Work and Mentoring

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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
Stream: Educational Leadership and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Torbjorn Vaaland

Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education
Faculty of Arts and Education, The University of Stavanger

Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway

I have a master degree in education from The University of Trondheim and a master degree in business administration from The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Before I started my academic career I was working as a consultant in project management, especially with a focus on training and organizational learning. Since 1992 I have been employed at The University of Stavanger. I am lecturing subjects like strategic management, project management and social science. For the time being my research interests are workplace learning with the focus on developing mentoring relationships and occupational professionalization. I have recently attended a PhD program with the purpose of studying job-related determinants on mentoring relationships.

Ref: L09P1550