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Examination of the interpersonal predictors of mentoring relational quality

Laci M. Lyons (Department of Management, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, USA)
Pamela L. Perrewé (Department of Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 5 August 2014




A continued focus in organizational research has been on career development, and mentoring has been identified as a key determinant of career success. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the interpersonal dynamics which contribute to variations in the effectiveness of mentoring support behaviors. Specifically, the effects of mentoring relational quality (MRQ) (i.e. affective perceptions held by mentors and protégés) on mentoring behaviors (i.e. vocational and psychosocial) as well as professional identification are considered. Interpersonal skills (e.g. behavioral integrity and political skill) of mentors and protégés are examined for their impact on MRQ.


Utilizing matched dyadic survey data from 100 mentor-protégé pairs in academe (i.e. dissertation chairs and doctoral candidates or recent doctoral alumni), partial least squares was used to test the research model.


Results support MRQ as an integral component in mentoring dynamics. MRQ for mentors and protégés was significantly linked with mentor support behaviors provided and received, respectively. Mentors’ perceptions of MRQ were predicted by protégés’ behavioral integrity and mentors’ political skill. Similarly, protégés’ political skill and mentors’ behavioral integrity significantly predicted protégés’ perceptions of MRQ. Further, mentors and protégés reported higher levels of professional identification when MRQ was high.


This study links affective and behavioral perspectives of mentoring, revealing the importance of interpersonal skill in career development. The interpersonal dynamics characteristic of mentor-protégé interactions determine the extent to which mentoring support behaviors may actually be provided by mentors and received by protégés.



M. Lyons, L. and L. Perrewé, P. (2014), "Examination of the interpersonal predictors of mentoring relational quality", Career Development International, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 381-403.



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