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Workplace Mentoring and Career Resilience:

An Empirical Test
Ridhi Arora and Santosh Rangnekar
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee


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The present study sought to investigate the role of mentoring relationships in


predicting career resilience. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey
based research design using a sample of 205 managers from public and
private sector organizations in North India. Mentoring relationships were
measured under the 2 broad categories of career mentoring and psychosocial
mentoring in alignment with previous studies. The findings showed that
psychosocial mentoring acts as a significant predictor of career resilience;
however, career mentoring was not found to have any significant influence on
career resilience. Given research thus reiterated the significant contribution
of mentoring in influencing career outcomes such as career resilience.
Theoretical and future implications of research were also discussed.
Keywords: career, career commitment, mentoring, psychosocial mentoring, resilience

The unprecedented volatility of today’s global environment has forced


organizations to strategize and devise unique career development interven-
tions for training their workforce to enhance their diverse capabilities. In this
context, effectiveness of workplace mentoring has long been recognized as
vital for an organization (Billett, 2003). Traditionally, mentoring has been
defined as a relationship between an older more experienced person (mentor)
who helps and enables career development of a younger less experienced
person (protégé) who may or may not be employed in the same organization
or same chain of command or profession as that of the protégé (Levinson et
al., 1978; Kram, 1985; Noe, Greenberger, & Wang, 2002; Ragins, 1999;

Ridhi Arora and Santosh Rangnekar, Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute
of Technology-Roorkee.
We thank the editor and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that
significantly improved this article. We are also grateful to Mr. Stephen Winchell for his
valuable comments and supporting the proofreading of this article.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ridhi Arora, Department
of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, Uttara-
khand, India. E-mail: ridhi.arora23@gmail.com

205
The Psychologist-Manager Journal © 2014 American Psychological Association
2014, Vol. 17, No. 3, 205–220 1088-7156/14/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/mgr0000021
206 ARORA AND RANGNEKAR

Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003; Ragins & Kram, 2007). Mentoring as a
useful professional intervention for executive development has been con-
fused with coaching among management practitioners. In this context,
Megginson and Clutterbuck (2005) conceptualized the difference between
both forms of developmental relationships. According to them, while coach-
ing relates primarily to “performance improvement for learning specific
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skills” and is aimed at the accomplishment of intermediate or subgoals in line


with the suggestion of the coach; mentoring relates primarily to the “identi-
fication and nurturing of potential for the whole person” based on the
mentor–protégé long-term relationship where the mentor’s role is pivotal
for providing useful insights for enhancing the protégé’s self-awareness
(Megginson & Clutterbuck, 2005). This differentiation to some extent is
resolved using the research of Grant (2004), who emphasized the close
relation of coaching with mentoring whereby a coach with or without a
domain specific expertise facilitates the entire result-oriented process to
enhance the work performance of the protégé. In this research, it was further
highlighted how various aspects of coaching can inform and enhance the
mentoring process. Thus, taking into account converging viewpoints of both
the concepts, our study adopted conceptualization in alignment with earlier
studies that consider coaching as one of the significant forms of mentoring
(Noe, 1988; Aryee & Chay, 1994).
There are many career benefits associated with the mentoring process.
Research studies in the past depicted the usefulness of mentoring programs
for enhancing a protégé’s competencies (Aryee & Chay, 1994) and personal
learning (Lankau & Scandura, 2002). Simultaneously, organizations have
also realized that irrespective of the situation in the global economy, learning
that is facilitated via the process of mentoring not only trains employees to
do their job effectively but also shapes their career path in the right direction.
Furthermore, workplace mentoring also facilitates employee counseling to
strengthen employees for overcoming challenges related to professional and
personal development. In this way, workplace mentoring has an important
role for enhancing the resilience of employees. In addition, creating a
resilient workforce has become one of the toughest challenges for organiza-
tions in the present decade owing to prevalence of uncertainty and other
competitive pressures across the globe. As a result, employees often find it
difficult to persevere in their chosen career line. Thus, for stability under such
ambiguous circumstances, the guidance and support of an experienced senior
person who can function as a protector and a role model instills a sense of
confidence among employees and helps them effectively deal with the
obstacles. According to Lidenberger (2008), mentors enable protégés to see
the wider realm of opportunities and give their valuable advice for career
advancement to strengthen the fabric of resilience.
WORKPLACE MENTORING AND CAREER RESILIENCE 207

