Date of Conferral
Richard S. Schuttler
This study was designed to test the relationship between matching and mirroring (MM) and homophilous perceptions (PHM) in leadership socialization. Elevated PHM levels were hypothesized to affect workplace acceptance levels. The need for testing leadership socialization skills was magnified with the current demographic shift known as the leadership succession crisis, creating problems with onboarding strategies. The theoretical foundations of the study were based on the social identity theory, the social presence theory, the leader-member exchange theory, and the similarity-attraction paradigm. The study conducted at Workforce Solutions North Texas in Wichita Falls, Texas was sampled based on the calculated strength of the effect in a pilot study. Test group participants engaged in MM enhanced social conversation with a coached candidate and control group participants conversed with an uncoached participant from the general population engaging in normal conversation. MM processes were differentiated from natural synchronic tendencies using specialized software and KinectÂ® sensors. A contrasted group, quasi-experiment was examined with an analysis of covariance. No statistically significant difference was found between groups on PHM levels, correcting for age, gender, ethnicity, height, glasses, hobbies, and professions. However, PHM and coworker acceptance were statistically significant but with no difference between groups. Further research is needed to test PHM as a metric for rapport in socialization strategies. Nevertheless, the homophily lens rather than the rapport lens can help organizational development and human resource professionals quantify and develop more effective socialization strategies aimed at solving problems associated with the leadership succession crisis.