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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Nancy Graber Pigeon, Wendy Cook and James L. Nimnicht

The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a difference between same vs opposite sex pairings in the mentor‐protégé relationship when it comes to salary and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a difference between same vs opposite sex pairings in the mentor‐protégé relationship when it comes to salary and levels within the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 612 manager/non‐manager dyads with all non‐managers being female. The organization was located in the Northwest section of the United States and was a large Fortune 500 manufacturing firm. All levels of the organization were utilized from entry level positions to vice presidents to measure how women fared under female vs male mentors.

Findings

Women with female mentor supervisors earn less than with male mentor supervisors. The disparity is even greater the younger the protégée. If the trend shown in this research continues, wages may drop for women in high levels of the organization with same‐ sex mentees.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this research is the operationalization of a manager as a mentor. Supervisors were used as the mentor in most examples. Even if the participants in the study had self‐selected their mentors, it would still be expected that the participants would be successful. Another limitation to this research is that there was no direct assessment of the perceptions of the mentor/protégé relationship among the participants. More research needs to be done to understand why these trends were found which might include looking at personality traits, various characteristics, immutable traits, etc. Additionally, experimental longitudinal research should be done to arrive at a definitive conclusion. This research provides the impetus to study the phenomenon cross culturally, outside of the northwest and outside of the USA, etc.

Practical implications

The practical implications for management may be that having women moving up the organizational hierarchy without the appropriate pay increase may save the company money in labor costs. But, as women recognize the disparity in income, they may request opposite sex mentors vs same sex mentors which may be a self‐limiting factor for organizations promoting women into higher level positions in the organization. Therefore, they may promote fewer women which would decrease their diversity efforts.

Originality/value

Many researchers have reviewed the relationship between a mentee and a more seasoned organizational member. Formal and informal mentoring systems have been studied as well reviewing many variables. The research reviewing same vs opposite sex pairings in the mentor/protégé relationship demonstrates conflicting findings. This paper tests the result in salary and organizational level that the female protégé rises to if they have a female mentor vs male mentor.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2010

James B. Avey, James L. Nimnicht and Nancy Graber Pigeon

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between psychological capital (comprised of hope, optimism, efficacy and resilience) and employee performance through…

6313

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between psychological capital (comprised of hope, optimism, efficacy and resilience) and employee performance through multiple studies and methods of data.

Design/methodology/approach

The study included two samples in a large financial firm headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The employees' level of psychological capital were measured with the psychological capital questionnaire. Via regression, this was related to individual level financial performance data from the firm and manager rated performance.

Findings

As hypothesized, psychological capital was found to be related to employees' level of financial performance, referrals within the firm and manager rated performance. The findings are relevant to advancing previous studies on psychological capital and employee performance in that multiple sources and types of data were used to test hypotheses overcoming past concerns of common method and source variance and adding validity to these results.

Limitations/implications

While the use of two samples replicating results enhanced generalization, the major limitation in the study concerns internal validity. Specifically, this study did not use an experimental design and, thus, relationships may be reverse causal or reciprocal.

Originality/value

Overall, the integration of positive psychology and organizational behavior continues to flourish. The paper demonstrates that psychological capital is associated with multiple measures of employee performance across two field studies. In conclusion, empirical research in positive organizational behaviour is likely to advance to the boundaries of the theory including how psychological capital manifests across multiple contexts, bio‐data predicting psychological capital and multi‐level issues such as team, group, organizational and even cultural psychological capital.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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