پیش بینی کننده ها و نتایج مشاور و شاگرد در یک برنامه مشاوره رسمی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8372||2006||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7172 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 69, Issue 3, December 2006, Pages 410–423
This study examines the predictors and outcomes of mentoring received by participants of a 12-month formal mentoring program. Based on relationship theory, we examined how the personality of the individuals in the mentoring dyad, their perceived similarity, and mentor perceived support for mentoring contributed to relationship outcomes. The study includes data from both mentors and protégés at the program launch, midway through the program, and at program close. Mentor proactivity was related to more career and psychosocial mentoring; protégé’s perceptions of similarity to the mentor was related to more psychosocial mentoring. More mentoring was related to positive protégé and mentor outcomes, including improved protégé career clarity over the duration of the study.
Most mentoring relationships develop naturally through unstructured social interactions, and are known as “informal mentoring relationships.” In recent years, however, many organizations have established formal mentoring programs, involving assigned pairings of mentors with protégés. Despite this trend, there is a dearth of research available about the outcomes of formal mentoring, and the factors that make formalized relationships successful (Feldman, Folks, & Turnley, 1999). This study draws upon relationship theory to examine the extent to which individual characteristics of the formal mentor and protégé, as well as perceived similarity to one’s formal mentoring partner and organizational support, contribute to the levels of mentoring received during a 12-month formal mentoring program. Contributing to a literature that has few studies on the outcomes of formal mentoring, this study also examines whether levels of formal mentoring relate to career development and satisfaction-related outcomes reported by both the protégé and mentor. 1.1. Mentoring in the context of formal mentoring programs Formal mentoring relationships differ from informal mentoring in several fundamental ways. First, the relationships are initiated differently. Informal mentoring relationships develop because of mutual identification and interpersonal comfort (Ragins, 2002). In contrast, formal mentoring programs match individuals as part of an employee development process, and the two individuals must then strive to get to know one another. Formal and informal mentoring relationships also differ according to the timing and structure of the relationship (Ragins & Cotton, 1999). Informal relationships are not governed by a timeline or a third party; there are no external rules dictating whether something should be accomplished, or how long the relationship will last. In contrast, the formal mentoring relationship is part of an organized, facilitated employee development program. Formal mentoring relationships are arranged for a specified duration (e.g., nine months to a year), and protégés are generally prompted to have developmental goals in mind. Formal mentoring participants must initiate interaction and establish rapport within this context. Likely because of the fundamental differences between informal and formal mentoring, research has suggested that on average, informal mentoring may be more effective than formal mentoring (Chao et al., 1992 and Ragins and Cotton, 1999). A study by Ragins, Cotton, and Miller (2000), however, showed that formal mentoring relationships have the potential to reap the same benefits as informal mentoring relationships. In addition, organizations continue to see formal mentoring as an important employee development tool (Hegstad & Wentling, 2004). Such information suggests the usefulness of learning about what factors are associated with more versus less successful formal mentoring relationships. 1.2. Theoretical framework and hypotheses Mentoring activities have been shown to provide both career (e.g., sponsorship, coaching, protection, challenging assignments, and exposure) and psychosocial (e.g., friendship, role modeling, counseling, and acceptance) functions for protégés (Kram, 1985). Career-oriented functions are aimed more toward the organization and the individual’s career. Psychosocial functions are more personal, relying on an emotional bond between the mentor and protégé. Including both members of the formal mentoring dyad, this study used a relationships framework (Hinde, 1997) to examine protégé and mentor characteristics, dyad characteristics, and organizational support for mentoring as predictors of level of mentoring that occurs in the relationship. Relatively few applications of relationship theory as well as few studies including both the mentor and mentee exist in the mentoring literature. Relationship theorists within the field of social psychology note the importance of individual differences to relationships, indicating that the characteristics each individual brings to a relationship influence the extent and quality of interactions between the two people (Hinde, 1997 and Neyer, 2004). In the formal mentoring context, it is intriguing to begin to discuss and examine how protégé and mentor personality may contribute to the success of the developmental relationship. Asendorpf (2002) notes that personality may affect relationships through three primary mechanisms: via selection (who one selects as a relationship partner), evocation (the responses that are evoked from others), and manipulation (how individuals shape the course of their relationship). Given that most formal mentoring programs have an external party complete the matching of the mentor and protégé, we focused on two specific personality characteristics (proactivity and openness to experience) whose theoretical origins suggest would be critical in driving the mechanisms of evocation and manipulation of interactions within a