Work and Mentoring
Most of the research on mentoring is focusing psychosocial and career-related benefits of mentoring relationships at work. The influence of work on mentoring relationships, on the other hand, is a relatively understudied area. An empirical study among employees in pre-school institutions have revealed that interdependence, which is a central characteristic of project and team organization, has a positive influence on mentoring relationships. The sample being studied is divided into two sub-groups, academics and non-academics. For academics, interdependent work has an impact on social driven mentoring which is supported by theory on peer-related mentoring. Non-academics, who are involved in interdependent work show an influence on system-driven mentoring, which is in accordance with theories on formal mentor-protégé relationships. Theories on interdependence and coordination of teamwork indicate that organizational knowledge is a central part of this way of organizing work. This study also shows that organizational knowledge is mediating the relationship between interdependence and mentoring, both for employees with an academic and non-academic background. The results indicate that educational managers must take into consideration that mentoring relationships could be a function of how work is organized and not only a result of formal mentoring programs. Furthermore, this study also indicate that the employees’ knowledge of the organization can help promoting mentoring relationships at work.
Keywords: Interdependence, Mentoring, Academics, Non-Academics
Prof. Torbjorn Vaaland
Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education