تعهد مشاور در روابط رسمی مشاوره
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8390||2008||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||3510 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 72, Issue 3, June 2008, Pages 309–316
This research examined the role of mentor commitment relative to protégé perceptions of relationship quality within formal mentoring programs. Based on a matched sample of 91 mentors and protégés, the results indicated that mentor commitment related positively to protégé reports of relationship quality. This relationship was stronger for male protégés than for female protégés. The results indicated that protégés reported higher quality relationships when mentors underestimated their commitment to the relationship relative to the protégés estimate of mentor commitment. Suggestions for future research are offered.
The popularity of formal mentoring programs within U.S. organizations continues to grow. Major companies such as Bank of America, Marriott International, and Charles Schwab have formal mentoring programs in place to help them attract, retain, and develop high performers (Eddy, Tannenbaum, Alliger, D’Abate, & Givens, 2003). One critical ingredient necessary for the success of these programs is the participation of mentors who are committed to their protégés and to the mentoring relationship (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000). Surprisingly, while mentor commitment has been discussed as an important variable in mentoring research (e.g., Scandura and Williams, 2001 and Zachary, 2000), it has rarely been empirically examined. Mentor commitment may be a particularly important focal variable in the study of formal mentoring relationships. In fact, Eby and Lockwood (2005) reported that unmet expectations and mentor neglect, both of which may stem from a lack of mentor commitment, were two of the most commonly reported problems among protégés participating in formal mentoring programs. Because mentors may be coerced or reluctantly recruited into participating in formal mentoring programs, there may be considerable variation in the commitment of mentors within formal programs (Kizilos, 1990 and Ragins and Cotton, 1999). The present study examined the role of mentor commitment in mentoring relationships. Specifically, we examined the relation between both mentor and protégé perceptions of mentor commitment and protégé perceptions of mentorship quality. Because gender influences mentoring process and outcomes (cf. Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003), and men and women differ in their orientation toward close relationships (Powell & Mainero, 1992), protégé gender was investigated as a moderator of the mentor commitment-mentorship quality relationship. Finally, an important feature of the present research is that perceptions of mentor commitment were collected from both protégés and mentors. This allowed us to examine whether mentor-protégé agreement on the mentor’s level of commitment related to protégé perceptions of relational quality. 1.1. Commitment and relationships Commitment has been referred to as a fundamental property of relationships (Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, & Hannon, 2002) and a determinant of the extent that individuals are dependent on their relational partner (Rusbult, 1980a, Rusbult, 1980b and Rusbult, 1983). It represents concern for the interests of the partner and the relationship and it promotes pro-relationship behaviors such as willingness to engage in behaviors that help build a strong and satisfying relationship, such as spending time together, pursing shared interests, and disclosing personal information (Finkel et al., 2002; Gagne & Lydon, 2005; Rusbult et al. 1991; Van Lange et al., 1997). Although the research on mentor commitment and workplace mentoring relationships is sparse, other areas of research support the importance of commitment to the satisfactory development and sustainability of relationships. For example, the interpersonal relationships literature indicates that level of and mutuality of commitment associate with both relationship satisfaction and couple adjustment (Drigotas et al., 1999 and Rusbult et al., 1999). Commitment is also a proximal predictor of relationship stability in marriages, romantic relationships, and close friendships (Rusbult, 1980a and Rusbult, 1980b; Rusbult, Johnson, & Morrow, 1986). Similarly, the youth mentoring literature stresses the importance of mentor commitment to ensuring the success of formal mentoring programs such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (Sipe, 2002). Accordingly, we expected that protégés with more highly committed mentors would report greater relationship quality than protégés with less highly committed mentors. Hypothesis 1. Mentor commitment relates positively to protégé reports of mentorship quality. 1.2. Gender Mentor commitment may be especially important to female protégés. Relationships are central to women’s self-identity and women tend to place greater value on relationships than do men (cf., Cross and Madson, 1997 and Powell and Mainero, 1992). Dispositionally men tend to be less relational and more individualistic than women (Gagne & Lydon, 2003). These gender differences are largely a function of socialization experiences, where women are tasked with greater responsibility for developing and maintaining relational ties than are men (Chodorow, 1978 and Miller, 1976). In contrast, particularly in Western society, men concentrate more on individual achievement and the process of separation from others (Miller, 1976). These gender differences have been found to play out in close relationships. For example, women have a stronger motivation to become involved in relationships characterized by high levels of commitment (Buunk, 2005). Buunk reported that women responded more favorably to relationships characterized as high in commitment, while men responded more favorably to relationships based on high levels of freedom and autonomy. Likewise, women had a greater desire for long-term commitments in love relationships and were less likely to engage in casual romantic relationships than were men (Buss, 1994 and Buss and Schmitt, 1993), further supporting the importance of relational commitment among women. Hypothesis 2. Gender moderates the relation between mentor commitment and protégé perceptions of relationship quality such that the relationship between mentor commitment and mentorship quality will be stronger for female protégés than for male protégés. 