for the organization. The employee may also benefit from this relationship in terms of lessened stress and anxiety, satisfaction with the workplace and a relative feeling of wellness concerning the relationship that the employee has withthe organization. There is a limited amount of information directly connecting organizational entry to satisfaction and commitment. However, there are plenty of smaller, "stepping stone" theories that are able to span this distance. Interpersonal theories can be used to explain the concept of the individual/organizational relationship 5

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during the individual's entry into the organization and how it relates to future satisfaction and commitment to the organization. Before reviewing these theories it is necessary to first define what is meant by the terms "satisfaction" and "commitment." Satisfaction may be defined as the extent to which an individual feels contentment with his/her position in the organization, the work conditions, compensation, and general treatment relative to others in the organization (Baron and Byrne 1981). Satisfaction is an individual's subjective response to many interactive variables, and has been the focus for a number of scholars like Maslow, Herzberg, Lawler and McGregor (Schermerhorn et al., 1988). It is an emotional, affective and evaluative response toward a situation. Workers gather information to construct and define their own realities which are used to determine how content they are with the situation (Saal and Knight 1988). The effort to provide the environment where satisfaction can occur seems to lie primarily with the organization. Organizations must develop the personnel, and their attitudes and values that make up the satisfaction criteria (Anderson, 1984). Because satisfaction is an evaluative response towards a 6

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situation, comparisons with other similar situations and met expectations through accurate organizational disclosures are two of the interrelated components that must be considered when examining what affects the level of satisfaction. An employee will compare aspects of the new situation with similar other situations. These comparisons are made in regards to how well rate of pay, supervision, performance, organizational environment, etc. have met their expectations. Various job dimensions and contexts have jointly been tied to satisfaction and motivation by researchers such as Maslow and Hertzberg {Schermerhorn et al., 1988). Maslow (1954) contends that fulfilling needs on a hierarchial scale stimulates motivation and contributes to the feeling of satisfaction with the situation. Herzberg (1968) proposes that satisfaction and dissatisfaction exists on two different dimensions where satisfaction is a category of items that the potential to contribute to satisfaction, and dissatisfiers are those categories that have a potential to make the employee dissatisfied with the situation. Commitment is the identification with, the involvement in, and loyalty to the company (Baron and 7

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Byrne 1981). Just as satisfaction has two components, satisfiers and dissatisfiers, so too does commitment. Commitment can be measured as an affective component, that is, it is a condition within the organization that makes the individual committed to it. There is also a continuance part to commitment which takes into consideration other opportunities available to the employee (Meyer, Bobocel, and Allen 1991 ). Personification of Organizations The key in using interpersonal theories to explain satisfaction and commitment may lie with the perception that organizations are separate entities that have many of the same characteristics as people. It is a perception that is held by many Sociologists and Social Psychologists (Ferris and Rowland 1990; Hollander and Hunt 1972). This perception is further enhanced by the way the organization communicates its policies and procedures to its employees. There are many definitions of what an organization is, and most share some common characteristics. A composite picture of an organization, based on these definitions, envisions an organization as a collection of people working together toward a common 8

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goal according to specified roles and hierarchial positions (Sundstrom, 1989). Some definitions focus more on the individual as opposed to the process (Fulmer, 1978), while others recognize the personal needs of an individual and the personal reasons for joining an organization (Tosi, Rizzo, and Carroll 1986). The intellectual side of us may accept the fact that organizations are merely concepts within which people can accomplish tasks and fulfill various personal and interpersonal needs. However, the less rational and perhaps more prevalent side of us treats and react to as if they are entities in their own right, with human-like qualities and behaviors (Schermerhorn, et al., 1988). How often have we heard or participated in the lamenting of "you can't fight city hall," "this company does not care about me" and "the government spends too much money"? These statements of di$tress are based on the common of both scholars and lay people that organizations are separate entities with human like qualities. It is the organization that gets labeled as "good to work for," "caring," "aggressive," etc. It is the company that gets sued, rarely the CEO. When one seeks employment with a company, one most often 9

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seeks information the company, not about the President, board or CEO. Organizations themselves help to perpetuate this idea of being a separate entity with human-like qualities. For example, the rules, policies and procedures are written and presented to the employees as if they came from the organization itself, not from the individuals that wrote or dictated them (Conrad, 1990). Because of this propensity for organizational "personification," it is theoretically possible to understand the relationship between the employee and the organization in terms of the theories that are used to explain human relationships. It would also be possible to apply some of these interpersonal theories to explain the relationship between an individual as an entity and an organization as an entity. In the literature on interpersonal relationships there are two theories that seems applicable. The first of these is Social Exchange Theory as proposed by Homans (1961), and the second is Uncertainty Reduction Theory by Berger and Calabrese (1975). 1 0

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Social Exchange Theory Social Exchange Theory relies on two basic assumptions to explain interpersonal relationships in terms of perceived rewards and costs of exchanged resources. The first assumption states that people are motivated by self interest and seek to get involved in relationships in which rewards will be greater than costs (DeVito, 1988). Resources or "currencies" that may be exchanged between individuals include money, information, services, status, love, etc. (Foa and Foa 1974). On an interpersonal level, this means that an individual will look for a relationship in which the other person will be able to satisfy some perceived need. For an organization this might be translated into organizational survival terms such as, bottom line, merger, aquisition, etc. Survival is a major goal or theme of any organization, and a measure of that survivability is to have a positive profit margin, a positive bottom line. To ensure that this profit margin remains on the positive side, an organization will "behave" in selfish ways. It may resort to a merger with another company for mutual survival, or it may take over another company which is in competition with the other as a means for its own 11

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survival. As another method of survival, the organization may also decide to terminate the relationship with some of its employees, if the organization, through its agents and policies, perceives that the relationship between it and the employee(s) is considered not to be profitable or equitable. The second assumption of Social Exchange Theory is that an individual will feel (or be made to feel) indebted to someone if the rewards are not returned or reciprocated in some way (Raven and Rubin 1983). For a relationship to continue, there must be this element of equity present. The decision to continue the relationship is based on this second assumption, as well as on the availability and the attraction of other possible relationships (Wrightsman, 1977). On an interpersonal level this means that there are certain pressures to reciprocate or to balance the perceived cost/reward ratio. For example, Erik will buy group members beers because he wants to be accepted by the group. If Erik perceives that the group is not reciprocating in some meaningful way, and there is another group available that he wants to belong to, he will probably leave the first group and try to join the second. This option, leaving one group or 12