Keeping this foregoing discussion in mind, the present study explored


the linkage of mentoring with career resilience using survey data collected
from managers working in public and private sector organizations in North
India. Through an empirical examination of the mentoring– career-resilience
relationship, we contribute to the existing body of research on mentoring
relationships and career outcomes. Although there is a plethora of research in
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the academic writings of careers and vocational psychology about career


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resilience, very few studies have been conducted in the Western countries on
mentoring and career resilience. Hence, by testing the mentoring-career
resilience relationship in the Indian context, our study also provides an
opportunity for scholars and academicians to conduct replication studies from
the cross-cultural perspective.
For an empirical examination of the linkage of mentoring with career
resilience in the Indian context, we conceptualized mentoring based on the
traditional model of one-to-one relationship (mentoring dyads) rather than a
constellation of mentoring relationships (developmental networks; Ghosh &
Haynes, 2008). Our conceptualization can be derived from India’s higher
standing on the cultural dimensions of collectivism and power distance
(Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 1997).
Unlike Western countries (United States, Australia, and Spain; Hofstede,
2007), where people are individualistic, Indian people are more collectivist
and followers of family traditions. They prefer to remain in harmony with the
social environment (Christie et al., 2003). Another major difference between
Western countries (e.g., United States) and the non-Western countries (e.g.,
India) is the professional ideologies of the nations. In the West, an ideal
superior’s behavior is conceived as being professional and impersonal for the
fulfillment of self-economic interest of the subordinate and there is no
expectation of whether or not the superior is nurturing or assertive (Kakar,
1977). On the other hand, in the non-Western countries like India, due to
higher ranking on the dimension of power distance (Hofstede, 1980) and the
dominance of parental authority patterns in Indian organizations (Kakar,
1971), there is greater employee dependency on the nurturing supervisor for
enhancing work performance and satisfaction. Similarly, Kakar, Kakar, Kets-
deVries, and Vrignaud (2002) also identified in their study that Indian
subordinates need a benevolent guide who is not only in strict in getting tasks
accomplished but also takes an active interest in the subordinate’s well-being
(Banerjee, 2009). This available evidence along with the prevalent culture of
“family tradition” in India indicates the control and power being vested in the
hands of a supervisor who is also responsible for the welfare of subordinates
in this “one-on-one superior–subordinate relationship” (Varma, Srinivas, &
Stroh, 2005). Thus, employees from high-power-distance cultures (e.g., In-
dia, Venezuela, and Philippines) consider bypassing of their bosses as insub-
ordination (Adler, 1997; Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997). As a result, employer-
208 ARORA AND RANGNEKAR

employee relationships in India are driven by the fulfillment of mutual


two-way expectations with respect to one another. Employers facilitate
protection to employees who also reciprocate the same with their loyalty and
dedication toward them through the accomplishment of organizational tasks.
Indian employees tend to identify themselves with the vision of the employer
and the organization (Shao & Webber, 2006) and have an orientation to serve
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and stay in the organization with a long-term perspective. This further


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clarifies the crucial necessity of mentors in the Indian context for guiding and
shaping the employee behavior.
Aside from contextual evidence that shapes the relation of mentoring
with career resilience, the social cognitive theory and adult development
theory also provide an explanatory base for understanding the mentoring
phenomenon. Social cognitive theory puts a major emphasis on the effective
use of modeling for inculcating work-related interpersonal skills in the
development of managers (Ghosh & Haynes, 2008). According to the social
cognitive theory, people learn by observing others. Thus, following this
approach can help managers serving as mentors to model desired corporate
behavior in developing protégés and enabling them to learn correct behaviors
(Ghosh & Haynes, 2008). Similarly, the adult development theory (Levinson
et al., 1978) also indicates the significant role of workplace mentoring for the
adult development of executives by stimulating the identity and intellectual
development of the protégé.

