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One size does not fit all: the role of mentoring context in proactive individuals' scholarly impact

Brenda E. Ghitulescu (School of Business, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey, USA)
Shalini Khazanchi (Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA)
Zhi Tang (Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA)
Yang Yu (School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 7 September 2021

Issue publication date: 22 October 2021

433

Abstract

Purpose

Mentoring relationships have been proposed as a potential intervention to alleviate gender disparities in scholarly output. Yet, previous research has not provided a systematic understanding of the relationship between mentoring and scholarly output. The authors propose that individuals with a proactive personality are especially suited to leverage mentoring relationships to enhance scholarly outcomes. Structural features of mentoring relationships – gender composition, mentor supervisory status, and mentoring relationship length – provide cues that encourage the expression of proactive personality and result in higher scholarly impact.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected via surveys from faculty members in a US university and were matched with objective scholarly impact data. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used for hypothesis testing.

Findings

The impact of proactive personality on scholarly impact was more positive for women protégés with women mentors than for all other mentor-protégé pairings. Results also showed support for two hypothesized three-way interactions with mentor status and mentoring relationship length.

Originality/value

This research provides insights into the contexts where mentorship makes the most difference in protégés' scholarly achievement. Gender composition of mentoring dyads and mentor status are important boundary conditions that impact the effect of proactive personality on scholarly output.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Shalini Khazanchi and Zhi Tang contributed equally and are listed alphabetically.Funding: This work is supported in part by the ADVANCE RIT grant which is funded through the National Science Foundation under Award No. HRD-1209115. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Citation

Ghitulescu, B.E., Khazanchi, S., Tang, Z. and Yu, Y. (2021), "One size does not fit all: the role of mentoring context in proactive individuals' scholarly impact", Career Development International, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 888-905. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-12-2020-0315

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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