|Institution:||Wilfrid Laurier University|
|Keywords:||group dynamics; organizational socialization; sport psychology; questionnaire development; Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Social Psychology; Sports Studies|
|Full text PDF:||http://scholars.wlu.ca/etd/1847|
In highly interdependent groups, the ability to swiftly and successfully integrate newcomers is an important component to maintaining functional team dynamics. The current dissertation explored how sport teams structure the nature and timing of events that newcomers are put through by implementing specific socialization tactics. In the first manuscript, a qualitative study was initiated to garner descriptive insights into the tactics that are used to socialize athletes into sport teams. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with coaches, veteran athletes, and newcomer athletes (i.e., individuals in their first year as a team member). Participant insights were thematically analyzed and compared to existing theoretical accounts of organizational socialization processes. Key processes involved establishing congruent role expectations between incoming athletes and group leaders. Further, socialization tactics balanced individually tailored role communication with efforts to foster social connections within the group. In the second manuscript, a questionnaire was developed to assess individuals’ perceptions of the socialization tactics used in their team. Across four studies, think aloud interviews (N = 8), an expert panel review (N = 6), two cross-sectional tests of the factor structure (Nstudy 2 = 197; Nstudy 3 = 460), and a two-wave correlational design (Nstudy 4= 194) were used to evaluate the construct validity and reliability of the Sport Team Socialization Tactics Questionnaire (STSTQ). Collectively, these efforts helped to identify a three dimensional model underlying the STSTQ, and provided preliminary evidence for its validity and reliability. This dissertation offers insight into the processes through which newcomers are integrated into team sport environments. Moreover, the STSTQ will augment future efforts to systematically examine the individual-level and group-level consequences associated with the socialization tactics implemented in sport teams.