THEORETICAL OVERVIEW AND HYPOTHESIS DEVELOPMENT

Mentoring

In the present scenario, organizations primarily use mentoring as a tool


for talent development, retention and attraction (Robinson, 2007). Mentoring
is a “deliberate pairing of a more skilled or experienced person with a lesser
skilled or experienced one, with the agreed upon goal of having the lesser
skilled person grow and develop specific competencies” (Murray, 1991, p.
xi). Workplace mentoring relationships yield great benefits such as higher
levels of compensation, promotions, career advancement, enhanced career
mobility, and career satisfaction (Kram & Isabella, 1985; Ragins, 1997).
Aside from this, mentoring contributes to the overall competence develop-
ment of employees by offering challenging work assignments and coaching
for skill upgradation (Kram & Isabella, 1985).
Numerous studies in the mentoring literature have categorized mentoring
roles assumed by senior experienced professionals under the two major
functions of psychosocial mentoring and career related mentoring (Kram,
WORKPLACE MENTORING AND CAREER RESILIENCE 209

1985; Sosik & Godshalk, 2005). Psychosocial mentoring includes those


functions that enhance the inner competence of the protégé through uncon-
ditional acceptance and providing timely feedback to the protégé. While
psychosocial mentoring support provided by a mentor carries more of affec-
tive component, career-oriented mentoring covers functions such as spon-
sorship, challenging assignments, protection, exposure, and visibility (Kram
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& Isabella, 1985; Noe, 1988). Apart from these two broad categories of
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mentoring functions, another study by Scandura (1992) used survey data


from public accounting firms and demonstrated the existence of a third
category of mentoring function called role-modeling. This function is illus-
trative of such a behavior in which a protégé identifies with a mentor with
great referent power, the ones who hold high standards and are well-trusted
and respected in the organizations (Scandura & Viator, 1994).

Career Resilience

According to Bryant (1995), whenever a change occurs in a person’s life,


the individual traits and skills (e.g., time management) interact with both
environmental and situational factors to produce a behavior that leads to the
successful adaptation toward change, called resilience. Richardson (2002, p.
313) stated that resilience is “the motivational force within everyone that
drives them to pursue wisdom, self-actualization, and altruism and to be in
harmony with the spiritual source of strength.” Paul and Garg (2014, p. 72)
defined resilience as “a unique ability to endure and recover fully from the
extreme conditions, setbacks, trauma and other adversity.” Career resilience
is thus an ability to adapt to changes even when situations are disruptive
(London, 1997, p. 34). People who are high on career resilience show a high
level of persistence in the face of adversities (Carson & Bedeian, 1994).

Expected Relationships and Development of Hypotheses

Career resilience defines the extent to which people resist career barriers
or disruptions that affect their work, self-confidence, need for achievement,
willingness, risk-taking ability, and acting independently and cooperatively
(London & Mone, 1987). In this context, facilitation of mentoring support to
protégés can play a significant role in building employees’ self-confidence
through feedback and positive reinforcement. This will also contribute to-
ward creating an environment conducive to risk taking that reduces the fear
of failure.
210 ARORA AND RANGNEKAR

Current research takes into account Kram’s (1985) conceptualization for


understanding mentoring relationships under the two broad categories of
psychosocial mentoring support and career mentoring support. We argue that
in the Indian context, psychosocial mentoring, which characterizes a mentor
adopting various roles such as a role model for the protégé, unconditional
acceptance, and confirmation, counseling and friendship functions (Kram &
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Isabella, 1985) will influence the career resilience of Indian managers. This
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can be ascribed to the unique characteristics offered by the Indian culture, as


