Purpose – This study aims to examine the organizational socialization of women soldiers in the Italian Army. Design/methodology/approach – Following an interactionist interpretation of socialization, a model was tested to determine the influence of organizational socialization tactics, proactive behaviours, supervisor support on organizational identification, and cohesion of teamwork. This study used a comparative research design. The sample consisted of 324 soldiers, 43 per cent of whom are men and 57 per cent per cent are women. Findings – Structural equation models showed the influences exerted by general socialization and by the acquisition of organizational values/goals on the outcomes of socialization. Multisample analysis showed gender differences. Compared to men, women seemed to set greater value on tutoring by expert colleagues. Women also seemed to value the support provided by their superiors for learning the organizational values and goals on which the degree of identification with the military structure depends. Practical implications – These findings could add new information concerning the organizational socialization strategies (e.g. newcomers' training, tutoring/shadowing programmes) giving some guidelines for the insertion of woman newcomers in a non‐traditional organization. Originality/value – In a systemic perspective the present study explored the process of organizational socialization using the content of organizational learning. The research highlighted the gender difference regarding the socialization process in a male‐dominated organization.
Journal of Workplace Learning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 4, 2008
Keywords: Women; Italy; Armed forces; Socialization; Learning organizations
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