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person for another more rewarding group or person is "distributive justice" (Folger, and Poole 1984; Homans, 1961; Nemeth, 1974). It is an important component to Social Exchange Theory. In the process of distributive justice, an individual will decide whether to continue a relationship by comparing the reward-cost ratio of that relationship with the reward-cost ratio of another possible relationships, accept the reward-cost discrepancy or make some changes (adjustments) in the reward-cost ratio of the original relationship (Bennis, Berlew, Schein, and Steele 1973; Littlejohn, 1989). Although the organization does not really "feel" this pressure for reciprocation, for providing equity in the individual/organizational relationship, organizational policies/procedures and the human agents in the organization may take the place of an "organizational consciousness." These policies and the human agents who carry them out may make certain that there is some sort of homeostasis or equity in the exchange of resources between the individual and the organization. Since the concept of what constitutes rewards and costs are held hostage to the perception and need of the individual, the reciprocation does not necessarily have 13

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to be "in kind." Various exchange items may be used as acceptable resources in the \'lorkplace. In return for work an individual receives money, for good or great work an employee may get recognition or a bonus, and an investment in time could eventually lead to a promotion and status. During entry, there is a basic relationship between the selection and orientation process that Social Exchange Theory can explain. During the selection process information is disclosed by the potential employee to the organization, and in turn, information is disclosed to the new employee by the organization during the orientation program. To understand what the basic role or function of the orientation could be, a closer look into the processes of selection and orientation, their relationship, and the dynamics that are started there is needed. In terms of Social Exchange Theory, it would seem that the primary function of the orientation process is to bring a sense of balance and equity to any disclosure deficit that may have resulted from the exchange of information during the new employees entry into the organization. Since the reduction of informational 14

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imbalance may be a very important component to the formation of a positive psychological contract between the individual and the organization, the design of the organization's information sharing process during orientation must adequately reflect and address this equity issue. In summary, Social Exchange Theory suggest that the perception of "equity" may be experienced as early as the entry into the organization. Although information is the resource to be exchanged at this time, reciprocity in disclosing information during the entry into the organization may set a positive tone and enhance the perception of a positive and equitable future relationship between the individual and the organization. Within the overall goal of reducing the disclosure deficit, there are two other possibilities that should be considered. Disclosure of information by the organization changes the perception of the organization by the new employee, hopefully reducing the amount of stress and anxiety that is associated with entering into a new environment. 11The central consideration (in stress) isn't the actual work environment but how the employees react to it" (Arnold and Feldman 1986, p.469). A second set of 1 5

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possibilities that should be addressed through Social Exchange Theory concerns the level of satisfaction and commitment felt by employees. Equity in the perceived cost/reward ratio is a central theme in Social Theory, and since the work environment is represented as a resource that the worker get in exchange for his/her contribution to the organization, satisfaction would be based on the expectation of fairness and equity in the work environment (Sundstrom, 1989). Social Exchange Theory may be used to explain the equity relationship between the organization and the individual during entry by comparing the type and amount of disclosure by the individual during the selection process, and the subsequent disclosure of information by the organization during the orientation. Social Exchange Theory may also be used to explain the beginning of other equity issues in the workplace, such as the psychological contract, that would affect the general relationship between the individual and organization in the future, and the decision whether to continue their relationship. The perception of equity is an important ingredient that may. have some crucial implications regarding the 16

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relationship between the individual and the organization, the quality of that relationship, and the level of satisfaction, and commitment felt by that individual. The perception of equity is a cornerstone for the development of a positive work environment and the type of psychological contract that leads toward satisfaction and commitment in the workplace (Tosi et al., 1986}. The possible effect that equity in information sharing might have on satisfaction and commitment lead to the following research question and hypotheses. Research Question 1: To what extent does the perceived equity in disclosure of information between the individual and the organization contribute to the feeling of satisfaction and commitment to the organization by that individual? Hypothesis 1: There will be a negative relationship between perceived inequity in disclosure and the level of satisfaction. Hypothesis 2: There will be a negative relationship between perceived inequity in disclosure and the level of affective commitment. Uncertainty Reduction Theory There is a second interpersonal theory that may be used to understand the relationship between satisfaction and commitment, and organizational entry. Uncertainty 1 7

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Reduction Theory (Berger and Calabrese, 1975) has a focus that deals mostly with the entry phase of a relationship, and the various behaviors that an individual will use to reduce the amount of uncertainty, and the resulting stress and anxiety about the situation. Uncertainty Reduction Theory seems well suited to address the uncertainties that accompany entering into a new work environment. Individuals entering into an organization frequently have little information concerning their role in the organization, the production processes and the unknown interpersonal relationships that he/she will enter into (Tosi et al., 1986). The basic premise of Uncertainty Reduction Theory is that people will seek out information in order to reduce the level of uncertainty about a person. Berger and Calabrese (1975) proposed that the initial and primary concern in a relationship is to reduce uncertainty about the relationship. This uncertainty exists at two distinct levels. First, there is the uncertainty that exists at the beginning of the relationship concerning the predictablity of the other individual, and the predictability of oneself in the relationship. The second level is uncertainty as it relates to being able to 18

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explain the relationship retroactively (Burgoon and Ruffner 1978). The contention of the theory is that we seek information to make the situations and relationships more predictable and provide explanations of those situations and relationships. The initial relationship between an individual and an organization fits nicely into this model. Early on, both the individual and the organization seek out information about eath other, so as to be able to predict and make decisions about each other. The organization takes advantage of this opportunity during the selection process, while the individual uses the orientation process to get his/her information. Uncertainty Reduction Theory relates to the orientation program in the following manner. By reducing the level of uncertainty of a new employee entering into a new work environent or situation, the organization also redtces the stress and anxiety that results from this uncertainty. McGrath (1970) suggest that organizations and should provide anticipatory and preventative coping avenues to deal with stress due to situational uncertainty. 19

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and providing the right kind and amount of information should go a long way in reducing uncertainty (Anderson, 1984; Tausky, 1978). There is also a cost/reward ratio in Uncertainty Reduction Theory. It is an equity component that may also be tied into Social Exchange Theory. If the disclosed information is perceived as being positive and rewarding, the relationship will be perceived as being positive and rewarding, and there is then a good possibility that the relationship will continue. The theoretical relationship between the reduction of uncertainty and satisfaction and commitment leads to the following question and hypotheses. Research Question 2: To what extent does the reduction of uncertainty during an individual's entry into the organization affect the level of satisfaction artd commitment to the organization? Hypothesis 1: There will be a positive relationship between the level of certainty and the level of satisfaction. Hypothesis 2: There will be a positive relationship between the level of certainty and the level of affective commitment. Consider the possibility that the disclosure of information by the organization during an employee's entry into that organization can create both a 20

