Date of Award

Spring 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Albert S. Glickman

Committee Member

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Donald D. Davis

Committee Member

Raymond Kirby

Committee Member

Robert P. Archer


This study examined the process of socialization of professionals in their educational setting and in work organizations after graduation from college. The purpose was twofold: to test an expectancy-based process model of socialization for its ability to predict commitment and retention intentions in both environments, and to identify differences in individuals' cognitive structures and value systems manifested at different points in the socialization process. Additionally, points of conflict between professional and organizational socializations were explored.

Subjects were 154 nurses and 190 teachers. For each of these professions, four subgroups were sampled: (I) students entering the professional phase of education; (II) students in the final year of school; (III) graduates entering their first job after school graduation; and (IV) graduates with two to four years of work experience. Subjects in the entry group of new students and new employees were measured at the point of entry and four to six months after entry, in order to assess changes in expectations and cognitions.

Path analysis was used to examine the fit of the model to data from both environmental settings, and results showed the model to be an adequate fit in both settings. Expectations and valences of outcomes both influenced levels of commitment. Input from significant others influenced expectations and achievement of initial outcomes of professional role assumption and job satisfaction. The most powerful contributor to intent to remain was level of commitment.

Factor analyses showed the factor structures of the four groups to be significantly different from each other. Groups on entry into a new environment reflected concern with informational inputs from significant others and environmental sources. The factor structure for students in their final year revealed a concern with clarification of aspects of the profession and professional roles. The factor structure for experienced professionals revealed a clear delineation between elements of the work environment and aspects of the professional role.

Discriminant analyses revealed disconfirmation of some entry expectations for novices, where nurses reported lower assessments and teachers reported higher assessments of organizational characteristics in the second rating. Value systems revealed major shifts from a concern with professional values (provision of client services) for students to a focus on organizational values (job conditions) for working professionals.


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