it is a traditional hierarchical society where mentors assume the benevolent
role of a parental figure who feel obligated to protect the junior employees
and always keep themselves involved in both their work and nonwork lives
(Ramaswami & Dreher, 2010; Pellegrini & Scandura, 2008). Thus, in dealing
with affective reactions in the workplace, socioemotional support of the
mentor inculcates confidence in the protégé to effectively overcome difficul-
ties. Besides this, India is higher on Hofstede’s cultural dimension of col-
lectivism; therefore, facilitation of mentoring functions such as friendship
and admiration of the senior members ushers the spirit of apnapan (belong-
ingness), jaan-pehchaan (familiarity), and sambandh (who you know; Kram
& Isabella, 1985; Ramaswami & Dreher, 2010) in the mentor–protégé
relationship. This kind of psychosocial mentoring support is perceived by a
protégé as a kind gesture that stimulates them to share their problems and
concerns with the mentor without any hesitation. This further enhances the
mutual liking of mentor and protégé and makes mentoring as a social
exchange process more enjoyable. We thus, hypothesize that

Hypothesis 1: Psychosocial mentoring will be strongly related to career


resilience among Indian managers.

Similarly, we also expect career mentoring support to act as a significant


predictor of career resilience among Indian managers. In a study by Gentry
et al. (2008) from samples of 33 countries across the globe, India ranked 12th
on performance orientation. This study also emphasized that in cultures like
India, value-performance orientation—and, to a greater extent, mentor-
ing—is viewed positively. In addition, Indian organizations are also quite
particular in employee training and development (Budhwar, 2003; Pio,
2007). Further, career mentoring has been a popular practice in India in the
form of traditional guru–shishya relationship where the sole focus of the guru
(mentor) is to guide the shishya (protégé) in his journey of self-discovery and
transformation (Neki, 1973; Raina, 2002). Career-mentoring stimulates a
protégé’s career advancement through the provision of challenging assign-
ments, sponsoring for management development programs, guidance for
achieving specific performance strategies, coaching, and enhancing protégé’s
greater visibility among senior members for building contacts (Dreher &
WORKPLACE MENTORING AND CAREER RESILIENCE 211

Dougherty, 1997). Thus, given the nature of the progress-oriented functions


of career mentoring support, it is quite reasonable to assume its significant
role in enhancing the confidence of the protégés to effectively face every kind
of situation. Henceforth, we hypothesize that

Hypothesis 2: Career mentoring will be strongly related to career resil-


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ience among Indian managers.


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METHOD

Procedure and Sample

Data were collected through questionnaires from 205 managers in five


public and private sector organizations in North India. The survey method
was utilized and participants were contacted by making personal visits as
well as via e-mail. The questionnaire was prefaced with a cover letter that
explained the purpose and objectives of the study, participants were also
assured of the anonymity and confidentiality of their responses. Participants
in the present study consisted of employees from both managerial as well as
technical backgrounds with 54.1% from the private sector and 45.9% from
public sector organizations. The education profile of the respondents indi-
cated that about 3.9% were diploma holders, 41% were graduates, 50.7% as
postgraduates, and 4.4% constituted higher than postgraduates. About 42.4%
respondents occupied the age group between 26 and 30 years. In terms of the
hierarchical level, 22.1% reported to be at junior-level positions, 64.2%
reported to be in middle-level positions, and 13.7% reported to be in senior-
level positions.

Instruments

Psychosocial Mentoring and Career Mentoring

A 21-itemed scale given by (Noe, 1988) was used to assess the mentor-
ing functions among Indian managers and the items were subjected to
modification in accordance to the organizational context. Responses were
taken on a five point format ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly
agree). Of these 21 items, 14 items measured psychosocial mentoring and 7
items measured career mentoring; the score of the same was computed by the
summation of the individual items and then the average was calculated.
Sample items included, “I try to imitate the work behavior of my mentor” and
212 ARORA AND RANGNEKAR

“My mentor assigned responsibilities that increased my contact with those


who may judge my potential for future advancement.” The reliability of the
scale in the present study was well established, with Cronbach’s alpha for
psychosocial mentoring and career mentoring reported as 0.92 and 0.91,
respectively.
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Career Resilience

