خودافشایی مشاور و شاگرد: سطوح و نتایج درون زوج مشاوره رسمی در زمینه شرکت های بزرگ
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8376||2007||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6726 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 70, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 398–412
This study examined the role of self-disclosure within protégé/mentor dyads in formal mentoring partnerships within a corporate context as a means of learning more about specific relationship processes that may enhance the positive outcomes of mentoring. While both protégés and mentors self-disclosed in their relationships, protégés disclosed at a higher level than mentors. Protégé self-disclosure, but not mentor self-disclosure, was related to protégé outcomes including mentoring received, relationship satisfaction, and positive influence of mentoring. The study contributes to a mentoring literature that has become more interested in examining mentoring relationship micro-processes from both the protégé and mentor perspective.
The understanding of work-based mentoring relationships has substantially increased during the past two decades. For example, mentoring has been related to positive career outcomes including job satisfaction, career satisfaction, compensation, and promotions (for meta-analytic reviews see Allen et al., 2004 and Underhill, 2006). Other studies have examined variables associated with having a mentor and how much mentoring individuals receive (for a meta-analytic review see Hezlett, 2003). Recently, there has been a growing interest in looking deeper inside the mentoring relationship to learn more about mentoring relationship micro-processes that best facilitate protégé growth, learning, and leadership development (Fletcher & Ragins, in press). The purpose of this study is to explore the role of one relationship process variable, self-disclosure, in predicting mentoring outcomes for the protégé using a formal mentoring program within an organizational context. Self-disclosure refers to the extent to which individuals in a relationship relate experiences, emotions, beliefs, fears, failures, and successes to each other (Hinde, 1997). The relationship literature has portrayed self-disclosure as a central relationship process variable, critical to relationship development and maintenance, and fundamental to communication and exchange that is more than surface-level conversation (Dindia, 1993, Hinde, 1997 and Reis and Shaver, 1988). Yet, despite interview-based findings suggesting that self-disclosure occurs within and is beneficial to high-quality mentoring relationships (Ensher & Murphy, 2005), at this point we know very little about the strength of the relationship between self-disclosure, mentoring levels, and mentoring outcomes. This study contributes to the mentoring literature in two distinct ways. First, it provides an important look inside of the mentoring relationship, informing the potential significance of self-disclosure as a specific relational process that facilitates mentoring outcomes. Because we assess self-disclosure on the part of both the mentor and the protégé, our study responds to calls for research that looks at not only the finer relationship processes involved in mentoring contexts, but also research that assesses both mentor and protégé perspectives ( Dougherty and Dreher, in press, Fletcher and Ragins, in press and Wanberg et al., 2003). Second, we use formal work-based mentoring relationships in our study, a context in which it seems particularly important to differentiate between more effective, versus less effective relationships ( Ragins and Cotton, 1999 and Ragins et al., 2000). Corporate mentoring programs are typically initiated as a means of enhancing the careers, development, and performance of management-level employees (Douglas & McCauley, 1999). Relationships within these programs face special challenges (Ragins & Cotton, 1999). For example, the two relationship partners usually do not know one another, and dyads must develop their relationships from scratch in the context of what is typically a limited-duration program (e.g., 9 months to 1 year). It is of interest to determine to what extent disclosure occurs in these relationships, and to what extent self-disclosure differentiates more versus less positive relationship outcomes. 1.1. Theoretical framework Our study draws upon an interpersonal process model from the social psychology literature (Reis & Shaver, 1988). A fundamental assumption of the Reis and Shaver model is that self-disclosure facilitates the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships, and that relationship satisfaction and liking one another are highly dependent upon the levels of self-disclosure among the relationship partners. Such an assumption is borne out by research in several kinds of relationships (see for example, Finkenauer et al., 2004, Levinger and Senn, 1967 and Sprecher and Hendrick, 2004). In order for information to be considered a self-disclosure, the information revealed must be about the individual (Cozby, 1973) and must involve something personally meaningful. Individuals might disclose for a variety of reasons including catharsis; self-validation; impression formation; to open the possibility of receiving or providing social support; to clarify their thoughts, opinions, or attitudes; or to better reveal who they are to others (Rosenfeld, 2000). Self-disclosure may include positive (e.g., accomplishments) and/or negative (e.g., weaknesses) information, and can vary in the amount or breadth of information disclosed as well as the intimacy of information revealed (Chelune, 1978). In a mentoring context, individuals may disclose work-related fears, failures, successes, or other