Mentoring and network ties

Mary K. Feeney, Barry Bozeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Using questionnaire data obtained from a sample of state government managers, our study examines social capital foci (network ties) of mentoring relations. Others have shown that network ties are relevant to career development and advance. We begin with the assumption that enhanced network ties are generally beneficial. We investigate variation in mentorships, which enhance network ties within the focal organization and within organizations external to the focal organization. We examine a number of factors hypothesized as shaping the relationship between mentoring and the development of network ties, including attributes of the protégé and of the mentoring relationship. Our results show that the sex of the protégé and of the mentor does not affect the quantity of network ties conveyed. However, relationships in which protégé and mentor sex is matched provide more network ties. Counter to our expectations, there is no significant difference in the amount and focus of network ties accruing from formal, organizationally sanctioned mentoring and informal mentoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1651-1676
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Careers
  • Formal mentor
  • Informal mentor
  • Mentoring
  • Personnel selection
  • Public management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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