Formal mentoring systems: An examination of the effects of mentor-protégé cognitive styles on the mentoring process

Armstrong, Steve, Allinson, Christopher W. and Hayes, John (2002) Formal mentoring systems: An examination of the effects of mentor-protégé cognitive styles on the mentoring process. Journal of Management Studies, 39 (8). pp. 1111-1137. ISSN 0022-2380

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In informal mentoring systems, protégés seek help from other organizational members between whom there is often mutual attraction and rapport resulting in a level of interpersonal comfort between the members of the relationship. Because of the apparent benefits for both employee and organization, many human resource managers now attempt to establish formal mentoring systems in which mentors and protégés are brought together systematically. It is recognized, however, that assigned mentoring relationships are not usually as beneficial as those that develop informally. There appears, therefore, to be a need to match partners in some way. It has been suggested that a better grasp of psychological factors is necessary if this is to be achieved. One personality variable that may be partly responsible for shaping the overall effectiveness of such relationships is cognitive style. The present study, involving 53 mentor-protégé dyads, examined the effects of the cognitive styles of mentors and protégés on the process of formal mentoring. Data were collected from both partners in each dyadic relationship, and findings suggest that in dyads whose mentor is more analytic, congruence between the partners’ cognitive styles enhances the quality of their mentoring relationships. Cognitive style was also found to work indirectly through its influence on other variables to enhance mutual liking and psychosocial and career mentoring functions. Gender composition was also found to have a significant impact on the mentoring process. Dyads with female mentors and male protégés were found to be the least favourable combination.

Keywords:Formal mentoring, Mentoring process, Cognitive style
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:26666
Deposited On:10 Mar 2017 10:14

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