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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Kristina L. Matarazzo and Lisa M. Finkelstein

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate commonly recommended practices for formal mentoring programs (FMP). The authors examine how objective-setting…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate commonly recommended practices for formal mentoring programs (FMP). The authors examine how objective-setting, participating in organizational FMP events, and repeat participation in a FMP relates to how mentors and mentees perceive their relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Mentor and mentee participants in an 18-month FMP within a consumer goods organization responded to a survey. Proposed hypotheses, competing hypotheses, and exploratory research questions were tested using regression.

Findings

Setting objectives was most important to the mentoring relationship when mentors were unable to attend orientation events. Veteran mentees reported learning more from the relationship when paired with a veteran mentor; novice mentees reported the same when paired with novice mentors.

Research limitations/implications

The findings provide some research evidence supporting practitioner-recommended best practices. The conclusions are limited by the cross-sectional nature of the data collection and the lack of random assignment to FMP events. Future research should consider field experiments, and explore a wider range of events and activities.

Practical implications

The importance of goal setting should be stressed more often in training and orientation for FMPs, and program administrators should consider using repeat participation as a factor in matching.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine relationship-quality variables and learning in relation to participation in organization-sponsored events and to repeat involvement in a program. It also answers a call in the literature for studies on the characteristics that can enhance the success of formal mentoring efforts.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Sarah Frances Bailey, Elora C Voyles, Lisa Finkelstein and Kristina Matarazzo

One of the main aspects of a mentoring relationship involves the expectations that mentees have of an ideal mentor. However, the traits that mentees envision in an ideal mentor…

1785

Abstract

Purpose

One of the main aspects of a mentoring relationship involves the expectations that mentees have of an ideal mentor. However, the traits that mentees envision in an ideal mentor are unclear. The purpose of this paper is to present series of studies examined mentees’ ideas about their ideal mentor’s physical characteristics and mentoring functions. The authors also examined gender and racial (white/nonwhite) differences in ideal mentor preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

The two studies examined what mentees envision when they picture their ideal mentor, and whether the ideal mentor prototypes varied by participants’ ethnicity and gender. Study 2 further examined mentees’ ideal mentor characteristics in a forced choice ranking scale and the ideal mentor scale (Rose, 2003).

Findings

When asked to describe their ideal mentor’s appearance, participants provided detailed descriptions of the ideal mentor’s features. They also emphasized mentoring characteristics and behaviors, such as guidance. Participants’ preferences for their ideal mentor’s gender and race varied by the question format (open-ended description vs scale).When asked to envision their ideal mentor (Study 2), participants emphasized guidance, interpersonal warmth, and ethical integrity. Other mentoring characteristics and behaviors emerged in the content coding framework. Prototypes of the ideal mentors varied based on ethnicity and gender, but also on how the question was presented.

Originality/value

These findings suggest that the ideal mentor prototype involves guidance, understanding, and role modeling ethical values. Like other organizational roles (i.e. leaders), awareness of these traits informs how employees view mentors and what they expect from mentoring relationships. Facilitators of mentoring programs can consider the ideal mentor prototype during the matching process and the initial stages of the mentoring relationship.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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