The search for meaning in (new) work: Task significance and newcomer plasticity

David M. Sluss, Blake Ashforth, Kerry R. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Using temporally-lagged data from 146 business and engineering newcomers, we found evidence for a "positive side" of plasticity theory (Brockner, 1988, p. 547) in fostering newcomer adjustment. Specifically, as predicted, we found that higher newcomer generalized self-efficacy positively moderates the association between job design (i.e., task significance of the newcomer's job) and newcomer attitudes (in our study, organizational identification, job satisfaction, intentions to quit). Our findings promote plasticity theory as readily applicable to both newcomer adjustment and positive organizational scholarship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • Newcomer adjustment
  • Self-efficacy
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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