Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Waynne B. James


confirmatory factor analysis, gender, mentor, mentoring functions, protege


This study's purpose was to investigate the importance of mentoring functions and behaviors for lifelong career development as perceived by protégés. The population included individuals in middle to late adulthood (age 40 years and older) who reported they had been a protégé in at least one mentoring association perceived as beneficial to their lifelong career development; and were either employed or had been employed as a middle manager, senior manager, C-level executive, business owner, or member of a profession. The sample was obtained using a chain-sample method; 67 Ambassadors completed an online survey and each invited 10 contacts to complete the survey. The final number of respondents was 503; of these, 456 reported being a protégé.

Data were collected using the Perceptions of Workplace Mentoring Behaviors (PWMB) scale, a modification of Noe's (1988) Mentoring Functions Scale. The online survey included the PWMB scale items plus questions designed to engage the respondent's autobiographical memory and questions regarding respondent and mentoring association characteristics. The PWMB scale included seven new items, posited by the expert panel, enhancing the teaching aspect of mentoring. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted comparing four tenable models for the PWMB scale. The 8-factor model, which was essentially the protégé's view of Kram's (1985) mentoring functions model and included the seven newly developed items, exhibited the best fit of the four possible models.

Results indicated that protégés perceived three factors from the Psychosocial category (Role Model, Acceptance-and-Confirmation, and Relationship Fundamentals) as most important to their lifelong career development. Effective Development Opportunities was perceived as the most important factor from the Career category. Professional Issue Counseling from the Psychosocial category was perceived as the least important factor.

Significant differences were found for five of six independent variables (protégé gender, mentor gender, dyad, protégé's mentor group, and birth decade) at the item level and for four of six independent variables (protégé gender, dyad, protégé's mentor group, and decade of birth) at the factor level. Implications included designing mentoring programs that provide opportunities for mentors and protégés to develop relationships rather than directly assigning protégés to mentors.