آغاز خودکار مشاوره و موفقیت شغلی: میدان پیش بینی مطالعه
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 74, Issue 1, February 2009, Pages 94–101
There is a growing recognition of the proactive role of individuals in the world of work. Therefore, the roles of self-initiated mentoring and networking behaviors at the work place were investigated in a longitudinal study over two years with 121 early career employees in administrative and managerial jobs. As expected, after controlling for age, gender, and general intelligence, self-initiated mentoring predicted mentoring received, income, and hierarchical position. The relationship between self-initiated mentoring and career ascendancy was not meditated by mentoring received but by networking behaviors at the work place. The receipt of mentoring can be a part of the early career success yet it is not its critical mediator. Implications and limitations are discussed.
There is a growing recognition of the proactive role of individuals in the world of work (Fugate, Kinicki, & Ashforth, 2004). Numerous constructs such as proactive behaviors (Crant, 2000), personal initiative (Frese, Garst, & Fay, 2007), proactive personality (Thompson, 2005), and taking charge (Morrison & Phelps, 1999) conceive of individuals as active agents who initiate improvement in their work situation. This view coincides with the growing recognition of the proactive role of individuals in the socialization (Wanberg & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2000), career attainment (Seibert, Kraimer, & Crant, 2001), and mentoring literature (Dougherty, Turban, & Haggard, 2007). The present research focused on the early career employees’ proactivity in the mentoring and career process. Recent research on mentoring has demonstrated that we should not focus exclusively on mentoring dyads but on mentoring development networks (Higgins and Kram, 2001, Higgins and Thomas, 2001 and Molloy, 2005). However, this research has looked primarily at the effects of the quality and quantity of employees’ social relationships. The present research investigated the proactive creation of supportive relationships in the work place by early career employees. We examined the role of self-initiated mentoring (Turban & Dougherty, 1994) and work place networking (Ferris et al., 2007), which are two closely related constructs of career proactivity. Traditional mentoring refers to a one-on-one relationship between a less experienced and a more experienced person, which is intended to advance the personal and professional growth of the less experienced individual (Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003). As several meta-analyses have shown (Allen et al., 2004, Kammeyer-Mueller and Judge, 2008, Ng et al., 2005 and Underhill, 2006), mentoring is a good predictor of an individual’s career satisfaction yet only a very modest predictor of an individual’s career ascendancy. The construct of self-initiated mentoring was suggested by Turban and Dougherty (1994) as a predictor of traditional mentoring received and subsequent career attainment mediated by mentoring received. This view so far has been confirmed in cross-sectional studies (Aryee et al., 1999 and Turban and Dougherty, 1994). Thus we expect that this will be also the case in a prospective study. Hypothesis 1. Self-initiated mentoring predicts the amount of mentoring support received by early career employees. However, the traditional approach has not controlled for an important career variable, namely general intelligence (Wanberg et al., 2003), although it is one of the best predictors of work place performance (Schmidt & Hunter, 2004), training performance (Schmidt & Hunter, 2004), and career success (Ng et al., 2005). This is important because traditional mentors seek protégés based on their work performance (Olian, Carroll, & Giannantonio, 1993), willingness to learn, and ability (Allen, 2004). Thus, as long as general intelligence has not been controlled together with traditional mentoring as joint predictors of career ascendancy we cannot rule out the possibility that the positive career effects thus far attributed to mentoring received stem in fact from the effects of general intelligence on career ascendancy. In that case mentoring received should be the mediator between general intelligence and career ascendancy (Wanberg et al., 2003). However, it is also possible, that general intelligence has a positive effect on career ascendancy independent from mentoring support. Additionally, in line with previous findings (Kammeyer-Mueller & Judge, 2008), it can be assumed that career satisfaction associates positively with the amount of mentoring received and also with the degree of employees’ career ascendancy. Developmental networks are defined as concurrent relationships that foster personal growth and career development (Higgins and Kram, 2001 and Molloy, 2005). Career development occurs with multiple developers who take an active interest in and action to advance the early career employees’ careers by providing developmental assistance. In the developmental network perspective on mentoring the traditional mentor is just one career supporter in a larger social network that at the same time also may comprise other career supports inside and outside the organization at which the protégé is employed. Such a developmental network can be viewed as one component of social capital (Lin, 2001), i.e. the quality and quantity of social relationships of a person (Ng et al., 2005). As empirical findings show the number of relationships and the overall amount of assistance received indeed account for individuals’ satisfaction at work (Higgins, 2000) and long-run protégés career outcomes such as salary, organizational retention, and promotion (Higgins and Thomas, 2001 and Ng et al., 2005). A closer inspection of items measuring self-initiated mentoring shows that self-initiated mentoring in fact is part of more general networking activities at the work place: Early career employees indicated the extend to which they had “(1) sought to become acquainted with higher level managers, (2) made efforts to have their work become visible to higher-level managers, (3) taken the initiative to seek counseling and advice from higher level managers, and (4) taken the initiative to find mentors in their organizations.” (Turban & Dougherty, 1994, p. 692). In the Networking Behaviors Scale developed by Forret and Dougherty (2001) these behaviors can be subsumed under the dimensions of Socializing, Increasing Internal Visibility, and Maintaining Contacts. Thus, so called self-initiated mentoring should properly be considered as upward networking behaviors of early career employees aimed at increasing the number and quality of social contacts at their work place. Network building behaviors improve availability of job related information, political knowledge at the work place, resources, support by others, and it stimulates personal