Motives to mentor: Self-focused, protégé-focused, relationship-focused, organization-focused, and unfocused motives

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Abstract

This study examines the motives mentors have for providing developmental support to their protégés. Based on qualitative interviews with 20 informal mentors, we show five broad categories of mentor motives: self-focused motives (based on individual reasons), protégé-focused motives (directed at the protégé), relationship-focused motives (directed at the relationship between the mentor and the protégé), organization-focused motives (benefiting the organization), and unfocused motives (mentoring as the result of unconscious information processing). Furthermore, based on self-determination theory, we show five subcategories of self-focused motives, ranging from extrinsic motivations to intrinsic motivations. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are presented.

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Janssen, S., van Vuuren, M., & de Jong, M. D. T. (2014). Motives to mentor: Self-focused, protégé-focused, relationship-focused, organization-focused, and unfocused motives. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 85(3), 266–275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2014.08.002

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