The role of locus of control in mentor relationships. A qualitative approach to mentees’ mentor preferences and associations with internal- and external-directed mentors

Jahnel, T.F. (2011) The role of locus of control in mentor relationships. A qualitative approach to mentees’ mentor preferences and associations with internal- and external-directed mentors.

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Abstract:This paper presents results of two studies designed to examine the role of the characteristic trait locus of control in mentor-mentee relationships. It was hypothesized that by a free mentor choice a similarity of the mentee’s and the mentor’s locus of control is preferred by the mentee. Additionally, the studies aimed to provide insight into the mentees’ reasons for the mentor choice and their associations with the different mentor types. In order to verify this hypothesis, two studies were conducted using qualitative research methods. At first, four mentor statements were created based on the Work Locus of Control Scale of Spector (1988). The four mentor statements were manipulated as total internal, moderate internal, moderate external and total external directed attitudes. On the basis of these statements interviews were conducted. The first study focused on the initiation of a mentor relationship. Therefore, students in their final phase of their study had to choose their favorite mentor from the four manipulated mentor statements in a created situation and explain it (N=23). Following that, students’ concrete experiences with mentoring were evaluated in a second study. These interviewed respondents (N=15) participated in a mentorship and were asked to describe their actual experiences and based on this their mentor preference in case of a free choice from the four manipulated mentor statements. The outcomes showed a tendency that mentees prefer a mentor with the same locus of control and equally perceived attitude. In this context, mentees stated a preference for a mentor providing characteristics, which lead to trust between mentee and mentor. Additionally, different associations with the four manipulated mentor types were encountered. Respondents, who chose a more internal-directed mentor, prefer individual support including scientific and contextual assistance for a better personal development. Respondents, who chose a more external-directed mentor, favor help and support in concrete terms from a mentor. Supplementary, a structured mentor program with clear guidelines for both, the mentee and the mentor tend to result in a more successful mentoring
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61301
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