Document Type


Publication Title

Western Journal of Speech Communication


Western States Communication Association

Publication Date

Summer 1989


This report identifies a gap between theory and research which plagues two areas of organizational inquiry, describes a method through which these concerns may be addressed, and describes a study which employed this method. Specifically, recent conceptualizations of organizational socialization and organizational identification view individuals as active participants in their relationships with organizations. Yet, research in both areas has over-emphasized the organization's perspective and under-emphasized the individual's. Turning point analysis is a method through which researchers may "listen" to participants' points of view. It was used in a study reported here in order to help round out the relevant bodies of research. Retrospective interviewing was used to reconstruct the history and process of individuals' socialization experiences over an eight-month period. Fifteen types of turning points were identified. The results derived from turning point analysis are compared with conceptualizations of socialization and identification. Similarities and differences are noted, and implications are discussed.



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