Document Type

Conference Paper


This study aimed to identify employees’ perceptions of their managers’ mentoring-style communication. It examined employees’ descriptions of interactions with their managers, using content-coding and statistical analyses. The literature on mentoring, including gender differences in mentoring was also used. Drawing upon the conceptual frameworks of Communication Accommodation Theory and Social Identity Theory, the findings supported the hypotheses that managers who providing task, career and psychosocial support for their employees are considered more effective as mentors. Further, it was found that early-stage employees felt they gain more benefits from psychosocial mentoring than instrumental career assistance. It was also found that female managers were perceived to be more dominating and controlling by female employees than male employees. Theoretical and applied implications for communication in mentoring relationships are discussed.