Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Finkelstein, Lisa M.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Organizational behavior; Psychology; Industrial


Extensive research on mentoring shows that mentoring programs within organizational settings enhance various individual outcomes. The current dissertation specifically examined how mentors enhanced protege self-efficacy. Three studies were designed to investigate whether efficacy beliefs transfer from mentors to their respective proteges. The studies also focused on the conditions and the psychological processes that facilitated the transfer of efficacious beliefs between the members of the mentoring dyad. Drawing on social comparison theory, I proposed that when shared experience exists between mentors and proteges, proteges are able to take the perspective of their mentors. I further proposed that the perspective taking a protege engages in enables them to ascribe positive aspects of their mentor (i.e., efficacious beliefs) to themselves. Precisely, a protege's perspective taking bolsters the transfer of efficacious beliefs from the mentor to the protege. Study 1 and Study 2 adopted an experimental design (i.e., vignette study) and Study 3 adopted a survey design with proteges in an e-mentoring program. Results from all the three studies provided evidence for the transfer of efficacy beliefs from the mentor to the protege. The findings also supported the postulation that shared experience between the protege and the mentor facilitates perspective taking on behalf of the protege. Although the findings of the experimental studies showed that a protege's perspective taking moderated the positive transfer of efficacy beliefs from the mentor to the protege, the field study failed to replicate this finding. The current research's findings have implications for training and developing employees. Mentors are able to encourage proteges to attempt and pursue stretch goals or tackle challenges by instilling domain specific efficacy beliefs in them. The research findings also underscore the role of shared experience and psychological process such as perspective taking in making mentoring relationships efficient and effective.


Advisors: Lisa Finkelstein.||Committee members: Lacie Barber; Anne Britt; Amanda Durik; Amanda Ferguson; Alecia Santuzzi.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


93 pages




Northern Illinois University

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