information that they do not find easy to share or have not shared widely with others (Ensher & Murphy, 2005). The reason that self-disclosure seems to be important to relationship development, maintenance, mutual liking, and satisfaction is that it creates closeness and intimacy in the relationship by promoting a deeper understanding of one’s self and one’s partner (Hinde, 1997). Within a mentoring relationship, self-disclosure may be a pivotal means by which the relationship moves from a weak connection between the two parties to a stronger connection that can be used to discuss and make progress on issues that really matter to one’s work performance (Ensher & Murphy, 2005). A critical complement to self-disclosure, and part of the Reis and Shaver (1988) model, is partner responsiveness to the self-disclosure, or whether the partner seems to validate, accept, and understand the disclosure (see also Berg, 1987 and Hinde, 1997). Reis and Shaver suggest that continued self-disclosure and positive relationship outcomes depend upon whether or not the discloser felt understanding, validation, and care from the relationship partner after the disclosure. Laurenceau, Barrett, and Pietromonaco (1998) found support for the importance of partner responsiveness in a study that asked college students to provide information immediately after any social interaction over a one-week period. Results showed that respondents reported increased feelings of intimacy when there were higher levels of self-disclosure on the part of both of the individuals in the interaction. Also important, however, was the extent to which the other person in the interaction was perceived as being accepting. Ensher and Murphy (2005) interviews of successful work-based mentoring pairs also affirmed the vital importance of partner responsiveness to disclosure as an accompaniment to disclosure. 1.2. Hypotheses Drawing upon this theoretical framework, we propose hypotheses relevant to relationships in a formal mentoring context. First, due to the respective roles of the mentor and protégé and the intended focus of formal mentoring programs on the protégé, we expect levels of self-disclosure to be higher for the protégé than for the mentor. Formal mentoring programs are focused on the development of the protégé, and as such, protégés will need to relate current work concerns, successes, and failures to their mentors to a greater extent than the mentors will to the protégés. Furthermore, although self-disclosure has not been explicitly studied in mentor/protégé dyads, Derlega and Chaikin (1977) suggest that higher-power individuals may be less willing to self-disclose to lower power individuals as such disclosure could reduce one’s status or power. Supporting this suggestion, Slobin, Miller, and Porter (1968) found that individuals were more willing to disclose to their supervisor than to their subordinate. While mentors are likely to self-disclose for any of the reasons mentioned by Rosenfeld (2000) (e.g., catharsis, self-clarification, self-validation, impression formation, relationship enhancement, providing support), it is expected that due to the focus on protégé development, on average protégés will report higher levels of self-disclosure than mentors. While protégés may also be reluctant to self-disclose (e.g., due to a fear that honestly discussing one’s career-related concerns may come back to harm them in some way), formal mentoring produces a greater call upon the protégé, than the mentor, to do so. We propose: Hypothesis 1. Protégé self-disclosure will be higher than mentor self-disclosure. Research has shown that self-disclosure tends to be reciprocal, however, suggesting that higher levels of disclosure on the part of the protégé should beget higher disclosure on the part of the mentor (Dindia, 2000). Theoretically, reciprocity of disclosure is driven by the need for equity in social exchange. Partners need to perceive that the inputs and outputs of the relationship are similar, based on the norm of reciprocity (Chaikin & Derlega, 1974). In the context of mentoring, an example might be the protégé disclosing a work-related mistake, and the mentor reciprocating with a similar story from earlier in his or her career. Reciprocity of disclosure (i.e., self-disclosure of one member of a dyad is correlated with self-disclosure of the other member) has been consistently found in dyadic studies involving other types of relationships (e.g., Cozby, 1973, Derlega et al., 1973, Dindia et al., 1997 and Laurenceau et al., 1998). Based upon these findings of reciprocity, we expect that higher levels of protégé self-disclosure will be related to higher levels of mentor self-disclosure. We propose: Hypothesis 2. Levels of protégé and mentor self-disclosure will be positively related. Next, based upon the Reis and Shaver (1988) interpersonal process model and the qualitative findings in Ensher and Murphy (2005), we expect that higher levels of both protégé and mentor self-disclosure will be associated with higher levels of protégé satisfaction with the mentoring relationship as well as higher protégé levels of perceived positive influence of the relationship on job-related outcomes. Protégé and mentor disclosure of work and work-relevant experiences, emotions, beliefs, fears, failures, and successes, for example, are expected to facilitate greater satisfaction as well as learning on the part of the protégé. This goes back to the premise that individuals feel more satisfied in relationships that go deeper than surface-level, and that individuals will make the best progress on work-related issues if they and their partner are willing to disclose work-related failures, successes, goals, challenges, lessons learned and so forth. We propose: Hypothesis 3. Protégé