مشاوره دیگران: رویکرد انگیزشی و بدون موضع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8330||2003||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8774 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 62, Issue 1, February 2003, Pages 134–154
Dispositional and motivational variables related to the propensity to mentor others and to the provision of career and psychosocial mentoring were examined. Results indicated that prosocial personality variables (other-oriented empathy, helpfulness) related to willingness to mentor others and also accounted for unique variance beyond variables associated with life and career stages. Other-oriented empathy related to actual experience as a mentor. Results also indicated that motives for mentoring others differentially related to psychosocial and career mentoring.
Individuals who mentor others are widely recognized as playing a vital role within organizations. Mentors are typically defined as individuals with advanced experience and knowledge who are committed to providing support to and increasing the career advancement of junior organizational members, their protégés (Kram, 1985). Furthermore, mentors serve as a key source for ensuring the continuation of knowledge within organizations and for grooming junior employees (Kram & Hall, 1996). Mentoring relationships continue to be recognized as an important aspect of career development for both mentors and protégés (cf. Dreher & Ash, 1990; Kram, 1985; Scandura, 1992; Turban & Dougherty, 1994; Whitely, Dougherty, & Dreher, 1991). Although research concerning mentoring benefits continues to accumulate, research on factors related to willingness to mentor others and mentor variation in mentoring behavior is sparse. Given the considerable amount of time and commitment required on the part of mentors, not all individuals are motivated or inclined to assume this role. Those who do mentor others may have different motives underlying their willingness to engage in this activity (Allen, Poteet, & Burroughs, 1997; Kram, 1985). Individuals who take on a mentorship role are generally thought to provide two broad categories of behavior or functions to their protégés that are referred to as career and psychosocial (Kram, 1985). However, the extent that a mentor provides these functions can vary considerably (Ragins & Cotton, 1999). Research examining variation in the provision of career and psychosocial mentoring has tended to focus on variables such as race and gender. Relatively little is known about individual differences (outside of demographic factors) that may help explain differences in mentoring behavior. The purpose of the present study was to extend our understanding of the propensity to mentor others and the provision of mentoring functions from the perspective of the mentor. Building on social psychological and organizational behavior theories of prosocial behavior, the present study had two main objectives. The first was to identify individual difference variables related to the propensity to mentor others. Specifically, the relationship between prosocial personality characteristics (other-oriented empathy and helpfulness) with experience as a mentor and with willingness to mentor others was examined. The second objective was to examine the extent prosocial personality characteristics and personal motives for mentoring others explain variation in the provision of career and psychosocial mentoring functions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Several key findings emerged from this study. First, the results provided support for the contention that prosocial dispositions are associated with the propensity to mentor others. Moreover, the results demonstrated that the dispositional variables have incremental predictive value beyond variables associated with career and life stage theories. However, it should also be noted that several of the career and life stage variables related to the propensity to mentor others, particularly to willingness to mentor others. This suggests that instrumental and prosocial approaches should be considered complementary, rather than competing, processes related to willingness to mentor others. Mentoring research and practice may benefit by recognizing the influence that both sets of variables have on the propensity to mentor others. The results also demonstrated that different variables relate to willingness to mentor others than relate to actual mentoring experience. For example, helpfulness related to actual experience as a mentor, but empathy did not. People who score high on helpfulness are consistently inclined to engage in actions that benefit others (Penner et al., 1995). Thus, helpfulness may theoretically map more squarely with becoming a mentor than does other-oriented empathy. Moreover, helpfulness may be a better predictor of actual mentoring decisions because it is also linked to self-confidence and self-efficacy (Penner et al., 1995). Less confident individuals may be willing to mentor others, but hesitant to actually engage in the behavior. These findings underscore the importance of comparing mentors and nonmentors for individual differences, as well as investigating willingness to mentor to fully understand the propensity for mentoring others. To my knowledge, this is the first study to compare mentors and nonmentors. Moreover, the results are not surprising given