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foundation and perception of future equity. This perception of equity may then lead to a feeling of satisfaction and commitment. Such disclosure may also reduce the uncertainty felt during the entry, thereby adding to the feeling of satisfaction with, and commitment to the organization by the new employee. There is little direct support to connect the disclosure of organizational information during entry with the satisfaction and commitment to the organization by the individual. However, both research and theory parameters support the idea that there are steps available to connect disclosure of information with the satisfaction and commitment experienced by the new employee. Whereas Social Exchange Theory addresses the equity issues regarding the informational exchanges going on between the organization and the individual during entry into the organization, Uncertainty Reduction Theory focuses specifically on the orientation process and the effect that organizational disclosure may have on the individual's level of uncertainty and the potential level of satisfaction and commitment to the organization this individual will experience as a 21

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result of this disclosure. The reduction of uncertainty may also be considered to be a rewarding experience for the individual, which would then allow this theory to be tied into Social Exchange Theory. Organization Entry The last section of this chapter explores how Social Exchange Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory might be manifested in actual organizational entry. There are many things that happens during the orientation process. By revealing their rules, policies and and introducing the new to fellow workmates, the organization will make an attempt to match the individual's need with the organizations capacity to reinforce those needs, possibly leading to satisfaction and commitment (Cascio, 1989; Wanous, 1980) This introduction to the workplace has an important and long lasting effect on the individual (Cascio, 1989). Whether looking at issues through Social Exchange Theory or Uncertainty Reduction Theory, information is a central theme in the development of satisfaction and commitment. Revealing information by the organization can be both an effort to equalize the perceived inequity in information 22

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disclosure and a reduction of uncertainty. The basic, and most common level of organizational disclosure is to reveal the organization as it exist on paper. Revealing the formal communication channels via the organizational chart, the organizational rules, policies and procedures, and what is expected of the individual. It is similar to the level of disclosure that would be given by the individual in his/her cover letter. It is information that is rather shallow, carefully selected and self-promotional (Arnold and Feldman 1986). At a deeper level of disclosure is the actual introduction to the operation. An introduction to the different processes that the product goes through as it passes through the plant. It reveals more of the organization, and reinforces a deeper understanding of the role that the individual will play in the organization. It is information that has great potential for reducing the uncertainty felt by the individual. The third, and perhaps the highest level of organizational disclosure would be the introduction of the new employee to his/her coworkers and Although this may be a fairly rare occurance in today's manufacturing organizations, it could be a positive step 23

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towards setting the foundation for future feelings of satisfaction and commitment when scheduled along with the previous two areas of disclosure (Cascio, 1989). A growing interest and awareness in workforce diversity, teams, and self directed workforces, may increase pressures on organizations to become more humanistic in their operational philosophies, which may be an opportunity for new frontiers in the orientation process. Although there are many types of organizations, manufacturing organizations are especially suited to the application of Social Exchange Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory. They are relatively task oriented and they have the potential for a lack of satisfaction and commitment due to repetitive and boring work. Manufacturing organizations also span the spectrum for how they orient their employees to their organizational culture and varies in the extent to which they have internal programs that deals with employees level of satisfaction and commitment to the organization. During the selection process a lot of information about the prospective employee is revealed. Some of this information may be more than the individual is 24

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comfortable in revealing, beyond the scope that was disclosed voluntarily on the resume and the cover letter. All this information gathering from a prospective employee may be a necessary screening process, but it also has the potential to create a felt disclosure deficit between the individual and the organization. In terms of Social Exchange Theory, an equalizing effort is needed by the organization to reduce this deficit to a more homeostatic condition (Wexley and Yuki 1984). A planned, reciprocated diclosure during the orientation of the individual may be the opportunity to accomplish this. This organizational disclosure will, in turn, reduce the level of uncertainty experienced by a new employee. The actual role of the orientation process takes on a dual responsibility. First of all it provides a window of opportunity for the organization to bring a sense of equity into the disclosure of information. Second, it also provides the organization with the opportunity to share information about itself in a way that may reduce the uncertainty associated with entering into a new organization. Like entering into any new situation, an individual entering into an organization 25

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experiences both stress and anxiety as a result of the perceived uncertainty of the new situation (Conrad, 1990). Planned and reciprocated disclosure effort by the organization would be helpful in reducing some of this stress and anxiety (Arnold and Feldman 1986; Baron, 1983). An individual thus enters into an organization feeling stressed and uncertain about the new environment (Conrad, 1990), as well as feeling vulnerable, expecting to be treated fairly and equitably (Schermerhorn et al., 1988), and receive a fair exchange (money, prestige and respect) for his/her time, skills and expertise. Summary In summary, the relationship between the organization and its employees is an important component to the success of the organization. How the relationship begins may affect the direction that it ultimately takes. Information is the common thread that connects the elements leading to a positive relationship between the organization and the employee. This chapter explored the possibility that Social Exchange Theory and Uncertainty 26

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Reduction Theory can be used to understand the relationship between the individual and the organization. These theories might also be used in understanding how organizational climates and psychological contracts develop between the individual and the organization, and how to affect the individual's level of satisfaction and commitment to the organization. The suggestion from this chapter is that the key to using interpersonal theories to explain and predict the relationship between an individual and the organization is based on the perception that the organization is an entity with human-like qualities. Once this perception has been accepted it is possible to explain the organization/employee relationship according to interpersonal theories. Two research questions pertaining to Social Exchange Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory, accompanied by four hypotheses, were used for research testing. The next chapter discusses the methodology of this study. 27

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CHAPTER II METHODS A literature review was conducted to investigate studies relevant to the research questions. Texts in various psychological areas such as Industrial/ Organizational and Social Psychology, as well as texts in Sociology, Communication, and Management were consulted to find and integrate information about the various relationships that were needed to bridge the conceptual gap between "the perceived equity of mutual disclosure of information during the entry into the organization," and "the level of satisfaction experienced by the new employee." In addition, by using the university's library computerized reference system {CARL and ERIC), a number of magazines, journals and abstracts were also accessed to help provide direction support to the hypotheses. Human Resource Managers, Corporate Trainers and other individuals involved in Organizational Design and Development were consulted to get a sense of how orientation is perceived in the organization and how it fits into the organizational design. 28

