The organizational socialization process of nonprofit workers

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dc.contributor.author Roth, Emily
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-07T20:43:10Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-07T20:43:10Z
dc.date.issued 2017-05-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/35317
dc.description.abstract A commonly held belief in higher education is that a student’s educational program paves the way towards a specific career choice, forcing students to intentionally choose courses in preparation for a particular line of work (Lair & Wieland, 2012). Recognizing the influential role of education (Jablin, 2001) and the increasing numbers of nonprofit education programs (Mirabella & McDonald, 2012), it is important to understand the educational expectations created by university programs and how these expectations are enacted as students become nonprofit employees. To better understand communication practices that shape the expectations, experiences, and worker identities, this study applies organizational assimilation theory to nonprofit education and work through interviews of nonprofit employees’ experiences after completing a nonprofit education program. Qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts indicates that nonprofit-focused educational programs socialize students to work for a cause that they find personally meaningful. However, not all students are able to meet this expectation, creating two paths, a straight path and a winding path in search of meaningful work. Those on the straight path who found personally meaningful work attributed their experience to an internal locus of control based on an intentional job search and workplace opportunities. Participants who did not find the personally meaningful work they expected used external control attributions by blaming the job market, the way their generation approaches work, and how their educational program created unrealistic expectations. Findings deepen understandings of organizational assimilation theory in terms of education, while bridging educational practices and organizational assimilation theory to contribute practical implications. Practical implications include encouraging education programs to facilitate volunteering and networking opportunities for their students, prospective nonprofit workers to seek out volunteer and job shadowing opportunities, and nonprofit organizations to focus on the assimilation process of new employees. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject organizational socialization; higher education; nonprofit work; meaningful work en_US
dc.title The organizational socialization process of nonprofit workers en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Master of Arts en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department Department of Communications Studies en_US
dc.description.advisor Sarah E. Riforgiate en_US
dc.date.published 2017 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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