that although research has shown that intentions are often the best predictor of future behavior, the two are not perfectly correlated (Ajzen, 1991; Brett & Reilly, 1988; Griffeth, Hom, & Gaertner, 2000; Sheppard, Hartwick, & Warshaw, 1988). Each mentoring opportunity is likely to occur within a unique set of circumstances. For example, an individual may be willing to mentor others, but when approached by a junior colleague, he or she may be under extreme work pressures that prevent him or her from taking on the role at that immediate time. An important endeavor for future studies is longitudinal research investigating how well willingness to mentor others predicts actual mentoring decisions. The results of the present study also reveal a more comprehensive landscape of factors related to the provision of mentoring functions. The results indicate that prosocial dispositions relate to mentoring functions; however, there are differential relationships between career and psychosocial mentoring. Specifically, only helpfulness related to career mentoring while only other-oriented empathy related to psychosocial mentoring. The different patterns of relationships may be explained by several factors. Helpfulness may more highly relate to career-related mentoring because it reinforces feelings of efficacy and competence. Providing protégés with sponsorship, organizational exposure, and challenging assignments can demonstrate the mentor’s own skills and validate his or her clout within the organization (Kram, 1985). Penner et al. (1995) found that scores on other-oriented empathy strongly relate to general traits such as warmth and nurturance while helpfulness scores do not. Warmth and nurturance has a closer conceptual tie with psychosocial mentoring. Indeed, Kram (1985) noted that conveying empathy is a key aspect of the counseling function associated with psychosocial mentoring. Highly empathetic individuals may be better able to foster the intimacy and trust that is central to the psychosocial dimension. Counseling psychologists have been interested in the extent empathy can be trained as a means to foster therapeutic relationships (Duan & Hill, 1996). A similar line of research may be helpful in promoting psychosocial functions among mentors and protégés. This study also linked motives for mentoring others with the provision of mentoring. The results suggest that mentors motivated by different factors may provide different mentoring functions. For example, the results indicated that mentors reporting greater motivation to mentor for self-enhancement reasons were more likely to report providing career mentoring. Meanwhile, mentors motivated by intrinsic satisfaction were more likely to report providing psychosocial mentoring. One explanation for these results may be that mentors motivated by a desire to enhance their standing in the organization may see little value in providing the friendship and counseling activities that comprise psychosocial mentoring as these activities may not directly serve their own career goals. Mentoring relationships based on career functions alone are primarily instrumental in nature (Kram, 1985). By sponsoring a protégé for a high visibility assignment, the mentor may enhance his or her own career profile. On the other hand, mentors motivated by intrinsic satisfaction may acquire more satisfaction from the relational aspects of the mentorship and thus be more likely to provide psychosocial mentoring. The results also revealed that mentors motivated by the desire to benefit others might be most likely to provide both types of mentoring. This makes sense when considering that the other-focused mentor desires to help the organization and the individual achieve success. This may best be achieved by providing both types of mentoring. As noted by Kram (1985), mentoring relationships that provide both types of functions are more indispensable and critical to protégé development. The results have several implications. One is that protégés may need to try and determine what motives underlie a prospective mentor’s willingness to engage in a mentoring relationship to ascertain whether the relationship will meet their needs. For example, a protégé who has little need for the psychosocial aspects of mentoring might fit well with a mentor motivated to mentor for self-enhancement reasons. On the other hand, a protégé desirous of greater emotional intimacy and relational depth may be unhappy with such a mentor. This information could prove useful to those charged with matching mentors and protégé in formal mentoring programs. One direction for future research is an examination of how mentor motives for mentoring others relate to other dynamics associated with the mentorship such as protégé career and learning outcomes. Another implication of the results is that variables such a relationship duration and demographic characteristics may have limited value when trying to explain mentoring functions provided. With all the study variables accounted for, none of the demographic or mentorship characteristic variables remained significant. The present research suggests that researchers should move beyond the focus on surface level characteristics such as gender and consider deeper level characteristics that may better explain variation in mentoring behavior. The present study opens the door to several other avenues of research