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Forty-eight manufacturing organizations, ranging from 200-1000 employees, were selected from Dunn's Million Dollar Directory. The persons in charge of human resources in these organizations were then contacted by letter accompanied by a short questionnaire (see Appendix A). From these 48 organizations, 16 answered the first questionnaire, while only 3 organizations participated in the complete study by having their new employees fill out a second questionnaire (Appendix B). In order to encourage participation, special arrangements were made with two of the companies to look into some special areas they were interested in, areas that could easily beincorporated into the overall study. Participants The three participating manufacturing organizations represented different types of manufacturing organizations and manufacturing methods and provided a total of 72 individual participants for the study. These participants were both union and non-union on-line workers, as well as professional and administrative employees. Twenty-seven of those employees were males and 45 were females. Since the study focused on the 29

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organization/employee relationship during entry, the participants were all relatively new employees, those that have worked less than 18 months with the organization. Thirty-nine of the employees had worked in the organization less than 7 months, thirty between 7 to 12 months, and three had worked in the organization between 13 to 18 months. Ages ranged from 21 to 58. Surveys The first questionnaire (Appendix A) consisted of 13 questions, and was mailed to the individual in charge of human resources. The objective of this questionnaire focused on the organizations' methods and the areas covered in orienting their new employees. The types of questions that were asked were based on personal experience in both designing and participating in a wide variety of orientation programs, and by asking aquaintances about how their organizations dealt with organizational information during an employee's entry. Questions regarding the length of time of the orientation, what information is disclosed, and to what extent it is shared and how it shared, was asked. A mix of five yes/no questions, four Likert-type questions 30

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with seven categories, three check appropriate choice and two open-ended questions were used to get the information. For example, one Likert type question inquired to what extent the organization provided the individual with information about the processes and procedures in making the product. A yes/no question asked whether the organization had a mission statement. A follow up yes/no question asked if the mission statement was shared with all of its employees and to explain how it was shared. The second questionnaire (Appendix B) was targeted specifically to the new employee and the relationship that he/she has with the organization. A new employee was one that has less than 18 months employment in that organization. The items in this questionnaire explored the new employee's reaction to the entry process into the organization from the perspective of seven variables. 1. Commitment-Two questions explored possible reasons for the employee to remain with the organization (items 11 and 12 in Appendix B). Each question was put on a 7 point Likert scale. The 31

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main question asked to what extent the new employee was willing to accept similar work, for the same compensation. A low score (below 4) would indicate a tendency towards "affective commitment", where the employee felt commited because they feel an identity, a membership, with the organization. A high score (above 4) would indicate a tendency towards "continuous commitment." A second, Likert-type follow-up question, considered other opportunities for work, where the individual is commited to the organization because it is the only available choice. 2. Satisfaction -This variable was operationalized through eighteen questions that were adapted from the short version of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (items 14 through 31 in Appendix B). The questions were divided into two separate areas, satisfiers and dissatisfiers, as proposed by Herzberg's Theory of Satisfaction (1967). Satisfiers are those conditions in the workplace that contribute to the level of satisfaction felt by the employee, and eight questions dealt with this area. 32

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Dissatisfiers are those conditions in the workplace that contribute to the level of dissatisfaction felt by the employee. Ten questions were asked that related to this area. All of the questions were Likert-type, rated from one to seven, with one indicating very dissatisfied, seven signifying very satisfied, and four indicating neutrality. 3. Equity One question (item 19 in Appendix B) was employed to ask the individual to what extent he/she provided the organization with more information about themselves than the organization provided information about itself. This question represented the level of perceived equity of information sharing during entry. The higher the score, the more the perceived inequity in the relationship of information sharing. 4. Uncertainty -Four questions were asked about the extent that the orientation process helped to reduce the uncertainty of entering into the organization (items 33, 34, 35, and 36 in Appendix B). For example, one item asked: To what extent do you 33

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feel that the information you received during your orientation helped ease the uncertainty about your job responsibilities? These questions were rated from one to seven, with one being "to no extent," and seven "to a great extent." A four indicated "a moderate extent." Each participants reply was grouped to form an average individual score under the appropriate variables. This resulted in 72 averages for the different variables, representing the mean responses from each participant. Three variables went beyond the focus of the research, helping to develop a fuller picture of how various items contribute to satisfaction and commitment. Further, these variables were used to contribute in periphial ways to the study and to stimulate areas of interest for future research. These variables were also used to form various connections that would be useful to the organizations that participated in the study. 5. Expectancy Six questions looked into how well the organization met the expectations that were raised during Did the orientation 34

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program paint a different picture of the organization than what was later experienced by the new employee? For example, one item asked to rank, from one to seven, how accurate the information was that the organization provided about the individual's job duties. 6. Comparison -How the organization compared to other organizations that the new employee has \mrked for was probed with three questions on organization, supervision and co-workers. A positive comparison is a strong component contributing to satisfaction and commitment. 7. Information -Information is the vehicle by which equity is measured and therefore one of the central constructs of this thesis. In this study the information variable served to connect the first questionnaire with the second and helped in the overall understanding of the orientation process by providing further information about areas that are typically covered in orientations from the perspective of the new employee. 35

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Statistical Analysis The information gathered from the first questionnaire was analysed through the use of means, modes, and medians to form a composite picture of the orientation process, the methods used and the areas covered. The information that was gathered from the second set of questionnaires was analyzed by employing two statistical procedures. A Pearson Correlation was used to explore the relationships between the eight variables, and a Regression Analysis was used to look for trends and to venture a tentative predictive statement. A note of caution should be made here; correlation only describes the relationship between the variables, NOT causation. There were two hypotheses associated with the first Research Question. The first hypothesis proposed a negative relationship between perceived inequity of information disclosure and the level of satisfaction. Inequity in disclosure was operationalized by asking the participants the extent that they felt they had provided the organization with more information about themselves than the organization provided them with information about itself (question #32). The level of satisfaction 36

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was measured with eighteen items that tapped into both satisfiers and disatisfiers. A Pearson Correlation was used to look at the relationship between inequity and a composite of the eighteen satisfaction items. A Regression Analysis was also performed, using the results from the 72 participating individuals, where inequity was the independent variable and satisfaction the dependent variable. The second hypothesis predicted a negative relationship between inequity and The equity item (question #32) was linked to a composite of the two questions on commitment via a Pearson Correlation. A Regression Analysis was also done with the responses from the 72 participating individuals. Again inequity is the independent variable and commitment is the dependent variable. There were also two hypotheses associated with the second Research Both hypotheses proposed a positive relationship between the independent variable, level of certainty, and the dependent variables, level of satisfaction, and affective commitment. A Pearson Correlation was used to indicate the connections between the level of certainty and satisfaction, and the connection between the level of certainty and 37

