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The role of felt obligation to mentor in mentor performance: An exploration of generalized reciprocity in mentoring

Stephanie Maynard-Patrick (Department of Management, St Thomas University, Miami Gardens, Florida, USA)
S. Gayle Baugh (Department of Management & MIS, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 19 September 2019

Issue publication date: 25 October 2019

863

Abstract

Purpose

The authors introduce a new measure of felt obligation to mentor in order to explore generalized reciprocity in mentoring. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether felt obligation to mentor adds prediction to mentor job performance in combination with mentoring functions provided and mentor-assessed benefits and costs of mentoring.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested in a sample of firefighters in the Southwestern USA using moderated regression analysis.

Findings

Protégé reported mentoring functions provided predicted mentor performance, but neither mentoring benefits nor costs predicted mentor performance. Felt obligation to mentor interacted with mentoring functions reported such that mentor performance was highest when both mentoring functions provided and felt obligation to mentor were high.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that the new measure may prove to be of value for exploring generalized reciprocity in mentoring. Further, more research using mentoring benefits and costs is merited. Findings are limited by use of a new measure of felt obligation to mentor as well as the fact that the research was conducted in a setting in which employees were expected to serve as mentors.

Practical implications

Organizations may leverage felt obligation to mentor in order to support effective informal or formal mentoring relationships, whereas focusing on the benefits of mentoring may be a less valuable strategy.

Originality/value

The research offers a new measure to help to understand generalized reciprocity as a motivation to mentor as well as suggesting that more empirical attention should be given to the perceived benefits and costs of mentoring.

Keywords

Citation

Maynard-Patrick, S. and Baugh, S.G. (2019), "The role of felt obligation to mentor in mentor performance: An exploration of generalized reciprocity in mentoring", Career Development International, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 619-635. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-11-2018-0286

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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