Date of Award

Winter 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Terry L. Dickinson

Committee Member

Diane Catanzaro

Committee Member

Donald D. Davis

Committee Member

Janis Sanchez-Hucles


Organizational researchers have consistently found that developmental mentoring has a positive effect on employees professional and career success. Some of the benefits that have been cited include increased job satisfaction, increased organizational commitment, and increased self-esteem among mentored employees. In addition to these short-term benefits, developmental mentoring has also been found to positively impact long-term career outcomes in the form of increased compensation and career mobility for mentored employees as compared to non-mentored employees. Traditionally, mentors have been described as influential senior members of an organization who provide career support and developmental opportunities to less experienced employees, who are referred to as protégés. In recent years, researchers have suggested that immediate supervisors may serve as mentors to their subordinates. In this capacity, a supervisor goes beyond the formal boss-subordinate relationship, serving as a role model to the subordinate and providing the subordinate with coaching, support, and career-related counseling. The purpose of the present study was to extend our understanding of developmental mentoring within supervisory relationships by testing a structural model of relationships between employee characteristics, supervisory mentoring behaviors, and facets of employee job satisfaction. The model was tested using data from 327 employees of a large Southeastern city government who provided information about their personal characteristics, job satisfaction, and supervisory mentoring experiences. The results indicated that employees' core self-evaluations impact the extent to which supervisory mentoring is received and the extent to which employees are satisfied with the supervisor, the advancement opportunities, and the opportunities for growth and development on the job. Similar findings were obtained for racial and gender similarity with the supervisor. However, the relationships between demographic similarity and supervisory mentoring were mediated by interpersonal comfort with the supervisor. Limitations of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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