The Role of the big five personality traits, proactive behaviour, and socialisation influences in newcomer adjustment

  • Amr A. H. Swid Ahmed

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


During the early stages of employment, newly hired employees find out what their new organisations are like. Their first impressions are extremely important in determining the course of subsequent attitudes and behaviour. Recently, a considerable progress has been made towards the understanding of adjustment process, however, the literature remain divided along a number of fronts. Moreover, newcomer research has been conducted independent and irrespective of newcomer personality individual differences. This seems to be a critical oversight because there is overlap in predictions involving these constructs. The current research extended the previous one by examining these multiple antecedents, including Big Five personality traits of newcomer to the tandem process of adjustment as well as outcomes that immediate, or ?proximal? to the process of newcomer adjustment. Following a cross sectional pilot study of recent college graduate, a three- wave longitudinal study of newcomers in seven organisations examined Big Five personality traits, proactive behaviour, and socialisation influence (formal training, leaders, co-workers) as antecedents of proximal adjustment outcomes (group integration, political knowledge of organisation, and task performance). The main study results suggested that personality traits were related to proximal adjustment outcomes, specifically, Conscientiousness was positively related to all proximal adjustment outcomes. Openness to experience was related to task performance and political knowledge. Group integration is independently related to Agreeableness, Extraversion and Neuroticism. The socialisation influence moderate these relations, for example, leader socialisation moderate Conscientiousness as it relates to political knowledge and group integration, while co-worker moderate Extraversion as it relates to task performance. Finally, it was found that, the relationship between proximal adjustment outcomes and the personality dimensions Openness was mediated by proactive behaviour. Overall, the results suggested that individual differences have a role in newcomer adjustment as it facilitate the socialisation influence, and Big Five was one of the key determinants of newcomer adjustment.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorStephen A Woods (Supervisor) & Claudia Sacramento (Supervisor)


  • Newcomer adjustment
  • personality traits
  • socialisation influence
  • proactive behaviour

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