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Perceptions of an organization's culture for work and family: Do mentors make a difference?

Monica Forret (St Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa, USA)
Suzanne de Janasz (University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




This study sets out to examine whether protégés have more favorable perceptions of an organization's culture for balancing work and family than non‐protégés.


Data were obtained from 418 employees of a major public accounting firm who completed a survey on mentoring and work‐family issues. Correlation analyses, t‐tests, and regressions were performed to test the hypotheses.


The results strongly support the view that protégés had more favorable perceptions than non‐protégés of the organization's work‐family culture – the degree to which integration of employees' work and family lives is supported. Having a mentor was significantly related to each component of work‐family culture (managerial support, time demands, and career consequences) in the predicted direction.

Research limitations/implications

By focusing on respondents in a single firm, it is impossible to determine whether the findings generalize to individuals in other industries or companies.

Practical implications

To attract and retain employees, organizations have become increasingly concerned about their cultures for balancing work and family. By encouraging mentoring, organizations can transmit the message to their employees of resources and support available to help achieve balance.


Despite strong interest in the fields of mentoring and work‐family balance, few research studies have attempted to link these two domains. This research integrates these areas and demonstrates the important role mentors play in developing perceptions of an organization's culture for work‐family balance.



Forret, M. and de Janasz, S. (2005), "Perceptions of an organization's culture for work and family: Do mentors make a difference?", Career Development International, Vol. 10 No. 6/7, pp. 478-492.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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