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affective commitment. A Regression Analysis was used with the responses from the 72 participating individuals to establish a possible trend of the relationship between reduction of uncertainty and the level of satisfaction, and the relationship between uncertainty reduction and affective commitment. Relationships between the two components of commitment and how they relate to satisfaction, inequity, and certainty were similarly compared using a Pearson Correlation and Regression Analysis. These statistical methods were also used with different lengths of employment to look for any relationships and tendencies between those individuals that have worked in the organization for six months or less, and those that have worked for the organization for more than six months. To investigate any relationship between thetwo surveys and to get a better understanding on the extent that the orientation provided the necessary amount of information from the perspective of the new employee, the seven questions in the information variable was averaged. This was then compared against a baseline of 4, via a Single Sample T-Test, to find out if there was a significant difference between the items in the 38

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information variable and the base line. The value 4 was chosen to represent the baseline because it was the value assigned to "just enough information" on the Likert scale used in this variable. 39

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CHAPTER III RESULTS & DISCUSSION The first questionnaire provided an organizational profile of the sixteen participating organizations, serving as a backdrop for the way that new employees are being indoctrinated into the organization. The following information was compiled from that questionnaire and from brief discussions with individuals in charge of human resources. There is a general sense that organizations hire people only for the skills they possess at the moment of hire, and that it is more important to get these new employees to start work as quickly as possible, rather than to orient and help socialize the individual into the new organizational culture. For example, ten of the participating organizations did not provide the new employees with written job descriptions, perhaps indicatirtg that there is no need for understanding ones responsibilities since the individuals are locked into the type of job behaviors that they are already very familiar with. There is also some evidence suggesting that the importance df a proper introduction into the new organization and its culture is not being 40

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appreciated by the organizational representatives that design the orientation brograms. Two of the sixteen I organizations that participated in the first survey did I not have a formal orientation program. One of the l organizations that declined to participate in the survey quoted 'an embarassingly poor orientation program' as the reason for non-participation. Two of the non-participating thought that it was a waste of time to even look into this area. Of the i i organizations that did participate, only one spent two days orienting new employees, seven spent between two to six hours, and eight spent less than two hours. Providing the new employee with rules, policies and _procedures seems to be the main goal of the orientation process. Fifteen of the1sixteen participating I organizations limited or omitted the manufacturing process as a topic during orientation and five did not I include a formal to the new individual's work-mates as part of orientation. Personal conversation, pamphlets1and manuals were used most often I in the orientation process. Personal conversation were used in fifteen pamphlets were used in ten organizations, and nine;organizations used manuals to 41

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share organizational information. Videos were used in six organizations, while cllsses and mentors were used by four and two organizatilns respectively to introduce I the new employee into the organization. To orient the new lmployee to the product and I manufacturing process, tours and classes were primarily used. Tours were used bt nine organizations, seven organizations used classes. Mentors were used in four organizations. Videos wlre used by two organizations, I and manuals and pamphlets were used by only one of the organizations to introdlce its product and procedures. Different types of {anufacturing organizations seems to have their own focus !for prefered areas of orienting new employees. Traditional manufacturing organizations and computer associated organizations were much more rules, policies and procedures oriented than were laboratories and proces+ng organizations (Table I). Laboratories and processing organizations were more balanced in their including the process of making the product as part of the orientation process. MEANS for: I Rules Computer and Traditional Orgs. Laboratories and Processing Grgs. and Policies 5.2 3.67 Process 3.73 3.77 .I Table I Note: Means were computed from questions #3 and #4 (Appendix A) 42

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The Laboratory and Procifsing organizations are also more likely than Computer and Traditional manufacturing organizations to include co-worker introductions as part of their orientation process. Two-thirds of Laboratory and Processing organizations included co-worker introductions as part of the formal orientation process. Half of the Computer and Traditional manufacturing organizations do not have an introduction to co-workers as part of the orientation process. The second questionnaire explored how the level of perceived equity and uncertainty effects the level of satisfaction and commitment. The first research question asked: To what extent does the perceived equity in disclosure of information between the individual and the organization contribute to the feeling of satisfaction and commitment to the organization by that individual? The accompanying hypotheses proposed a negative relationship between the perception of inequity in disclosing information and the level of satisfaction and commitment. As the level of perceived inequity increase, the level of satisfaction and commitment will decrease. A Pearson Correlation and a Regression Analysis indicated that there is a significant, negative, relationship between inequity and satisfaction, 43

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supporting the hypothesis that the higher the level of perceived inequity in disclosure, the lower the level of satisfaction. The correlation between inequity and satisfaction was .2773. Since the critical value (of r) for a sample size of 72 is .232 at the .05 alpha, the relationship is considered to be significant. Table II indicates that there is a predictable relationship between the perception of inequity and satisfaction. REGRESSION ANALYSIS Dependent Variable -Satisfaction Independent Variable -Inequity Constant 5.444836 r = Std. Err. Est. = F = .2773 .9193 5.8291 B Coef -.181762 Std. Err. (B) .075284 Table II F Value 5.8291 Prob. 01 84 Although there was no significant relationship found between the perception of inequity and commitment, by applying Regression Analysis to develop a scatter plot 44

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I I to draw a trend line, !results showed a slight trend i suggesting that as thJ perception of inequity the level of commitmeJt will decrease (Figure I Regression Equation y=4.9755514-0.066345xX Commitment 7 6.5 6 * 5.5 5 * 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1 5 1 0.5 0.0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Equity Fig. 3. 1 increases, 3. 1 ) r=0.088 7 Inequity There is also a commitment may take in the results that sobe time to develop. When I I I considering commitment: in terms of its two components I I the r value between the 34 employees that have worked in I the organization for six months, and the 38 I I 45

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employees that have I I I I wqrked time, indicates that Jhere the perception of ineduity i in the organization for less may be a relationship between and the willingness to accept a similar position in lanother organization by the most recently hired It is a relationship that is not as strong with 34 !employees that have worked for the organization longer tJan six months (Table III). This I indicates a possibility that commitment is an attitude I that is shaped over CORRELATION WILLINGNESS AND INEQUITY I For employees with siJ months or less For employees with than six months Table III .25201 1 31 0 I I When comparing new employees, according to the I length of time they had worked for the organization, I there are other that commitment is a I phenomena that takes to develop. Although a t-test did not find statistic:al significance, comparing the I group of workers with ,six months or less time in the I organization with thos:e with more than six months in the 46