formal mentoring context. Proactivity refers to a tendency to shape and influence one’s environment (Bateman & Crant, 1993). An individual with high proactivity is likely to take action and respond to opportunities, while low proactivity reflects little initiative, passivity, and the likelihood of maintaining the status quo. Protégé proactivity is purported to affect the amount of mentoring via initiation and maintenance of scheduled meetings between the mentor and protégé (evocation) and through goal-oriented behavior during mentor interactions (manipulation). Because formal programs aim toward the protégé, it is the protégé that is typically responsible for arranging meetings (Coley, 1996). Yet, barriers such as the perceived power of the mentor (inducing intimidation on the part of the protégé, and an unwillingness to “bother” the more senior individual) and time constraints in the work environment highlight the situation as one where initiative will play a role in ensuring such meetings are scheduled. Because proactive individuals seize opportunities for growth, they may also be more prepared for mentoring meetings, articulating questions and directing conversation in a manner that elicits higher amounts of career mentoring. While psychosocial mentoring might be elicited if the two individuals connect on a more personal level, we expect that proactivity of the protégé will especially elicit career mentoring, due to the ambition and initiative components. Mentor proactivity is theoretically relevant for similar reasons. Even if formal mentoring programs are supposed to be protégé-driven, a mentor higher in proactivity will be more likely to schedule meetings if the protégé does not initiate sufficient contact and will be more apt to plan discussions. We propose: Hypothesis 1. Higher levels of protégé and mentor proactivity relate to higher levels of career-related mentoring reported by both parties in the formal mentoring relationship. Openness to experience encompasses imagination, intelligence, curiosity, originality, and open-mindedness (McCrae et al., 1996). We expect the openness to experience of the protégé and mentor to be important to the amount of both career and psychosocial mentoring that occurs in a formal mentoring context. Through both mechanisms of evocation and manipulation, we suggest that individuals with higher openness to experience will be more inquisitive and receptive to new ideas and perspectives from a mentor that they may not have gravitated to on their own accord. High openness to experience is expected to similarly predispose mentors to be more willing to mentor an individual that is not a mirror reflection of themselves, and the openness to evoke a more comfortable atmosphere for self-disclosure. In a cross-sectional study of administrators, Bozionelos (2004) found that individuals with higher openness to experience reported providing, as well as receiving, more mentoring over their tenure in their current organization. We more rigorously examine this characteristic in a dyadic, longitudinal context: Hypothesis 2. Higher levels of protégé and mentor openness relate to higher levels of career and psychosocial mentoring reported by both parties in the formal mentoring relationship. While individual characteristics are important to a relationship, variables concerning the dyad itself are also critical (Hinde, 1997). For example, individual characteristics affect relationship success, but perceptions of one another are also important. We concentrate here on one dyad variable, perceived similarity of one’s relationship partner, that has attracted attention in both the relationship and the informal mentoring literature. Relationship research suggests that, on average, people prefer others who they perceive as similar to them (Hinde, 1997). The mentoring literature has likewise shown that protégés who perceive themselves as similar to their mentors in regard to issues such as values, perspectives, and work styles report receiving higher levels of both career and psychosocial mentoring ( Ensher et al., 2002 and Turban et al., 2002). Studies examining the role of both demographic match variables and perceived similarity have shown perceived similarity to be more strongly associated with outcomes than demographic match variables ( Allen and Eby, 2003, Ensher et al., 2002 and Turban et al., 2002), likely because there are so many dimensions on which people may differ. In line with this research, we hypothesize that individuals in a formal mentoring context will feel they are receiving more from (or providing more to) someone they perceive is “like” themselves. We propose: Hypothesis 3. Protégé perceptions of similarity to the mentor relate to higher levels of career and psychosocial mentoring reported by the protégé. Hypothesis 4. Mentor perceptions of similarity to the protégé relate to higher levels of career and psychosocial mentoring reported by the mentor. The relationship literature acknowledges that relationships exist within the context of groups, other individuals, and the external environment in which they reside (Hinde, 1997). Particularly relevant in a formal mentoring context is perceived organizational support for mentoring. While an organization can have a formal mentoring program, organizational culture norms that promote and encourage mentoring may be powerful incentives. Allen, Poteet, and Burroughs (1997) found that perceptions of organizational support for employee learning and development relate positively to mentors’ motivation to mentor. We propose that mentors’ perceived organizational support for mentoring will contribute to the mentoring provided in a formal mentoring context beyond the individual and dyad characteristics examined in the proposed model. Hypothesis 5. Mentor perceptions of support for mentoring relate to higher levels of career mentoring reported by both parties in the formal mentoring program. The primary goals of the mentoring programs in our study, as reported by program coordinators, were