Resocialisation of Experienced Employees: Challenges in a Context of Change


  • Arras-Djabi Mélia
  • Lacaze Delphine

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Management research in the field of organisational socialisation has largely focused on the incorporation of new recruits into stable organisations. This research study looks instead at the resocialisation of employees facing planned changes in their role expectations. Conducted with the assistance of a leading European railway company that had undergone a transformation process, the study is a qualitative piece of research mobilising 35 cases of employee resocialisation. The main findings are threefold: they reveal four typical forms of resocialisation (conviction, resourcefulness, resignation and transgression) spanning the continuum from success to failure; indicators of successful and failed resocialisation need to be revisited; cognitions or emotions (adherence) and behaviours (role orientation) are clearly aligned with conviction and transgression, as are those socialisation dimensions that can serve as either resources or barriers. Conversely, resourcefulness and resignation reveal ambivalent forms of resocialisation. Finally, experienced employees tend to face three kinds of resocialisation resources and barriers (relational networks, biographical continuities or discontinuities and organisational roles), each of which is specific in nature. Lessons can be drawn from these discoveries with regard to the resocialisation of experienced employees.

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