Newcomer Socialization and Stress: Formal Peer Relationships as a Source of Support

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Peer relationships, Mentoring, Socialization

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The present study examined formal peer developmental relationships within a graduate academic setting. Specifically, the relations between short-term mentoring provided by more experienced peers, multiple aspects of socialization, and stress were investigated. Data were collected from first-year MBA students working in teams which were formally assigned to second-year MBA peer mentors. Results indicated that the psychosocial mentoring provided by peers related positively to politics and performance aspects of socialization, while career-related mentoring related positively to the aspect of socialization that deals with the establishment of successful and satisfying relationships with organizational members. Both mentoring functions were positively related to the amount of help in coping with stress that respondents indicated their mentors provided. Further, mentoring was related to overall socialization, and overall socialization was related to work-induced stress; however, socialization did not mediate the relationship between mentoring and work-induced stress. The results underscore the valuable role that more experienced peers can serve in mentoring newcomers and enhancing socialization. The results also provide empirical support for expanding conventional views regarding the network of viable mentoring relationships.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Vocational Behavior, v. 54, issue 3, p. 453-470