1.3. Dyadic effects Limited research has examined dyadic effects related to mentoring outcomes. This is surprising given that mentoring relationships are inherently dyadic in nature (cf. Allen & Eby, 2007), a point frequently highlighted in the literature on other types of close relationships (Huston and Burgess, 1979 and Scanzoni, 1979). For the present study our interest was in the dyadic variable of mentor-protégé agreement on perceived mentor commitment. Self–other rater agreement has been conceptualized as the extent that an individual has self-awareness as to how they behave in response to others (Atwater & Yammarino, 1992). This is thought to be important in relationships because those with greater self-awareness are likely to be more receptive to others’ feedback and make efforts to improve their relationships with others. More self-aware mentors may be able and willing to modify their behavior in response to protégé needs and in so doing foster higher quality exchanges (Godshalk & Sosik, 2000). Godshalk and Sosik (2000) classified mentors as one of the following: overestimators, underestimators, or those in-agreement with their protégé. Overestimators were mentors who provided self-ratings of transformational leadership that were higher than those provided by their protégés. Underestimators were mentors that provided self-ratings that were lower than those provided by their protégés. Mentors in-agreement provided ratings that were not significantly different from their protégés. Research that has examined self–other agreement among leaders and followers finds more positive outcomes for those who are associated with in-agreement relationships (Atwater & Yammarino, 1992). This is because overestimators are unable to see their shortcomings and may have inaccurate perceptions of their relationship whereas underestimators may not be able to appreciate the positive things that they can bring to the relationship (Godshalk & Sosik, 2000). Contrary to their expectation, they found that mentors who underestimated their transformational leadership relative to their protégés were associated with the greatest protégé reported mentorship quality. In a follow-up study, Sosik and Godshalk (2004) also reported that protégés of mentors who underestimated their transformational leadership behavior provided higher levels of psychosocial support than did mentors who overestimated their transformational leadership. The authors suggested that critical self-evaluation on the part of the mentor may relate to more effective mentoring. Underestimation appears to reflect modesty and a more altruistic nature on the part of mentors (Godshalk & Sosik, 2000). Several other studies also indicate that supervisors who rate themselves lower than do others are evaluated more favorably by their subordinates than are supervisors who rate themselves higher ( Atwater et al., 1995 and Church, 1997). Further, research regarding close relationships indicates individuals in happy and enduring relationships often perceive virtues in their partner that the partner may not see in him or herself (Gagne & Lydon, 2005). Accordingly, we predict the following: Hypothesis 3. Mentorship quality is greatest for mentor-protégé pairs in which relative to the protégé’s estimate of the mentor’s commitment the mentor underestimates his or her commitment to the relationship.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Using both protégé and mentor reports of mentor commitment we concluded that mentor commitment relates to protégé reports of relationship quality. The close personal relationships literature has discussed the importance of commitment to relationship satisfaction. Contrary to expectations, the marginally significant relationship between mentor commitment as reported by protégés and protégé relationship quality was stronger for male protégés than for female protégés. These findings were surprising in that relationship commitment is thought to be more important for women than for men. One explanation for these results may be that the context makes a difference. That is, the context of the relationship creates a shift in the direction of the gender moderating effect. Although commitment is more important for women in romantic relationships or friendships, it may be that because work is highly tied to the salient identity of men that commitment is more important for men than women when the relationship is work-oriented. Formal workplace mentoring relationships are often career-focused with an emphasis on individual development (Eby & Lockwood, 2005). Thus, the pursuit of a workplace mentoring relationship may be thought of as a more individualist activity that is more in line with men’s general orientation toward individual goals and achievements. In the majority of relationships mentors reported that they were less committed to the mentorship relative to what the protégé believed the mentor’s commitment level to be. This type of disagreement (mentor underestimation) also associated with higher protégé reports of mentorship quality. That is, protégés seem to be most satisfied with their relationships when they believe that their mentors are more committed to the relationship than mentors themselves report they are. This mentor underestimation effect coincides with previous research that has examined mentor transformational leadership and mentoring outcomes (Godshalk and Sosik, 2000 and Sosik and Godshalk, 2004). Together these findings suggest several mentor characteristics that may be worthy of further examination. Specifically, mentors who overestimate their dedication to the relationship may be more self-absorbed and have a grandiose sense of what they are able to bring to the relationship. On the one hand, such mentor characteristics may increase the likelihood that protégés’ report problems in the mentorship such as mentor neglect or protégé manipulation (e,g., Eby, McManus, Simon, & Russell, 2000), both of which are negatively related to the receipt of career-related and psychosocial mentoring (Eby, Butts, Lockwood, & Simon, 2004). On the other hand, modesty and humility on the part of the mentor relates to satisfying outcomes for the protégé. Characteristics of the protégé may also be associated with mentor underestimation. For example, protégés that are optimistic and tend to see the good in others may be more likely to view their mentors’ level of commitment as high. Future research might examine mentor and protégé individual differences that relate to mentor-protégé agreement. In terms of practical implications, the findings underscore the importance of trying to ensure that mentors in formal mentoring programs are committed. Organizations may consider ways to enhance mentor commitment in the design of formal programs such as by giving mentors some input into the mentoring process (Allen, Eby, & Lentz, 2006). Additionally, mentor commitment likely plays an important role in other dynamics of the mentoring relationship. For instance, Rusbult, 1980a, Rusbult, 1980b and Rusbult, 1983 Investment Model would suggest that commitment will also predict the sustainability of the mentoring relationship and that relationship benefits strengthen, whereas relationship costs weaken, relationship commitment. There are several limitations to this study. The cross-sectional nature of the data renders the causal direction of the observed relationships uncertain. Additionally, the number of participants was relatively small and they came from a limited number of formal mentoring programs. Accordingly, it is uncertain the extent that our findings generalize. The study findings open several avenues for additional research. Future research could assess relationship interdependencies among mentoring partners through the use of covert linguistic analysis (Agnew, Van Lange, Rusbult, & Langston, 1998). Another topic for future research is to examine protégé commitment to the relationship. Protégés may have differing degrees of commitment to their mentoring relationships, particularly if in a formal mentoring program in which participation was not voluntary. In future studies, it may also be useful to examine both the extent of agreement within the dyad as well as the mean level of agreement. Additional research examining other mentoring outcomes associated with commitment to the mentoring relationship may prove fruitful. And finally, an examination of factors that foster commitment is needed.