Newcomers’ fear of COVID-19 and organizational socialization: What type of leader support is effective?

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Yeseul Jung
Jiyoung Park


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has affected and changed diverse aspects of organizations. Based on the perspective that integrates the socialization process through the lens of work stress, we viewed COVID-19 as a situational stressor and examined the role of the fear of COVID-19 on newcomers’ organizational socialization process. We aimed to investigate the relations between newcomers’ fear of COVID-19 and their proximal organizational socialization outcomes such as role clarity, task mastery, and relationship building. We also hypothesized leader emotional and instrumental support would buffer the effect of newcomers’ fear of COVID-19 on emotional exhaustion. Based on a survey using a total of 232 newcomers who joined their organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that the fear of COVID-19 was positively related to emotional exhaustion, and emotional exhaustion mediated the relations between the fear of COVID-19 and two socialization outcomes such as task mastery and relationship building. Leader emotional support was found to weaken the positive link between the fear of COVID-19 and emotional exhaustion while the moderating role of leader instrumental support was not supported. Based on these results, we discussed implications and directions for future research.


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Jung, Y., & Park, J. (2022). Newcomers’ fear of COVID-19 and organizational socialization:: What type of leader support is effective?. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 35(3), 327–353.
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