initiative, i.e., behaviors that go beyond formal work requirements (Ferris et al., 2007 and Morrison, 2002). As empirical research shows network building behaviors are also associated with higher job performance ratings by supervisors (Thompson, 2005). Additionally, Forret and Dougherty (2004) found that Increasing Internal Visibility as part of the network building behaviors associated positively with the number of promotions, the amount of the total compensation, and with perceived career success. However, both the study by Thompson (2005) and the study by Forret and Dougherty (2004) were cross-sectional thus permitting no clear temporal and causal ordering of the causes and the effects. We expect the following predictive effects in a longitudinal study (see Fig. 1). Hypothesis 2. Self-initiated mentoring predicts networking behavior of early career employees. Hypothesis 3. The relationship between self-initiated mentoring and the amount of mentoring received by the early career employees is mediated by the amount of early career employees’ networking behavior. Hypothesis 4. Self-initiated mentoring predicts career ascendancy (income, hierarchical position) mediated by early career employees’ networking behaviors. Hypothesis 5. Self-initiated mentoring predicts career satisfaction mediated by the amount of mentoring received by the early career employees.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As expected the data showed that networking behaviors of early career employees mediated the relationships between self-initiated mentoring and mentoring received after two years, hierarchical position attained after two years, and income after two years. Career satisfaction associated with mentoring received and networking behavior. However, career satisfaction was not predicted by self-initiated mentoring two years before. The results of meta-analytical studies (Allen et al., 2004, Kammeyer-Mueller and Judge, 2008 and Ng et al., 2005) show that the associations between mentoring and career ascendancy are very low. Therefore, we tested in this paper the proposition that mentoring received is not a predictor of early career success but part of the early career success. Based on the concept of developmental networks (Higgins & Kram, 2001) and previous cross-sectional studies we suggested that early career employees’ proactivity at the work place and in the early career process is the real cause of early career success. The longitudinal data supported this view concerning objective career outcomes (hierarchical position, income). Concerning career satisfaction, results coincide with this view, because networking closely related to career satisfaction, but career satisfaction was not predicted by self-initiated mentoring two years before. The main findings of the present study add to social capital theory (Lin, 2001) a further point. Social capital theory successfully demonstrated (Seibert, Kraimer, & Liden, 2001) that the quantity and quality of social relationships predict career success. We conceptualized self-initiated mentoring as a form of networking behaviors, namely upward networking, i.e., behaviors directed at establishing, cultivating, and utilizing positive personal relationships with higher managers at the work place. Thus, we showed that the proactive creation and use of social capital enhances the objective career success of early career employees. These finding have strong implications. While the traditional question of career improvement for early career employees was (Wanberg et al., 2003): What should a person do to enhance her or his chances to get mentoring support in order to get ahead? the new question should be: How can an early employee intensify and make more effective his or her networking behaviors at the work place in order to get ahead? As expected by previous meta-analytic findings (Ng et al., 2005) we found that age related positively to income. In line with previous meta-analytic findings (Ng et al., 2005) women had lower incomes than men. However, in both path analytic models tested in this paper gender was unrelated to mentoring received after two years. This coincides with prior meta-analytical findings that both men and women find that their career supporters provide similar mentoring (Kammeyer-Mueller & Judge, 2008). As expected (Gottfredson, 2002 and Ng et al., 2005) we found that general intelligence associated with career ascendancy. But general intelligence was unrelated to mentoring. These findings parallel the meta-analytic findings by Kammeyer-Mueller and Judge (2008) concerning the human capital variables education and tenure. Kammeyer-Mueller and Judge (2008) found that mentoring did not show substantial relationships with education or tenure but a positive relationship with salary. Thus, the positive effects of mentoring cannot be attributed to an indirect selection effect of general intelligence. The present data give no indication that the more intelligent early career employees also get more mentoring support and that the less intelligent early career employees get less mentoring support. Although potential mentors want to support the more capable early employees (Allen, 2004) they do not select the more intelligent early career employees. Perhaps the most significant limitation of this study was the self-reported nature of the variables of interest. However, given the second survey was distributed two years after the initial survey, there should not be any concerns about common source variance or method bias. These problems could be overcome in a field experiment where outcomes can be collected from organizational data. Another limitation is that the early career employees were active in administrative and managerial jobs. Thus, the present findings may not generalize to other fields such as the academia, social jobs, or realistic jobs (Holland, 1996). If the general idea of the present article is correct that the real driver of early career employees’ career success and career satisfaction is networking behavior and not mentoring this should also apply to formal mentoring (Wanberg et al., 2003). This can be tested in a field experiment. One randomly selected group of early employees gets formal mentoring over a two years period while the other experimental group receives continuous training in career networking. If the above reasoning is correct the present findings should be replicated, i.e., the networking group should report after two years more mentoring support, higher income, higher hierarchical status, and higher career satisfaction than the formal mentoring group. The present study underscores the critical role early career employees’ proactivity plays in their career success and receipt of mentoring. The receipt of mentoring can be a part of the early career success yet it is not its critical mediator. Instead, early career employees’ networking behavior at the work place predicts the receipt of mentoring and early career success.