Correlates of organizational tenure



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The present study was undertaken to demonstrate that data collected initially and principally for the purpose of predicting managerial performance can be profitably subjected to secondary analyses aimed at understanding the dynamics of worker adjustment to the organizational context of the work environment. The measure of organizational culture developed m the study was based on the conceptualization that if the organizational context of work molds the perceptions and attitudes of organizational participants, this is a process which crystallizes over time and the reactions of groups with varying lengths of tenure m the organization can be regarded as fair indicators for inferring the cumulative influence of the organizational milieu. Accordingly, correlates of organizational tenure were identified by item-analyzing the responses to the Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey of examinees who were matched in age but differed in length of service with the organization at the time of test administration. Collectively, the differentiating items constitute an operational definition of organizational culture. Following cross-validation of the empirically developed measure of organizational culture, withdrawal from the company expressed in terminations and the company's reward structure were examined as possible factors in organizational acculturation. The results of the present study indicate that organizational acculturation is not adequately explained by the company's reward structure or by the selective attrition of individuals who are unable or unwilling to adapt to the company's culture as evidenced by their low scores or the measure of organizational culture The company's reward structure, to the extent that it finds expression in various aspects of job success, was found to be more responsive to the abilities and characteristics measured by the Personnel Development Series (PDS) battery of tests than to perceptual and attitudinal changes associated with length of exposure to the organizational milieu Terminations, whether self-initiated or company encouraged, reflected significant differences m demonstrated job performance, not differences m test performance or differences m organizational acculturation. It was also found that the correlates of organizational success were diametrically opposite to the correlates of organizational culture, suggesting that success m higher level jobs involves some degree of departure from the prevailing organizational norms. From the point of view of the PDS, the results lend strong support to its continued usefulness for predicting managerial effectiveness, whether the prediction is based on test information collected relatively early or late in the examinee's career The PDS was also found to be equally predictive for individuals who joined the company after a period of employment elsewhere as it was for individuals with no previous employers The implications of the study to researchers whose dominant interest lies in the prediction of managerial behavior as well as to those concerned with theories about organization and the role of the membership in them were discussed. Hope was expressed that the results of the present study would accelerate the dialogue between them.



Organizational behavior., Industrial sociology.