Career resilience was assessed by adapting four items of career resilience


from the Career Commitment Measure (Carson & Bedeian, 1994), which is
a multidimensional construct of three main dimensions— career identity,
career resilience, and career planning. This construct defines career commit-
ment as the motivation to work in a chosen vocation based on Hall’s (1971)
definition and London’s (1983, 1985) career motivation theory. To accom-
plish the study objective, the study defined career resilience as “the extent to
which employee shows willingness to persist during the times of adversities
and fluctuations . . .” (Carson & Bedeian, 1994).
Sample items included, “The discomforts associated with my line of
work/career field sometimes seem too great.” Responses of the participants
were recorded on a 5-point format ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5
(strongly agree). Cronbach’s alpha reliability was reported as 0.75.

Control Variables

Four variables were included as control variables: age, gender, organi-


zation sector (public/private), and hierarchical level. Position and organiza-
tional control measures were established because they are structural variables
in nature and may influence career resilience and extent of mentoring
functions as perceived by employees. The control variables were coded as
follows: age (in years): 21–25 coded as 1, 26 –30 coded as 2, 31–35 coded as
3, 36 – 40 coded as 4, 41– 45 coded as 5, and above 45 coded as 6; gender:
male coded as 1, and female coded as 2; organization sector: private coded
as 1 and public coded as 2; and hierarchical level: junior level coded as 1,
middle level coded as 2, and senior level coded as 3.

Analysis

A multiple hierarchical regression analysis was utilized to measure the


impact of mentoring relationships on career resilience. Hence, the dependent
WORKPLACE MENTORING AND CAREER RESILIENCE 213

variable of career resilience was regressed on control variables and then on


the other two categories of mentoring relationships in alignment with the
methodology adopted in the previous studies (Whitely & Coetsier, 1993 &
Mullen, 1998). The purpose of using this methodology was to determine if
psychosocial mentoring and career mentoring made a unique and significant
contribution in the dependent variable after recognizing the contribution of
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the control variables (Whitely & Coetsier, 1993). Thus, following this strat-
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egy of analysis, the control variables were entered in the first step, followed
by the variables of theoretical interest, psychosocial mentoring and career
mentoring, in the second step.

RESULTS

Table 1 represents the mean, standard deviation and intercorrelations


among the variables. The existing differential correlations among the two
categories of mentoring relationships and career resilience can be seen in
Table 1. For example, psychosocial mentoring was moderately correlated
with career resilience, r ⫽ 0. 228, p ⬍ .01, and career mentoring showed
weak correlation with career resilience, r ⫽ 0. 145, p ⬍ .05. Furthermore, the
correlation between psychosocial mentoring and career mentoring, r ⫽ 0.
700, p ⬍ .01, is also noteworthy. This indicated that career mentoring and
psychosocial mentoring are strongly linked with each other. For instance,
facilitating coaching to the protégé via career mentoring may also require the
emotional support of the mentors. Yet, vice versa, it can also be seen where
the sole provision of emotional support via the psychosocial mentoring may
not be perceived by the protégé as very useful from the perspective of
fulfilling intrinsic growth needs (e.g., attractive career advancement oppor-
tunities). However, this can be more carefully studied through the adoption
of a longitudinal study research design that is outside the scope of the present
study.
Table 2 shows the results of the multiple hierarchical regression analysis.
The salient finding of the present study is that only psychosocial mentoring (␤ ⫽

Table 1. Mean, Standard Deviations, and Zero-Order Correlations Among the Existing Variables
1 2 3
Psychosocial mentoring [0.92]
Career mentoring .700** [0.91]
Career resilience .228** .145* [0.75]
Means 3.75 3.6 3.6
Standard deviations 0.82 0.89 0.89
Note. N ⫽ 205; reliability of the scales are represented in brackets along the diagonal.
*
p ⬍ .05. ** p ⬍ .01.
214 ARORA AND RANGNEKAR

