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Perceived mentoring functions: does mentor's gender matter?

David E. Okurame (Department of Psychology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 24 July 2007




The study aims to examine the impact of mentor's gender on perceived mentoring functions in the Nigerian work environment.


Data were obtained from 161 employees through a survey of a large government‐owned health institution in South‐western Nigeria.


Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that control variables jointly account for a significant variance in career development functions (R2=0.050, p<0.05) but did not predict psychosocial functions (R2=0.037, P ns). When mentor gender was entered in the second step, there was no significant change in R2R2=0.01, P ns) for career development functions. However, R2 increased from 0.037 to 0.181 (p=<0.001) in psychosocial functions to indicate a significant change in R2R2=0.144, P<0.001). Protégés perceived more psychosocial functions from female mentors compared to their male counterparts.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on self‐report measures and results may not generalize to other organisational settings. Future research should consider other relevant covariates and utilize objective measures in a wider domain.

Practical implications

A training intervention is needed to enhance delivery of mentoring functions by both sexes.


There is paucity of research on mentoring in the Nigerian work environment, and a virtual absence of African perspective in the mounting‐mentoring literature. This study addressed this gap in literature and assesses the extent to which findings on gender and mentoring can be generalized in the Nigerian setting.



Okurame, D.E. (2007), "Perceived mentoring functions: does mentor's gender matter?", Women in Management Review, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 418-427.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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