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Matching People and Organizations: Selection and Socialization in Public Accounting Firms

Jennifer A. Chatman
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 36, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 459-484
DOI: 10.2307/2393204
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2393204
Page Count: 26
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Matching People and Organizations: Selection and Socialization in Public Accounting Firms
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Abstract

To investigate how the fit of an employee with his or her organization as a whole is established and maintained and what the consequences are in organizations, this study tracked the early careers of 171 entry-level auditors in eight of the largest U.S. public accounting firms and assessed the congruence of their values with those of the organization. Person-organization fit is shown to be created, in part, by selection (assessments of who the person is when he or she enters the organization) and socialization (how the organization influences the person's values, attitudes, and behaviors during membership. Results show some support for three general hypotheses: First, recruits whose values, when they enter, match those of the firm adjust to it more quickly; second, those who experience the most vigorous socialization fit the firm's values better than those who do not; and third, recruits whose values most closely match the firm's feel most satisfied and intend to and actually remain with it longer.

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