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Making the right friends: A social network perspective on newcomer socialization in teams
Human Resource Management  (IF5.078),  Pub Date : 2020-06-16, DOI: 10.1002/hrm.22020
Zhenyu Yuan, Ning Li, Yiyuan Mai, Zhuxin Ye, Jia (Joya) Yu

Despite the prevalence of work teams in organizations, how newcomers become integrated into teams remains an understudied area. Drawing on research related to indirect social resources, in this paper we employ a social network perspective to examine how close teammates' friendship centrality can facilitate newcomers' adjustment by fostering the newcomers' own social capital in teams and promoting their subsequent task performance. Furthermore, our model incorporates institutionalized socialization tactics and political skill as two contingencies that can further strengthen the positive effects of indirect social resources on newcomers' adjustment. In a time‐lagged study using multiple sources of data, we found good support for our hypotheses. Specifically, close teammates' friendship centrality was positively related to newcomers' task performance through the mediating effect of newcomers' own friendship centrality in teams. The two moderators further strengthened this indirect effect. Overall, this study highlights the importance of “making the right friends” to facilitate newcomer adjustment into teams.