Job characteristics and mentoring in pre‐schools

Torbjørn Waaland (Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to study the influence of problem‐solving tasks on mentoring received, peer mentoring and mentoring provided.


This cross‐sectional survey was based on a questionnaire that was sent to a total of 435 employees from 29 pre‐schools in Norway. A total of 284 responses were returned, a response rate of 65.3 per cent. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to assess the validity and reliability of measurement scales. Research questions were formulated. Stepwise regression analysis was recommended to assess the magnitude and direction of the independent variable on the three dependent variables, when controlled for by demographic and career variables.


The results revealed that problem‐solving tasks have a positive and significant influence on mentoring received, peer mentoring and mentoring provided. This means that performing unfamiliar tasks increases the occurrence of the three mentoring roles.

Research limitations/implications

The independent variables only explained 14 per cent, 30 per cent and 38 per cent of mentoring received, peer‐mentoring and mentoring provided, respectively. Thus, other job characteristics, for example specialization, need further investigation to uncover the influence of job characteristics on mentoring.

Practical implications

Problem‐solving tasks will be a challenge for educational leadership to coordinate the mentoring roles according to the changing nature of work in pre‐schools.


There is no previous research that investigates how job characteristics in general and problem‐solving tasks in particular influence the occurrence of mentoring relationships.



Waaland, T. (2013), "Job characteristics and mentoring in pre‐schools", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 310-327.

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