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Aging Mentors in the Changing Organizational Odyssey: An Analysis
Background/Objectives: As a person advances in age his/her thinking also matures and as a result he/she makes a mature mentor. The present piece of empirical research is an endeavor into exploring the older mentors' perception about mentorship. Methods/Statistical Analysis: The sample comprised of 260 managers, in the age range of 30 to 50 years, working in public as well as private sector organizations. 'A Checklist of Mentorship Perceptions' was used with them. The responses for the questionnaire were obtained from managers who were also assigned the role of mentors in the organizational formal mentorship programs. The sampling was convenience based. The data were analyzed with the help of descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations and chi-squares. Findings: The older the mentors become, the greater is found their belief that sharing of success and failure-stories and providing the mentees with the ethical guidelines is essential for successful mentoring to take place. The older mentors perceive personal experience-sharing and counseling important for mentoring. They believe that 'mentee competence' is the issue which is handled by mentors. The perceived frequency of mentorship meetings, is observed to be 'once a month'. They believe that attitude, interpersonal skill and emotional maturity of mentees are the skills to be developed by them. The existing body of mentoring research provides a great deal of knowledge about the importance of mentoring, relevant structural factors surrounding mentoring relationships and characteristics of mentors and protegees (Fagenson, 1992; Ragins and Scandura, 1994; Scandura and Ragins, 1993). It has mostly dealt with the mentees' perspective. There is difference in frequency of interaction, organizational level of mentors and proteges and formality of the relationship (Finkelstein, Allen and Rhoton, 2003) which is studied in detail. The present study focuses on the 'mentor's perspective' and the issue of 'age of mentor' in mentoring relationships. Applications/Improvements: By managing an aging workforce organizations can utilize the vast experience, unfathomed potential and mature decision-making lying untapped with this workforce. This will add a Midas touch to the organization and its business.
Aging Mentors, Aging Workforce, Changing Organizations, Mentoring, Mentorship, Older Mentors.
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