and mentor self-disclosure will be positively associated with protégé satisfaction with the mentoring relationship and perceived effectiveness of the relationship. Based upon our previous discussion, we expect that the relationship between protégé self-disclosure and protégé outcomes will be strongest when the protégé reports that the mentor was responsive to his or her disclosure attempts. This means that we expect there to be a stronger positive relationship between protégé self-disclosure and protégé satisfaction and reported positive influence of the relationship on job outcomes when mentor responsiveness to the disclosure is high as opposed to low. We propose: Hypothesis 4. Perceived mentor responsiveness will moderate the relationship between protégé disclosure and protégé-reported relationship satisfaction and perceived effectiveness of the relationship. Last, we examine the relationship between self-disclosure on the part of the protégé and mentor and two types of mentoring functions, psychosocial and career (Kram, 1985). Measures of psychosocial mentoring functions typically assess to what extent the mentor provides acceptance and confirmation, friendship, counseling, and serves as a role model. Measures of career mentoring functions typically assess the extent to which the mentor provides sponsorship, coaching, protection, challenging assignments, and exposure. Components of self-disclosure as well as responsiveness are implied by some individual items used to assess mentoring functions (see for example items in three commonly used scales: Noe, 1988, Ragins and McFarlin, 1990 and Scandura and Ragins, 1993). However, the scales and items are not usable as specific measures of self-disclosure or perceived responsiveness as conceptualized by the relationship literature. Consider two items from Noe’s (1988) counseling subscale, which is designed to be completed by the protégé. The first, “My mentor has conveyed empathy for the concerns and feelings I have discussed with him/her,” would be a respectable contribution to an assessment of mentor responsiveness. The second, “My mentor has shared personal experiences as an alternative perspective to my problems,” might arguably tap mentor self-disclosure. Yet, both items are currently mixed within one subscale and none of the items in this subscale tap protégé self-disclosure to the mentor or protégé responsiveness to the mentor’s self-disclosure. To reflect self-disclosure theory, it is important to have both the protégé and mentor report their self-disclosure, and both report their perceptions of how responsive their partner has been to this self-disclosure. Based upon conceptual differences in these constructs, we expect the constructs of self-disclosure, responsiveness and career and psychosocial mentoring functions to be related but distinct.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study highlights the importance of examining mentoring relationships from a relational perspective. Higher self-disclosure on the part of the protégé, reported nearly 80% of the way through the mentoring program, was related to higher levels of protégé relationship satisfaction and reported positive influence of mentoring on job outcomes at the close of the program. The mediation analyses further suggest that protégé disclosure and perceived influence may be related because disclosure facilitates higher levels of psychosocial and career mentoring. On the other hand, protégé disclosure was related to protégé satisfaction with the relationship even with levels of psychosocial and career mentoring controlled, suggesting there is more to the self-disclosure story than just the mentoring functions considered in traditional mentoring research. These findings extend the qualitative results from Ensher and Murphy (2005), which highlighted self-disclosure as important to mentoring relationships and, furthermore, portray the applicability of self-disclosure to the arena of work relationships. While there are references in the leadership development literature about the importance of openly examining mistakes and talking about work-related challenges and struggles (Van Velsor & McCauley, 2004), there are few explicit studies of self-disclosure in work contexts. Both protégés and mentors self-disclosed as part of their relationships, yet protégés self-disclosed to a greater extent than mentors. Contrary to expectations, there was not a significant relationship between levels of protégé and mentor disclosure. This may be because the goal of formal mentoring relationships is to help the protégé with various career issues. While protégé self-disclosure is important to this goal, mentor self-disclosure may not be. Reis and Shaver (1988) note that positive relationship outcomes can occur even when only one member in the relationship discloses. Specifically, disclosing individuals gain insight and other benefits by simply having someone to talk to about their thoughts and concerns. Dindia (2000) suggests, furthermore, that conversational constraints may limit reciprocity of disclosure. In this context, a constraint could be the amount of time the pair has to meet. In the context of an hour-long meeting, for example, the focus may be on the protégé’s discussion of work-related concerns. While mentors can give advice and be responsive to protégé disclosure, the focus of the conversation may be such that the mentors do not have reciprocal “air time” (or the expectation) to disclose their thoughts about issues such as what is important to them in their job and barriers to success in their current work situation. Because of the inequity inherent in a mentoring relationship, with the mentor being more senior, social exchange equity norms related to disclosure may be less important