The pathways that make new public employees committed: a dual-process model triggered by newcomer learning
MetadataShow full item record
The current article proposes a dual-process model to explain how newcomer learning, an outcome of the early socialization experiences of new public employees, leads to organizational commitment in public organizations. Specifically, we argue that newcomer learning triggers two distinct psychological mechanisms: an affective pathway, leading to job satisfaction and ultimately to affective commitment, and a cognitive pathway, leading to psychological contract fulfillment and normative commitment. We conducted a two-wave survey with 728 newcomers in the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service to test this dual-pathway model. Our findings support the hypothesis that these affective and cognitive pathways constitute independent channels in mediating the impact of newcomer learning on public servants’ organizational commitment. Moreover, we observe that the affective component of commitment is triggered by job satisfaction, whereas the normative component is more closely linked with psychological contract fulfillment. Our findings highlight the importance of providing newcomers with the knowledge about organizational values, formal procedures and informal norms and skills to perform their roles during the early socialization period to strengthen their commitment to public organizations and ultimately to the public interest.