0.243, p ⬍ .05) was found as the most significant predictor of career resilience
among Indian managers. This provided support for Hypothesis 1. Unexpectedly,
career mentoring was not found to have any significant relationship with career
resilience. Hence, Hypothesis 2 was not accepted. Notably, the overall model
consisting of both career mentoring and psychosocial mentoring accounted for
7.5% variation in the dependent variable of career resilience.
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DISCUSSION

Given the plethora of research dealing with the linkage of mentoring and
career resilience, the present study aimed to examine this relationship in the
Indian context. In order to accomplish this objective, we sought to include two
categories of mentoring relationships as demonstrated in past studies, namely
career mentoring and psychosocial mentoring.
Hypothesis 1 stated that psychosocial mentoring support would be strongly
related to career resilience among Indian managers. As hypothesized, the results
provided support to Hypothesis 1, indicating the prominent role of psychosocial
mentoring on career resilience of Indian managers. This finding shows that the
psychic development of the Indian managers is characterized by excessive
dependence on the supervisors for their socioemotional development. Employees
carry a firm belief in the decisions of senior authorities that not only guide them
but also take a personal interest in their well-being and overall career growth and
advancement (Yadav & Katiyar, 2012).
Hypothesis 2 stated that career mentoring would be strongly related to career
resilience among Indian managers. Contrary to the proposed hypothesis, career
mentoring was not found as a significant predictor of career resilience among

Table 2. Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Relationship Between Mentoring and


Career Resilience
Career Resilience
Variables ␤ R2 ⌬R2
Step 1
Age 0.135
Gender ⫺0.111
Organization sector ⫺0.019
Hierarchical level 0.089
0.039 0.044**
Step 2
Psychosocial mentoring 0.243*
Career mentoring ⫺0.042
0.075
Note. N ⫽ 205; beta values represent standardized coefficients.
*
p ⬍ .05. ** p ⬍ .01.
WORKPLACE MENTORING AND CAREER RESILIENCE 215

Indian managers. This reflects that career mentoring support is perceived less
frequently among Indian managers. Reasonably, this may be due to the fact that
career mentoring requires a lot of time, effort, dedication, and commitment from
the side of mentor (Chao, Walz, & Gardner, 1992; Bozionelos et al., 2011) and
could cause a hindrance for the mentor in uncovering and tapping the hidden
potential of the protégé. Another reason is that the administration of career
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mentoring functions is possible only in a well-formalized organizational setting.


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Despite mentorship programs that are under the formal scheme of the organiza-
tions, they are often limited to entry level employees to aid their socialization
process (Wilson & Elman, 1990).

Implications for Organizations and Managers

The previous discussion guides us to conclude that a provision for


psychosocial mentoring support is of paramount importance for enhancing
the career resilience of Indian managers. Therefore, this study recommends
that organizations should focus more on administering psychosocial mentor-
ing to the employees than career mentoring. Although, career mentoring also
serves to shield the employees from powerful forces within the organization
(Bryant, 1995), yet the extent to which career mentoring truly benefits both
employees and organizations is dependent on several factors such as the
desired level of compatibility between mentor and protégés and suitable
formal arrangements to support allocation of mentors to protégés (McManus
& Russell, 1997; Kram, 1983). According to Clutterbuck (1994), mentoring
relationships that arise in an informal way rather than being a part of a formal
organizational scheme is more likely to favor confident and assertive people
to succeed with fewer conflict issues pertaining to authority and influence
(Friedman & Phillips, 2002). This also calls for a major imperative to prepare
organization policies for the development of psychosocial mentoring func-
tions. Further, a clear line of thought must be followed by organizational
decision-makers for channelizing the practice of psychosocial mentoring.
This could be done by conducting sessions for the senior and junior organi-
zational members to help them understand the benefits of engaging in a
mentoring relationship as a doorway to complete transformation and devel-
oping learning capabilities. Also, a trusting relationship guided with an
appropriate emotional involvement forms the core elements of psychosocial
mentoring, organizations should also train potential mentors to be trusting,
friendly, polite and patient, available when needed, ready to give sincere
advice, and nonjudgmental (Friedman & Phillips, 2002; Bramley et al.,
2012).
216 ARORA AND RANGNEKAR