in this context than in other contexts in which reciprocity has been studied. Consistent with the idea that protégé disclosure is more important than mentor disclosure in the relationship, mentor disclosure was not related to protégé satisfaction or protégé reported positive influence of mentoring. What we do not know, based upon our results, is whether mentor self-disclosure would be related to positive outcomes reported by the mentor. In order to more fully understand relationship processes within the mentoring experience, future studies should also examine mentor reported relationship outcomes (Fletcher & Ragins, in press). There are several limitations of this study. One limitation is that although our measures of self-disclosure and partner responsiveness were based upon measures used in the relationship literature, their application to the mentoring literature is new, and further examination and refinement of these measures would be beneficial. Another limitation is that a fuller array of variables and outcomes is needed to more completely portray the role of self-disclosure in the formal mentoring context. Finally, our findings are only directly applicable to work-based, formal mentoring programs. Our introduction of self-disclosure as a potential key construct in the mentoring literature, however, is valuable to the mentoring literature as a whole. The introduction of the construct of self-disclosure to the mentoring context raises several interesting research questions. For example, do formal mentoring pairs disclose less than informal mentoring pairs? Research suggests that different stages of acquaintance are related to levels of disclosure, with greater disclosure over time (Derlega & Chaikin, 1977). It is possible that disclosure occurs to a lower extent in formal mentoring pairs, given that they must initiate a relationship from scratch and the relationship (unless voluntarily continued) exists for typically one year or less. Ragins and Cotton (1999) suggest that intimacy, closeness, and trust may be more difficult to establish in the formal mentoring context for these reasons. Another issue is how self-disclosure within a relationship unfolds over time. Reis and Shaver’s (1988) model is dynamic in nature, portraying how closeness can develop over multiple interactions. Ensher and Murphy (2005) note that mentoring relationships have to move at their own pace, with disclosure occurring as the individuals in the party feel comfortable. While our study included assessments at multiple time points, it was not dynamic—measures of self-disclosure at repeated time points would add to our knowledge. Another question for future research relates to what factors are associated with more or less self-disclosure on the part of the protégé. In our survey, we asked mentors the following open-ended question: “To what extent do you think your protégé self-disclosed his or her career experiences, emotions, beliefs, fears, failures, and successes to you? What facilitated or hampered this disclosure?” A qualitative summary of responses indicated that most mentors believed that their protégés had self-disclosed to a great extent and that disclosure seemed to be facilitated by mutual trust and an atmosphere of confidentiality and friendship, as well as by mutual self-disclosure and partner responsiveness. For example, one mentor noted “My mentee was forthcoming about very difficult professional situations. She felt comfortable doing so, because of a strong sense of trust developed over several sessions.” These qualitative findings, along with literature suggesting trustworthiness is an important component of relationship development (Dirks and Ferrin, 2002 and Levin et al., 2006), suggest assessments of trust would be valuable additions in future research on this topic. Other possible factors to be examined include the privacy of the meeting setting and similarity of the discloser and recipient (Goodstein & Reinecker, 1974). Our findings beg the question of whether organizations should attempt to encourage disclosure on the part of relationship pairs. Presumably, based upon our findings, the sooner protégés are willing to discuss in depth issues that may be limiting their success, the sooner there is potential for insight or progress on that issue. Facilitators can propose to protégés the utility of disclosure about work-related issues at orientation. Fletcher and Ragins (in press) argue, for example, that more effective relationships will consist of individuals who are willing to interact from a “place of mutual vulnerability,” “connection,” and “authenticity.” It would be informative for mentors and protégés to be exposed to this point of view. Yet, Ensher and Murphy (2005) advise that not everyone goes into a mentoring relationship with a desire for closeness and that such preferences must be respected. Based on this latter point of view, facilitators should take care not to propose self-disclosure in ways that may make some participants feel uncomfortable. An alternative would be to provide guidelines for topics that might be addressed in the relationship. In summary, our study examines the role of self-disclosure in mentoring relationships with the expectation of better understanding how positive mentoring relationships develop. We found that protégé self-disclosure was positively related to protégé outcomes including relationship satisfaction and positive influence of mentoring. In addition, evidence was found for the distinction between self-disclosure, partner responsiveness, psychosocial mentoring and career mentoring. This study is an interesting step in understanding how mentoring relationships unfold and it highlights the importance of examining these relationships from a relational perspective.