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I organization, the lonJer term employees perceived less outside opportunities and were less willing to look for work elsewhere. Perhaps the longer term employees are more settled in and tfeir attention more focused toward developing a future with the organization, distracting I them from efforts to look or pursuing outside opportunities. Newer Jmployees seem to perceive more outside opportunities and are more willing to leave the organization for those opportunities. In terms of the first research question, results from the study indicate that there is a negative relationship between Jhe perception of inequity in disclosing informatioJ between the individual and the organization, and the level of satisfaction and commitment experienced by the new employee. This is statistically signifidant in the relationship between the perception of ineduity and satisfaction. Although the relJtionship between the perception of inequity and commitmedt is not statistically significant, there are some indicaJions that inequity and commitment are linked. In part, Jhis weak link may be due to commitment being a phJnomena that takes time to develop. 47

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The second research question asked: To what extent does the reduction of uncertainty during an individuals entry into the organization affect the level of satisfaction and commitment to the organization? The accompanying hypotheses proposed a positive relationship between the level of certainty and the level of satisfaction and commitment. A Pearson Correlation and Regression Analysis was used to explore the relationships between these variables. Findings suggest that there is a strong positive relationship between the level of certainty and satisfaction. As the level of certainty increases, the level of satisfaction also increases. The Pearson Correlation shows that this relationship is significant. The correlation between certainty and satisfaction is .3893, .and since the critical value (of r) for a sample size of 72 is .232 at a .05 alpha, the relationship can be considered as significant. Table IV indicates that there is a predictable relationship between certainty and satisfaction. 48

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REGRESSION ANALYSIS Dependent Variable -Satisfaction Independent Variable -Certainty Constant 3.848058 .3893 .8813 = 12.5028 r = Std. Err. Est. = F B Coef. .266837 Std. Err. (B) .075464 Table IV F Value 12.50281 Prob. .0007 There was no significant relationship found between the level of certainty and the level of commitment. This finding was supported when a Regression Analysis was used to develop a scatter plot to draw a trend line (Fig. 3.2). Regression Equation y=4.6590483+0.0218267xX r=0.028 Cormnitment 7 * 6.5 6 * 5.5 * * 5 * * * 4.5 * 4 * * 3.5 * 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 .5 0.0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 uncertainty certainty Fig. 3.2 49

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When the two components of commitment were compared with the level of certainty, a trend plot revealed that as the level of certainty there was a decrease in the willingness to accept a similar position. However this relationship was not statistically significant (Table V). REGRESSION ANALYSIS Dependent Variable -Willingness Independent Variable -Certainty Constant 3.123015 r = Std. Err. Est. = F = .0903 1 5078 .5757 B Coef. -.097959 Std. Err (B) .129103 Table V F Value .575728 Prob. .4505 When employees were compared according to how long they have worked in the organization, the employees that have more experience in the organization are less satisfied than their newer counterparts, and they experienced a lower level of certainty. The numbers that were used were means for satisfaction and uncertainty (Table VI). 50

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Group 1* (n=38) Group 2** (n=34) + Satisfaction ++ Certainty 4.90342 3.61842 Table VI 4.69467 3. 41 Employees with six months or less in the organization. ** Employees with more than six months in the organization. + The lower the number, the lower the satisfaction. ++ The lower the number, tJ::le lower the certainty. There is a relationship between the level of certainty and. the willingness to accept work in another organization for the 34 employees with more than six months with the organization (Table VII). REGRESSION ANALYSIS Dependent Variable -Willingness Independent Variable -Certainty Constant 4.087508 r = Std. Err. Est. = .3771 1.4578 4.6424 B Coef. -.445995 F = : Std. Err. (B) .206993 Table VII F Value 4.642443 Prob. .0399 As the level of certainty increased, the willingness to accept work at another organization decreased. The primary source for uncertainty in employees with more than six months employment may stem from a concern with their future with the organization. 51

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In response to the second research question, 'to what extent does the reduction of uncertainty during an individuals entry into the organization affect the level of satisfaction and commitment to the organization?,' the results are mixed. It was found that there was a positive and statistically significant relationship between the level of certainty and satisfaction. As with the first research question, commitment did not have a significant relationship with its independent variable, but it had elements that indicated a positive trend and a significant between certainty and the willingness to leave the organization for another organization with similar pay and responsibilities. Additional Findings There are indidations that an employee's future with the organization may not be given serious consideration during the orientation process. Five of the sixteen organizations did not have a mission statement, and three of the eleven organizations that did have a mission statement, either did not share it, or had some restrictions as to with whom it was shared. There are also indications that employees want 52

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information beyond rules, policies and procedures during orientation. By comparing the individual means from the seven questions in the "Information" variable (Table VIII), one can see that dealing with future oriented issues such as Pay/Promotion and how the individual fits into the organization and its goals, the manufacturing processes and procedures, and information about their co-workers are areas that are not being met. Information about: 1. Job responsibilities. 2. Rules, policies and procedures. 3. Pay and promotion. 4. Co-workers. 5. Product in 6. Product process before and after the new employees workstation. 7. Individual fit with organizational goals. Table VIII Note: Means are from questions 1 Oa -1 Og (Appendix B). Mean 3. 61 3.89 2. 61 3.15 3.51 2.77 3.1 By using four as a baseline for comparison value, and a Single Sample T-Test to compare the above means, there is a significant difference between the baseline and the means representing future related issues, information on how the product is made and information 53

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about the co-workers. Similar future and interpersonal concerns can also be found in the variables representing satisfaction and certainty, where the questions about Pay/Promotion, and Future and Co-workers ranked lowest, indicating that these areas may be likely to contribute to dissatisfaction and non-commitment. Summary Against the backdrop of organization that primarily focus their new employees' orientation on rules, policies and procedures, are employees that reacts to this environment in terms of satisfaction and commitment. By neglecting to reveal avenues for how the new employee fit into the organization and how to obtain some measure of security for his/her future, the organization may actually contribute to the lack of satisfaction and commitment felt by the employee. Similarly, by balancing the amount of disclosure during the new employees' entry into the organization, and by reducing the amount of uncertainty that the new employee experiences when entering into a new environment, the organization may actually be able to positively affect the employees' level of satisfaction and commitment from the 54

