22 SES 08 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Faculty members are developed through a long process. Faculty member development process is different from other sectors and the uniqueness of the higher education organizations is reflected to career transitions, professional identity development and socialization processes of the faculty members working in these organizations.
In Turkey, candidates for faculty members are selected from a highly successful group through a long process. However, many candidates experience adjustment and adaptation problems and as a result of these problems they tend to leave the workplace or develop turnover intensions or, worse of all, leave the profession. It is argued that part of the problem in faculty members’ professional lives is related to the socialization process (Cawyer, Simonds, & Davis, 2002). Van Maanen and Schein (1979) shares the same idea by stating that identifying with new roles requires both developing new skills and adopting to social norms and rules (i.e., appropriate mannerism, attitudes, and social rituals) in the new work setting. Understanding how people adopt new social norms and roles and depicting social and psychological processes behind the adoption process becomes one of the key concerns (Ibarra, 1999). As a result, socialization and professional identity development of faculty members in the academy has increasingly been gaining the attention of the scholars in educational research. In its broadest meaning socialization refers to incorporating the existing values, behavior patterns, and social knowledge (Albrecht & Bach, 1997), which enables the newcomers to adapt to their new workplace. Although the process of socialization sounds as a unilateral process of imposing values, norms, roles, and rules to conform to, several other scholars indicated the “negotiated” nature of socialization through which organizational members adapt to their work environment (Ibarra, 1999; Schein 1978). Socialization process enables organizational members to accomplish a fit between themselves and their environments (Ibarra, 1999). Jablin (1987) argued that incorporating values, behavior patterns and social knowledge plays a key role in the process of becoming part of the organization (Jablin, 1987). Research on organizational socialization conceptualizes the phenomenon as a process and depicts different phases of the process (Jablin, 1987; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979).
Although faculty members’ socialization is a key process in successful adaptation of faculty members, the issue has received limited interest from educational scholars. This study aims to extend previous body of knowledge on new faculty members’ socialization. In order to do this, the study proposes a new conceptual perspective towards socialization. The study adopted Armenakis and Bedeian’s (1999) process, content, context, and outcome framework, which was originally developed to analyze organizational processes. Within this framework the study documents process, content, context and outcome factors affecting socialization process.
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