to promote the career development, performance, and retention of the protégés. Our study collected information about the relationship between the mentoring received and four self-report protégé outcomes complimentary to these program goals. Our first protégé outcome was a reaction measure, representing an affective report from the protégés about their general satisfaction with their mentor. The second protégé outcome was a report by the protégés about the extent to which they felt the mentoring program had a positive influence on their job performance. The last two outcomes were measures of change, examining improvements in protégé career goal clarity and decreases in intentions to leave the organization from the beginning to the end of the study. We currently know very little about formal mentoring program outcomes. Our examination provides new insight into the relationship between mentoring and important protégé vocational and career-related outcomes including improvements in career goal clarity and desires to stay with the organization, important pre-post (change) outcomes that have not received attention in the mentoring literature, in either formal or informal contexts. Based upon the research available in the informal mentoring domain that suggests that the receipt of psychosocial and career mentoring is associated with both subjective and objective career outcomes (Allen, Eby, Poteet, Lentz, & Lima, 2004), and the likelihood that one’s own perceptions of the mentoring that occurred will be related to reactions, learning, and behavioral outcomes, we propose: Hypothesis 6. Higher psychosocial and career mentoring reported by the protégé relate to higher protégé satisfaction with one’s mentor, perceived positive influence of the program on one’s job performance, improvements in career goal clarity, and increased intentions to stay with the organization. It is also of interest to evaluate the extent to which mentors benefit from the mentoring experience. Early theoretical work proposed that mentoring serves as a mechanism for career rejuvenation for individuals in the middle and late career phase (Kram, 1985). However, empirical research on mentoring outcomes has focused almost exclusively on the impact of mentoring on protégés (Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003). One exception to this is a qualitative study by Allen et al. (1997). Mentors reported several benefits to mentoring, primarily self-satisfaction, job-related advantages such as increasing the mentor’s own knowledge, and building a support network within the organization. Protégés give mentors an audience for their ideas and feelings, gratifying the mentors’ desire for generativity. To examine the perspective that mentoring provides a forum for mentor rewards, rejuvenation, and possibly increased organizational commitment, we propose: Hypothesis 7. Higher levels of career and psychosocial mentoring reported by the mentor relate to higher mentor reports of the experience as rewarding, perceived positive influence of the program on one’s job performance, and to improved organizational commitment.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
One purpose of this study was to use a relationships framework to examine predictors of the amount of mentoring that occurs within a one-year, formal mentoring relationship. While protégé proactivity and mentor and protégé openness were not significant predictors of mentoring reported, the results portrayed relationships between mentor proactivity and reported mentoring. Specifically, mentor proactivity was related to more career-related mentoring reported by the protégé and also to more career and psychosocial mentoring reported by the mentor. Importantly, an open-ended question included in the Time 3 survey provided insight into the ways in which mentor proactivity is important to the mentoring that occurs in the formal relationship. For example, a number of protégés noted that they took the initiative to contact their mentors, but that sometimes their mentors did not show up for a scheduled meeting or did not answer e-mails. Another protégé recognized that he was responsible for asking his mentor questions, but added, “I could have benefited from my mentor bringing her perspective on things in her world (managerial level) that I have no idea about.” Last, another protégé noted that it was intimidating as a junior person to schedule meetings with his mentor; that it would have been helpful if the mentor took some initiative in this regard. He noted, “…I felt as an imposition on my mentor, not due to anything she did or said, but just because of the fact that she was a higher level person than I am. It was hard for me to see as ‘normal’ calling meetings with her and take time from her. Mentors should be [encouraged to] drive the relationship too…” Our finding that proactive mentors are likely to provide more mentoring suggests that organizations should involve mentors that are more proactive as well as encourage mentors to be proactive. The results further portrayed relationships between protégé reported similarity to the mentor and psychosocial mentoring. It makes intuitive sense that friendship, role modeling, counseling, and acceptance would occur more often among pairs for whom there was a perception of similarity, although there have been other studies that have shown perceived similarity to be related to both career and psychosocial mentoring (e.g., Ensher et al., 2002). It could be that perceived similarity is not as important to the receipt of career mentoring in a formal context. In a formal context, the pairs have a business directive to meet to work on the protégé’s career development. We propose that this developmental directive makes it is more likely that career mentoring will occur in the absence of perceived similarity. Although more examination is needed, this finding represents a preliminary extension of informal mentoring results regarding perceived similarity to the formal mentoring context. This finding