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This study found that there was a definite relationship between the perception of equity and satisfaction, and between the level of certainty and satisfaction. Results suggest that as the level of equity increases, so also does satisfaction. The study also reveals that satisfaction increases as the level of certainty increases. The relationship between equity and commitment, and certainty and commitment is more tenuous. Although there were no statistical significant relationships between these variables, there were trends that indicated that an increase in perceived equity leads to a higher level of commitment, and that an increase in certainty also leads to an increase in the level of commitment. This was especially true when commitment was considered from its two components. It suggested that for employees that have worked in the organization organization for six months or less, the more perceived equity, the less the willingness to accept similar work in another organization. There is also a relationship between the level of certainty and commitment. The higher the level of certainty, the lower the willingness to accept work at another 55

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organization. There are also indications that commitment may be a phenomena that develops over time rather than something that is experienced early in the organization/ employee relationship. One major implication that can be made from this study is that interpersonal theories such as Social Exchange Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory may be used to understand broader sets of relationships such as those between individual/group, individual/ organization, group/organization and organization/ external environment. Although this study focused on equity in terms of information exchange, there are other resources exchanged between the organization and its employees that could be explained by Social Exchange Theory. Employees exchange their time for wages, and will put forth extra effort as an investment for future rewards such as pay raises or promotions. This investment of extra effort may also reap more immediate rewards in the forms of respect, recognition and liking by individuals occupying power positions in the organization. When an employee perceives that there is an inequity in the cost/reward relationship between him or herself 56

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and the organization, he/she will be dissatisfied with the relationship and may look elsewhere for work. The perception of available alternative organizations contributes to whether the employee will leave the organization or not. This ties into commitment in that, as the employee spends time in the organization, there are increased opportunities for the employee to gauge their relationship in terms of equity. The study indicated that commitment may take some time to develop. Given this time, comparisons, considerations for alternative organizations, met expectations, and perceived equities and investments, will be evaluated by the employee in deciding whether the relationship is one in which the employee is considering worth continuing. If there is a large enough discrepancy in the perceived equity of the relationship, and if there are other opportunities available, the employee will look for opportunities to leave the organization for another. The level of uncertainty may also impact on whether the employee remains with the organization as a satisfied and contributing member or as a dissatisfied employee looking for other opportunities outside the organization. The study showed that there was a 57

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relationship between certainty and satisfaction, suggesting that reducing the level of uncertainty may be a satisfying experience. There are also suggestions in the study that indicate that if uncertainty still exists at the time that commitment develops, it may contribute to the degree of willingness of the employee to leave the organization. By providing the necessary information during orientation, the information seeking behaviors by the new employee could be facilitated by the organization. Applications for Organizations This study has shown that is an impact on a new employee's of satisfaction by the way that he/ she perceives equity in informationai disclosure and by the amount of uncertainty reduction during entry into the organization. What this means for the organization is that it needs to design its orientation program in such a way that in addition to conveying rules, policies and procedures, the orientation needs to be an equitable process of disclosure. It is also important that this disclosure be directed towards reducing the amount of uncertainty that occurs while entering into ari unknown 58

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organizational culture. By not considering equity and uncertainty reduction in their orientation programs, organizations may actually help to sponsor an organizational environment in which neither satisfaction nor commitment will flourish. Experts in organizational entry feel that an employee's socialization into the organization is a process that takes several months. It should therefore be evident that the orientation of a new employee should not be limited to just a few initial hours, but that the organization must take an active role in facilitating the new employee's orientation process throughout this period. First, the orientation must provide a positive first impression of the organization. This can be done, in part by providing a sense of equity in information disclosure during entry and by reducing the level of uncertainty that the new employee is facing terms of the immediate relationship that he/she will have with the organization. Second, the organization should include information about the future that the new employee has with the organization by sharing their mission statement and defining how the new employee's role will fit and 59

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contribute to the organization and its goals. The orientation of the new employee should also include the requirements for receiving pay raises and promotions, and revealing the methods used and areas covered when evaluating the new employee. By including these future oriented issues the organization may be able to nurture a growing sense of commitment felt by the new employee. Third, there is evidence to suggest that the orientation program should include some sort of formal introduction to their co-workers as a part of the orientation program. This would help to both reduce the uncertainty about the workers that the new employee will work with, as well as serving as a catalyst for the socialization of the new employee into the organization. A set of mentors could be used to help the individual 'learn the ropes.' This study also indicated that there may be a link between equity and uncertainty, and how they affect the level of commitment. The implication for the organization is that commitment may be something that develops over time, and the presence of equity and the reduction of uncertainty during entry into the organization may help to keep the employee from considering leaving the 60

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organization for a similar position elsewhere. This would save the organization any of the costs that have been associated with turnovers. Limitations of the Study There are several limitations to this study. While searching for organizations to participate, I found that the primary problem was in the widespread disinterest in the area being studied, and the subsequent refusal by the organizations to participate in the study. This led to a much too small sample size to effectively compare the different _organizations with each other in terms of finding out if the way that these organizations actually conducted their orientation affected the level of satisfaction and commitment in their new employees. It also led to a limited sample size of participating employees, which may have further effected the validity of the study. Another limitation of this study concerns the questions asked about commitment. In retrospect, more questions should have been developed in this area, rather than the two questions used to represent the two components of this variable, and by relying on previous 61

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research that has previously connected commitment with satisfaction. There may also be limitations imposed on the study by the use of interpersonal theories to explain and predict the relationship between the organization and its employees. More studies needs to be done in this way to secure an expanded use of interpersonal theories. Direction for Future Research Because of the limitations discussed earlier, future research should attempt to confirm the relationship between organizations and employees in terms of interpersonal theories. Further research should also be done on commitment, using more items to operationalize the variable, and then explore how it relates to other variables such as equity and uncertainty. The apparent level of disinterest in the organization/employee relationship as it pertains to both orientation and satisfaction/commitment suggests further studies in organizational attitudes towards these areas. Are these attitudes manifestations of just manufacturing organizations, or is it a geographical phenomenon, reflecting attitudes in the region where this study took 62

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place? Is it a national attitude, suggesting perhaps an international study? Opportunities to study several organizations in a longitudinal pre-test, post-test study may be one way of gauging the effect of perceived equity and uncertainty reduction, and how they would impact the level of satisfaction and commitment on the new employee. This would be done by analysing the organization's orientation program in terms of the variables in this study, then redefining and redesigning the program, and testing it to find if there were any significant difference between the employees in the first study and the employees in the second study. Longitudinal studies with organizations that have orientation programs designed according to the model suggested in this study, compared with organizations that have the "traditional" type of orientations, could provide insight into whether the effects of the new orientation design contribute to satisfaction and commitment on a long term basis or if the effects fade with time. Finally, studies should be done to cortnect future oriented issues during orientation with commitment. 63

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APPENDIX A Questionnaire# 1. Filled out by individuals in charge of Human Resources.

