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From mentors to leaders: leader development outcomes for mentors

Mostafa Ayoobzadeh (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada) (John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
Kathleen Boies (John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 15 July 2020

Issue publication date: 5 November 2020




The present study examines leader development as one of the potential outcomes for mentors and investigates whether the provision of mentoring contributes to developing mentors' leader identity and leader self-efficacy.


Relying on a quasi-experimental design, data were collected at four points in time over eight months from a mentor (n = 46) and an equivalent nonmentor group (n = 25). Participants in the mentor group were volunteer mentors from a doctoral mentoring program that was implemented at a large Canadian university.


Participants in the mentor group experienced a more positive change in leader identity and leader self-efficacy, compared to the participants in the nonmentor group. Further analysis of the participants in the mentor group suggests that the extent to which mentors provide career and psychosocial support explains the growth rate in the development outcomes.

Practical implications

By documenting benefits of mentoring for mentors, program administrators may be able to recruit mentors who are more engaged in the process. In addition, they can encourage their members to volunteer as mentors to gain leader development outcomes.


This longitudinal study connects the areas of mentoring and leadership development. While the majority of mentoring studies focus exclusively on mentoring outcomes for protégés, the present study shows that mentoring can benefit mentors as well.



Ayoobzadeh, M. and Boies, K. (2020), "From mentors to leaders: leader development outcomes for mentors", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 497-511.



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