suggests that when matching mentors with protégés, an attempt should be made to develop matches where the paired individuals have at least something in common (e.g., whether it be a common interest in a sport, or both having children the same age). Complicating the issue, however, matches in terms of actual similarity do not guarantee that individuals will perceive each other as similar (Hinde, 1997), and similarity cannot be taken too far—the mentor must have some skills or background that is unfamiliar to the protégé in order to be helpful to the protégé’s development. Some time during an initial orientation event might be used for the mentoring dyad to uncover points of similarity. A second purpose of this study was to examine program outcomes reported from both the perspectives of the protégé and the mentor. Higher levels of career-related mentoring reported at Time 2 were associated with both the protégé and the mentor reporting that the relationship had a positive effect on his or her job at Time 3; for protégés, there was also a significant relationship between psychosocial mentoring and perceived effect on the job. In addition, higher levels of career mentoring reported at Time 2 were related to improvements in protégé’s career clarity scores over the one-year duration of the study, representing a new insight into an important outcome that may reaped from formal mentoring. Psychosocial mentoring seemed to be more important than career mentoring in the affective evaluation of the relationship. Higher levels of psychosocial mentoring occurring in the relationship (but not career-related mentoring) were related to protégé satisfaction with one’s mentor and to the mentor reporting the relationship was a rewarding experience. Although Allen et al. (2004) found that career-related mentoring was related to affective evaluations of the relationship, psychosocial mentoring was the stronger correlate of the two. The findings that higher levels of career mentoring reported by the mentor were associated with the mentor feeling the experience had an impact on his/her job was borne out by several responses to an open-ended question at the end of the Time 3 survey. For example, one mentor noted that mentoring had “pointed out some of the things that I seem to be doing right in comparison with the mentee’s boss, and also some things to be alert for in my own behavior.” Another mentor noted how it had improved his/her job performance, saying, “It has changed the way that I interact with my staff. I’ve passed on advice that I’ve given my mentee to my own staff.” Finally, another mentor noted, “It’s given me a better understanding of the types of problems and issues faced by younger people in the organization, including some of my direct reports who are not very good at verbalizing certain types of issues.” Our results along with these comments portray insight into advantages of formal mentoring to participating mentors that provide higher levels of mentoring. Consistent with the few studies that have examined mentor/protégé dyads, our findings suggest there is not a strong correlation between reports of mentoring from mentors and protégés (Armstrong et al., 2002, Raabe and Beehr, 2003 and Waters et al., 2002). Lack of stronger agreement between the mentor and the protégé may be for several reasons. First, the protégé may benefit from information provided by the mentor unbeknownst to the mentor. For example, the mentor may describe an event from his or her day, and the discussion can be enlightening to the protégé in a way that the mentor does not realize. Second, the mentor may provide mentoring that the protégé forgets, does not understand, or does not find useful. Finally, it is possible that the mentor provides some mentoring for the protégé, such as mentoring involving protection or sponsorship, when not in the presence of the protégé. This mentoring would be reported by the mentor, but not by the protégé. Because of this lack of agreement, organizations may want to note, in orientation, that the two members of the dyad may benefit from discussing what each member is getting out of the relationship. A limitation of this study stems from its small n and our inability to study a broader array of potentially important predictors. The use of a dyadic longitudinal design is challenging for investigators. When collecting this data, we sought the participation of eleven organizations conducting 15 launches of a best-practices formal mentoring program. While response rates to individual surveys were quite good, our dyadic design required that individuals and their partners respond to every survey. There were cases where individuals responded, but his or her mentor or protégé did not, and cases where individuals or dyads responded to only one or two of the three time waves. Recognizing the difficulty of (a) securing higher response rates (our lowest response rate was 72%, with the highest being 90%; it is the dyadic matching process that reduces the n), (b) soliciting more organizations to participate, and (c) encouraging management-level employees to respond to surveys, it should nevertheless be the goal of future research to aim for a larger sample of matched dyads. Larger samples of matched dyads in future studies will allow a larger number of potentially important variables to be included in the analysis. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that mentor proactivity and protégé perceptions of similarity to one’s mentor are related to the amount of mentoring that occurs in a formal mentoring relationship. Higher levels of mentoring were associated with positive program-relevant outcomes for both the protégé and the mentor. Our study contributes to the mentoring literature through its basis in relationship theory, inclusion of both members of the relationship dyad (mentors and protégés), as well as through its focus on predictors and outcomes of mentoring received in formal mentoring relationships in an organizational setting, an understudied context.