Effects of formal mentoring support on newcomer-protégé affective organizational commitment: a self-concept-based perspective

Thomas A. Birtch, FFT Chiang, Zhenyao Cai

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The study proposes and tests a self-concept-based perspective for the effects of formal mentoring support on affective organizational commitment (AOC) via multiple mediators. Using time-lagged multi-source dyadic data (n = 203), we demonstrate that formal mentoring support significantly influences newcomer-proteges' AOC through an underlying self-evaluative mechanism indicated by organization-based self-esteem (OBSE), even in the presence of a well-established alternative mediator (perceived organizational support; POS). Moreover, we further demonstrate when or under what circumstances such effects might be attenuated or exaggerated by introducing a salient boundary condition to such a process (i.e., perceived mentor organizational prototypicality). As the findings reveal, by making newcomer-proteges feel good about themselves in the workplace (i.e., perceive self-value) formal mentoring support can also promote organizational commitment, effects that are likely to be amplified when the formal mentor is perceived to be prototypical of the organization. Thus, bridging the mentoring and socialization literatures, the inclusion of our proposed mediators and moderator and testing their relationships simultaneously not only provides a more nuanced view of the underlying mechanisms through which the effects of formal mentoring support are channeled to influence newcomer-proteges' work attitudes but it offers new theoretical elaboration and contextual understanding that we hope will prompt future research and be of benefit to human resource practitioners. Implications to theory, practice and future research directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Resource Management
Early online date21 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • AOC
  • OBSE
  • Blue-collar workers
  • Formal mentoring support
  • Mentor organizational prototypicality
  • Newcomer-proteges
  • Self-concept-based theory

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A*
  • FT
  • SSCI


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