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QUESTIONNAIRE 1 1 Does your organization have a fonnal orientation program for your new employees? __ yes no 2. If applicable, what is the length of time that your organization formally spends on orienting new employees? less than 2 hrs 1 day 2-6 hrs -2 days other (Please explain) 3. To what extent does your organization orient your new employees to the organization by providing them with rules, policies and procedures? Please place an (X) on the appropriate line (__!__). to no extent to a moderate extent Which of the following ways do you use to Check all that apply. Pamphlets Videos ---Manuals Mentor Other. (Please explain) to a great extent share this information? Personal Conversation Classes 4. To what extent does your organization orient your new employees to the processes and procedures in the making of the item that you manufacture? Please place an (X) on the appropriate line (__!__). to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 5. In your orientation program, to what extent do you provide the new employee with information about the manufacturing processes and procedures of the product prior to reaching the new employees assigned work station? Please place an (X) on the appropriate line (.....!___). to no extent to a moderate extent 65 to a great extent

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6. In your orientation program, to what extent do you provide the new employee with information about the manufacturing processes and procedures after the product has left the new employees assigned work station? Please place an (X) on the appropriate line to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 7. In orienting the new employee to the processes and procedures of the manufactured product, prior to, and after the product has left the new employees' assigned work station, which of the following ways do you use to share this information? Check all that apply. Pamphlets Manuals Other (explain) Videos Mentor Tours of the plant Classes 8. Do you provide a new employee with a written job description? yes no 9. As part of your orientation process, do you allow the new employee to work at a number of work stations that reflect the manufacturing process of your item before assigning him/her to a more permanent work station? yes no 1 0. Do you formally introduce your new employees to their irmnediate co-workers and team-mates as part of your orientation process? yes no 11 Does your organization have a mission statement? yes no 12. Does your organization share its mission statement with all or some of your employees? (explain) 13. Briefly explain the process of employee orientation in your organization. Describe how much information and 'l.vhat type of information is given to the new employee concerning the organization. 66

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B I Questionnaire # 2. Filled out by new employees

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QUESTIONNAIRE 2 1. Male Female -----2. Age ---3. How long have you worked for this organization? __ 4. How long have you done the kind of work that you are doing now? ---5. How many other similar jobs have you had? __ 6. What is the highest level of education that you have achieved? a. s6me high school. b. High school graduate. c. Some college. d. Graduated from a four year college. e. Beyond a four year college education. Directions: For the following questions, please put an (X) on the appropriate line. For example ( X ). When you were first hired by this company: 1 To what extent were you provided with accurate information about what your job duties would be? to no extent to a rroderate extent to a great extent 2. To what extent were you provided with accurate information on how to get promoted and get pay raises? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 3. To what extent were you provided with accurate information about company rules and policies? to no extent to a rroderate extent to a great extent 4. To what extent were you provided with accurate information about organizational goals and how you would fit into those goals? to no extent to a moderate extent 68 to a great extent

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5. To what extent were you provided with an introduction to your .co-workers'? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 6. To what extent were you provided with information that accurately described what to expect by working for this company'? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 7. canpared to other companies that you have worked for, on the average, how do you rate this company'? worse same better 8. Compared to supervisors in previous companies, on the average, how well do you get along with your present supervisor(s)'? worse same better 9. Compared to co-workers in previous companies, on the average, how well do you get along with your present co-workers'? worse same better 1 0. When you were first hired by this company, how much information did you receive about; a. your job responsibilities'? not enough information just enough information b. company policies and procedures'? not enough information just enough information c. ways to get promoted and/or pay raises'? not enough information d. your co-workers'? not enough information just enough information just enough information 69 too much information too much information too much information too much information

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e. the product you are involved in making? not enough infonnation just enough infonnation f. how the product is made, start to finish? not enough infonnation just enough information g. the companys' goals and how you could fit in? not enough infonnation just enough infonnation too much infonnation too much infonnation too much infonnation 11. 'Ib what extent are there many job opportunities for you, in the Denver area, to find similar jobs in other organizations? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 12. To what extent would you be willing to accept work in another organization, doing the same job for the same amount of compensation? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 13. To what extent would you be willing to change your job in order to stay with the organization? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent Directions: When answering these questions ask yourself: How satisfied am I with the following aspects of my job and this organization? 14. The way my boss handles his/her workers? very dissatisfied neutral 15. How well my supervisor make decisions? very dissatisfied neutral 70 very satisfied very satisfied

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16. The way that my job provides steady employment? very dissatisfied neutral very satisfied 17. The way that this organization provides steady employment? very dissatisfied neutral very satisfied 18. The way that company pcjlicies are put into practice? very dissatisfied neutral 19. My pay and the amount of work I do? very dissatisfied 20. The working conditions? very dissatisfied neutral neutral 21. The way that co-workers get along with each other? very dissatisfied neutral 22. The feeling of accomplishment I get from my job? very dissatisfied neutral 23. The praise I get for doing my job? very dissatisfied neutral 24. The chances for promotion on this job? very dissatisfied neutral 25. The freedom to use my own judgement? very dissatisfied neutral 71 very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied

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26. The chance to do something to make use of my abilities? very dissatisfied neutral 27. The chance to do something for other people? very dissatisfied neutral 28. The chance to be somebody important? very dissatisfied neutral very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied 29. The chance to do different things from time to time? very dissatisfied neutral 30. The chance to work alone on the job? very dissatisfied neutral 31. The chance to try my own methods of doing my job? very dissatisfied neutral very satisfied very satisfied very satisfied 32. To what extent do you feel that you provided the organization with more information about yourself, than the organization provided you with in formation about itself? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 33. To what extent do you feel that the information you received during your orientation, helped ease the uncertainty that you felt when you entered into this organization? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 34. To what extent do you feel that the information you received during your orientation, helped to ease the uncertainty about what your job responsibilities would be? to no extent to a moderate extent 72 to a great extent

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35. Tb what extent do you feel that the information you received during your orientation, helped ease the uncertainty about what your future was with this organization'? to no extent to a moderate extent to a great extent 36. To what extent do you feel that the information you received during your orientation, helped ease the uncertainty of working with your co-workers. to no extent to a moderate extent 73 to a great extent

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