دستاوردها و جهت گیری های انگیزشی اجتنابی در حوزه مشاوره
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8352||2006||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 68, Issue 3, June 2006, Pages 524–537
To extend research on fundamental motivational orientations into a new domain, we explored the achievement (positive) and avoidance (negative) orientations of formal organization-based mentors and protégés as joint predictors of personal learning experienced by both parties. We also examined the extent of mentoring functions provided by mentors as a hypothesized partial mediator. Regression analyses of 8-month data from 61 dyads revealed that mentors’ personal learning was predicted by protégés’ achievement (positive) and avoidance (negative) orientations, whereas protégés’ personal learning was predicted by their own achievement orientation (positive). Although the extent of mentoring functions facilitated personal learning equally among mentors and protégés, it did not function as a mediator. Finally, mentor–protégé congruence on achievement orientation had implications for the personal learning of protégés.
Since the inception of scientific research on human nature and psychology in general, the basic dichotomy (see James, 1890; pp. 549–559) encompassing a desire to attain success (or competence) and a desire to avoid failure (or incompetence) has stood as a central framework for researching and understanding human motivation and behavior (Elliot, 1999, Higgins, 1997, James and Mazerolle, 2002 and McClelland, 1951). In underscoring the continuing and widespread relevance of this basic framework for psychological research in the 21st century, Elliot and Thrash recently proposed that “the distinction between approach and avoidance motivation is fundamental and integral to the study of affect, cognition, and behavior and that this distinction may be used as a conceptual lens through which to view the structure of personality” (2002, p. 804). The notion that approach and avoidance motivations are distinct phenomena rather than virtual opposites, as implied by Elliot and Thrash, is perhaps counterintuitive. Yet, designating them as relatively independent within the structure of personality and self-regulation stems from the neurological “go” or approach system (left hemisphere of the frontal cortex) being separate from the neurological “no go” or avoidance system (right hemisphere) (for overviews, see Carver and Scheier, 2000, Elliot and Thrash, 2002 and Graziano and Eisenberg, 1997). As a consequence of being rooted in distinct dispositional systems, approach and avoidance motivations should be at most only moderately (rather than strongly) inversely related. Although approach and avoidance motivations have together played a central role in understanding much of human experience, research has not applied them to understanding the experiences of mentors and protégés. In this study, we incorporated these motivations by focusing specifically on achievement and avoidance orientations as propensities with unique implications for the learning experiences of individuals in mentoring relationships. In particular, we investigated in tandem the achievement and avoidance motivational orientations of mentors and protégés as predictors of personal learning experienced by both parties in a formal mentoring relationship. We also examined whether the predicted relationships between these motivational orientations and personal learning are accounted for by extent of mentoring functions provided. Finally, we explored whether mentor–protégé congruence on achievement and/or avoidance orientations had ramifications for personal learning, extent of mentoring functions provided, or both.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our results bolster the person-centered approach to work motivation (Kanfer & Heggestad, 1997), as they highlight the importance of individuals’ achievement and avoidance motivational orientations in the domain of mentoring. These fundamental motivational orientations predicted, in theoretically meaningful ways and over a period of 8 months, the amount of personal learning stemming from a formal mentoring relationship. Given that we operationalized achievement and avoidance as individuals’ orientations toward work in general, and not toward the mentoring program in particular, the ability of these constructs to predict personal learning (a specific outcome) bolsters their overall relevance to the realm of vocational behavior at large. Notably, the correlation between achievement and avoidance orientations was −.49 (p < .001) for mentors (24% of the variance was shared), whereas it was −.07 (p > .10) for protégés (none of the variance was shared). Despite this disparity, taken together these correlations reveal that achievement and avoidance orientations had an overall modest negative relationship with each other. In addition, our regression results showed that each made distinct contributions to predicting personal learning. In particular, protégés’ level of achievement orientation was related positively to the personal learning of both parties, while protégés’ level of avoidance orientation was related negatively to the personal learning of their mentors. In addition, we conducted six separate analyses to explore whether mentor–protégé congruence on achievement and/or avoidance orientations had implications for personal learning, the extent of mentoring functions provided, or both. Only one of the six tests had significant results. Though the highest level of protégé learning occurred within dyads that were congruent at high achievement orientation, the overall pattern suggested that protégés’ achievement orientation was the most important factor in terms of their own personal learning. There are four principal ways in which these findings have implications for work motivation theory. First, they extend the theorized positive influence of achievement orientation and theorized negative influence of avoidance orientation into an area of organizational behavior that differs from isolated task performance and that is important in its own right (i.e., the topics of mentoring and personal learning). Second, they contribute important support for the notion that individuals’ motivational orientations have implications for the learning that occurs among other employees. The cross-dyad relationships of protégés’ achievement and avoidance orientations predicting mentors’ personal learning is especially important in light of scant research having considered that individuals’ motivational orientations may influence the developmental experiences of others with whom they interact in the workplace. Third, the influences of individuals’ motivational orientations existed in the upward, but not downward, direction in shaping the developmental experiences of others. Given that much of the mentoring literature has focused on personal development as an outcome of a unidirectional process from mentors to protégés (Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003), the upward (or reverse) influence uncovered in our study represents a unique contribution to the literature. Finally, although mentor–protégé congruence on achievement orientation had implications for protégé personal learning, the overall pattern of results underscores the importance of mentors’ and especially protégés’ independent levels of achievement and avoidance orientations (rather than mentor–protégé congruence) as predictors of personal learning. Our findings also contribute to the mentoring literature by building on Ragins and Scandura’s (1999) research on the benefits of being a mentor. One benefit identified by those authors was a perception, among individuals with mentoring experience, that being a mentor has a rejuvenating effect on mentors’ competence and innovation. Similarly, McKenna (1990) found that, as a result of a mentoring relationship, mentors may acquire useful ideas and greater expertise for their present workplace, and develop further in a professional role. Our findings support the notion that mentors may realize this type of learning as a result of their mentoring, but that, even with the same formal mentoring program, the level of personal learning that occurs is not uniform among mentors. Notably, our results suggest that differences among mentors in their personal learning are driven not by their own motivational orientations, but rather by the achievement and avoidance orientations of their protégés. It may be that mentors are more likely to seek information from those protégés who display a willingness to challenge themselves and work hard (i.e., protégés who have high achievement and low avoidance orientations), and thus respond to these protégés with a desire to be co-learners in the relationship. Another notable contribution of our study is the support found for extent of mentoring functions as an important contributor to personal learning, insofar as it was positively related to the personal learning of mentors and protégés, even when controlling for mentors’ and protégés’ motivational orientations. Our original position was that extent of mentoring functions would function as a partial mediator of relationships between motivational orientations and personal learning. To our surprise this mediation did not occur, namely because the motivational orientations of mentoring participants were not related to extent of mentoring provided in the relationship. We offer the formalized setting of the mentoring program as a plausible explanation for this lack of mediation. For instance, despite their own personal inclinations, those individuals who committed to be mentors in the formal program were somewhat obligated to provide at least a minimal amount of mentoring. Along these lines, mentors attended a two-hour orientation session that detailed mentoring behavior, and encouraged the creation and use of progression plan that delineated developmental goals for and expected frequency of interaction with protégés. This session may have influenced mentors to provide a similar extent of mentoring to their protégés, such that extent of mentoring functions provided was not a product of their motivational orientations or those of their protégés. Ragins, Cotton, and Miller (2000) have proposed that rather than being an all-or-nothing proposition, mentoring ranges along a dimension of effectiveness based on the quality of the relationship. As such, personal learning may be explained by the quality of mentoring in addition to the amount of mentoring functions provided. Future research on factors that mediate relationships of mentors’ and protégés’ motivational orientations with mentoring outcomes should investigate the quality of mentoring relationships, in addition to exploring the amount of mentoring functions provided. Our study was conducted within a single organization and results may not necessarily generalize to formal programs in other organizations. We relied on the use of self-report measures to obtain data from mentors and protégés in matched dyads. Although self-reported personal learning has the limitation of not being objective, it likely encompasses individuals’ acquisition of tacit knowledge, which is subjective in nature and cannot be readily formalized or codified. In addition, we believe that our study design mitigates some potential problems associated with self-report measures. For example, our ability to match data from mentor and protégé pairs allowed us to look both ways and find two incidences of cross-dyad relationships. As shown in Table 2, protégés’ reported achievement and avoidance orientations predicted mentors’ reported learning, while controlling for mentors’ reported achievement orientation, avoidance orientation, and extent of mentoring functions provided. Also, extent of mentoring functions, which was reported by mentors, had virtually equivalent correlations (see Table 1) with personal learning reported by mentors (r = .36, p = .005, two-tailed) and that reported by protégés (r = .34, p = .007, two-tailed). Nevertheless, future research may extend upon ours by using different sources for measuring learning, such as supervisors’ evaluations of protégés’ learning and improved performance after participation in a formal mentoring program. Although our results indicated that mentor–protégé congruence had implications for only protégé learning, and only with achievement orientation as a predictor, future research should continue to explore possible ramifications of mentor–protégé congruence for learning-related outcomes. From the standpoint of measurement issues, we used global measures of extent of mentoring functions and personal learning in lieu of exploring their components. In light of our modest sample size, this was a relevant way to minimize the number of separate statistical tests we conducted and, therefore, somewhat mitigating the potential escalation of Type I statistical error (see Bobko, 1995). Nevertheless, our findings should be evaluated with prudence given that we did conduct a number of statistical tests on data from a sample of only 61 dyads. Finally, the relatively low internal consistency for the measure of avoidance orientation slightly attenuated relationships of avoidance orientation with other variables. Given the limitations of this study, we encourage other scholars to conduct follow-up research that attempts to replicate and build on our findings.