from the focal point of the mentor. Ragins and Scandura, 1994 and Ragins and Scandura, 1999 have investigated the relationship between perceived costs and benefits with willingness to mentor others. In future research, it would be interesting to examine the extent prosocial dispositions relate to perceived costs and benefits. For example, it may be that individuals high in prosocial tendencies would be less likely to perceive costs and more likely to perceive benefits associated with mentoring others. Moreover, additional research examining how perceived costs and benefits may mediate the relationship between dispositions and the willingness to mentor others may increase our understanding of initial mentoring processes. Other recent research has investigated mentor information-seeking (Mullen & Noe, 1999). It seems likely that mentor motives may relate to the extent a mentor seeks feedback and information from his or her protégé. That is, mentors primarily motivated for self-enhancement purposes may be more likely to utilize the protégé as an information source. Continued research concerning how mentor personality relates to various aspects of the mentoring relationship seems warranted. For example, individual difference variables such as Machiavelliasm might relate to self-focused motives for mentoring others, particularly self-enhancement. This type of personality-motive combination may be more likely to produce some of the negative or dysfunctional mentoring behaviors mentoring researchers have begun to investigate (Eby, McManus, Simon, & Russell, 2000; Scandura, 1998). Additionally, organizational variables such as how mentoring others is rewarded in the organization are likely to explain variance associated with both a general willingness to mentor others and motives for doing so. Organizational variables may be particularly important to understanding the enactment of the self-enhancement motive for mentoring. For example, Kram (1985) notes that organizational reward systems can detract from a mentor’s willingness to mentor others. It may be that organizations that offer no rewards inhibit the mentoring activities of individuals primarily motivated for self-enhancement purposes. On the other hand, mentors driven more by intrinsic satisfaction may not be concerned with whether or not their mentoring efforts are rewarded by the organization. Understanding the dynamics related to the propensity to mentor others also has practical implications. The information can be used to help organizations encourage developmental relationships. The functional approach to motivation advanced by social psychology research on volunteerism posits that understanding the motives that are most important to an individual can help in attempting to elicit the desired prosocial behavior by developing an appeal that matches the motive (Clary et al., 1998; Penner & Finkelstein, 1998). Since willing mentors are important to succession planning, information-sharing, and organizational learning, it is imperative that organizations recognize the importance of motivating individuals to assume mentoring roles. Appealing to both the altruistic and instrumental motives of individuals may help organizations maintain a stable of ready and willing mentors. 7.1. Strengths and limitations The present study has several strengths. Specifically, a comprehensive range of theory driven predictors were included. This allowed me to ascertain that the prosocial personality and motive variables related to mentoring behavior after adjusting for other theoretically linked variables. Additionally, this research moved beyond examining willingness to mentor only, by also examining characteristics that distinguish mentors and nonmentors. Strengths aside, limitations to the study should be noted. Cause and effect inferences cannot be made regarding the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Although proposing that the direction of the relationship is one where personality and motives precede mentoring behavior is theoretically sound, the design precludes firm causality inferences. Additionally, since the data were based on self-reports, common method bias is a possible influence on the results. However, common method variance is an unlikely explanation for the differential pattern of relationships observed. Moreover, the objective nature of the experience, no experience as a mentor variable renders it less vulnerable to common method bias (Podsakoff & Organ, 1986). Finally, this study was limited to two occupational groups who were members of a professional association. The extent that the findings generalize to other occupations and settings remains to be tested. Limited systematic research has been conducted examining the propensity to mentor others, and even less has focused on motives that underlie mentoring behavior. Organizational restructuring during the past decade has resulted in fewer mid and upper level management positions. Consequently, there are fewer individuals in senior level positions who can take on the responsibility for mentoring others. Continued research designed to delineate the variables that influence and motivate organizational members to assume the challenging task of mentoring others should lead to a better overall understanding of mentoring relationships and help organizations develop more effective strategies for their facilitation.