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Reverse mentoring, job crafting and work-outcomes: the mediating role of work engagement

Neha Garg (OB-HRM, Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)
Wendy Murphy (Management, Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA)
Pankaj Singh (OB and HRM, Indian Institute of Management Raipur, Raipur, India)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 30 March 2021

Issue publication date: 4 May 2021




Reverse mentoring and job crafting are innovative, employee-driven job resources that can lead to positive organizational outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of work engagement in mediating the association of these resources with work performance and work withdrawal behavior.


Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling on data obtained from 369 software developers in India.


Findings demonstrate that reverse mentoring and job crafting are positively related to work engagement, which, in turn, increase performance and decreases work withdrawal behaviors. Work engagement partially mediates the association of job crafting with both outcomes. In contrast, work engagement fully mediates the relationship between reverse mentoring and withdrawal behavior and partially mediates the relationship between reverse mentoring and work performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study is a cross-sectional, survey design in the understudied technical industry in India, which may limit generalizability. However, the authors also connect the previously unrelated literatures on reverse mentoring and work engagement and develop a scale for use in future reverse mentoring studies.

Practical implications

This study provides evidence to support practitioners in implementing resources for reverse mentoring and job crafting to increase work engagement among employees and subsequent positive outcomes.


Organizations can support reverse mentoring and job crafting as cost effective employee development tools. The research focuses on the mentors, who tend to be the less experienced and younger counterparts in a reverse mentoring pair and a critical part of the workforce for the growing IT industry.



Garg, N., Murphy, W. and Singh, P. (2021), "Reverse mentoring, job crafting and work-outcomes: the mediating role of work engagement", Career Development International, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 290-308.



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