Theoretical Implications

Given the adversities and fluctuations prevalent in the labor market, it is


highly crucial for organizations to sustain their competitive workforce by en-
hancing employee career resilience. This may require skill development to make
employees learn and devise innovative approaches for solving problems. Hence,
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considering the significance of the career resiliency paradigm in the present


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scenario, deploying the career resilience theory in the selection-assessment


frameworks and counseling practices from the perspective of career development
practitioners will give fruitful results (Rickwood, 2011). Furthermore, the tested
model of the current study may also guide the development of processes and
systems for effectively managing employee’s career resilience in organizations.
This may be strategized through the adoption of various interventions such as
motivating the workforce, building connections, and creating an environment for
helping employees explore greater career opportunities.
Besides this, both the theory and findings of the study can be utilized for the
development of new models of career resilience. For instance, our study viewed
career resilience as a state of an individual’s persistence to stay motivated during
adverse times. One may view career resilience as a dynamic process with
affective, cognitive and behavioral components as the key drivers (Lew, 2001).
Overall, there is scope to model the work on career resilience within the domain
of industrial-occupational psychology by researching possible correlates, ante-
cedents, and consequences of career resilience.

Limitations and Directions for Future Research

Several limitations are associated with the current research. The first concern
arises from the utilization of cross-sectional survey based research design com-
prising of self-reported measures. This design raises the possibility of common
method variance (CMV) resulting in inflated correlations (Crampton & Wagner,
1994). Specifically, researchers should follow appropriate strategies to avoid the
possibility of CMV during the research design phase. One of the popular
remedies is collecting data at two different times. Another promising remedy is
deploying Harman’s Test using statistical techniques such as the partial correla-
tion procedure and latent factor method. While the partial correlation method
partials out the first unrotated factor from the rest of the exploratory factor
analysis and then determines the theoretical relationships between the variables
of interest, the latent factor method allows items to load on their respective
theoretical constructs as well as on the latent CMV factor, which is followed by
examining theoretical constructs with or without the common factor (Chang, Van
Witteloostuijn, & Eden, 2010). In addition, because the understanding of men-
WORKPLACE MENTORING AND CAREER RESILIENCE 217

toring dynamics from the focal point of a mentor is equally important from the
theoretical and practical perspectives (Allen, 2007), future research studies
should seek to explore perceived mentoring and career resilience relationship
from the perspective of mentors.
The second concern is the usage of cross-sectional survey that limits the
scope for making inferences about causal relationships between the variables.
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One may argue that employees who are higher on career resilience show a
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greater tendency to be mentored. This interpretation can only be established by


using longitudinal and experimental research designs.
The third concern is related to the generalizability of the findings of the study
because the sample included Indian employees from both private and public
sector organizations. Future studies are recommended to make a sector-wise
analysis on the different types of mentoring relationships. Specifically, research-
ers may focus on exploring globalized mentoring functions of career mentoring
and psychosocial mentoring as a fruitful avenue for future research investigation.
Another issue is the lack of differentiation in terms of formal mentoring
and informal mentoring in the current study. Hence, the findings of this
research cannot be generalized in the context of a specific formal business
setting. Also, one has to be cautious while considering the replication of
career benefits of formal mentoring in case of informal mentoring support
(Megginson, 2000). Such issues can be resolved by testing interrelationships
among the variables in the varied contexts, as mentoring is a context-specific
phenomenon.
Future research studies may explore additional variables that have not been
given substantial attention in the mentoring and careers literature. For instance,
earlier studies have highlighted the important role of psychosocial mentoring
support in clarifying the protégé’s sense of competence and identity (Noe, 1988;
Olian et al., 1988; Scandura & Viator, 1994), yet few studies have analyzed the
possible mechanisms governing this relationship. Further investigation on this
should be conducted to understand the possible effects of intervening variables.
In this regard, additional work may also be conducted to see how perceived
mentoring support impact career resilience through investigating the moderating
role of individual differences such as creative self-efficacy, core-self-evaluation,
locus of control, and proactivity.

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