TH-P02-013-interactive - Enacting Effective Mentor Behaviors: What Experienced Mentors Report They Do Depends

Leadership Development
Interactive Poster Presentation
1 hour 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Leadership development
Enacting Effective Mentor Behaviors: 
What Experienced Mentors Report They Do Depends
K. Kraiger*, L. Finkelstein 1, L. Varghese 1
1Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, United States
Content: Purpose
This study follows up on a qualitative analysis of what mentors report doing when mentoring via a policy-capturing design to analyze mentor ratings under different contingency situations.
Previously, we conducted 28 mentor interviews, and through extensive coding identified 758 enactments (nuanced, descriptive behaviors) organized into 24 mentoring objectives by 32 broad actions.  Here, we had 209 experienced mentors first rate the importance of eight of those objectives, then endorse a subset of eight enactments in various combinations of specific mentoring objectives, the length of the mentoring relationship, and mentee competency.
Our results show that mentors set different mentoring objectives depending on whether the mentoring relationship was new or established. More interestingly, what mentors do does depend on their mentoring objective, mentee competency, and relationship length.
Research/Practical Implications
This is the first study that links mentor behaviors to their mentoring objectives and broader situational characteristics.  Besides answering research calls for more nuanced studies of mentor behaviors, our results (and enactments database) can be used to design training programs to improve mentor effectiveness.
Although good mentoring can be a flexible and powerful tool for many desirable employee and organizational outcomes, the specific behaviors that constitute maximally effective mentoring have been rarely studied, and thus not empirically well-defined. There have been multiple calls in the research literature for a more nuanced understanding of what constitutes mentoring, and whether or not it depends on contextual factors. Our multi-year mixed-methods investigation addresses this gap of what effective mentors do.


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