Organizational Socialization Of Community College Adjunct Faculty: A Correlational Analysis Of Content, Context, And The Dimensions Influencing Socialization Outcomes
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DepartmentCommunity College Leadership Program
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Higher Education Administration
This quantitative study focuses on the socialization processes of the adjunct faculty at three Mid-Atlantic community colleges. Although adjunct faculty are the majority faculty at community colleges, they are still considered as a marginalized group (transient workers) that diminishes the integrity of quality educational programs (Cohen & Brawer, 2008). Hiring adjunct faculty is a debatable issue among researchers; however, the consensus is that if these professionals are hired, they should be socialized into college culture at the beginning of their journey. To determine the extent to which adjunct faculty are socialized, this study used the survey instrument within the socialization content model (SCM) developed by Chao, O'Leary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein, and Gardner (1994) with modifications by Salisbury (2006). The modifications did not change the original intent of the survey questions. The SCM dimensions or dependent variables in the study were performance proficiency, people proficiency, history, language, politics, and organizational goals and values; while the independent variables were supervisory contact, previous experience, career status, employee materials, realistic job preview, knowledge of performance expectations, and training. Descriptive statistics were used to determine if current socialization processes at each college were effective for adjunct faculty. Further analysis was done as appropriate using regression analysis and statistical significance tables. Some statistics included regression, t-tests, means comparisons, and a one-way MANOVA. The results of this study showed no statistically significant differences among adjunct faculty at the three community colleges. However, the data did reveal that the employee handbook and college catalog were essential documents leading to successful socialization, especially if these documents are read prior to semester start. Other findings suggested that those who attend orientation sessions have a better understanding of four of the six dimensions. Adjunct faculty identify with their institution's mission and the faculty members' plans to continue teaching are not dependent upon the People dimension. Career status was not a significant predictor of socialization outcomes, and the more contact adjunct faculty have with their supervisor, the more likely the success of the adjunct faculty.