Mentorship separation tension in the accounting profession: The consequences of delayed structural separation

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Abstract

This study inquires whether public accounting mentoring relationships conform to the classical Greco-Roman model (where mentors guide protégés and eventually release them to pursue an autonomous life) or a modern form (where mentoring continues indefinitely and serves as an organizational control mechanism). Data was obtained from 630 professionals in the accounting profession who reported having a mentor. Participants who considered the mentoring relationship to be in the past, yet remained working in close physical proximity of their mentor, reported the highest levels of mentorship tension. For these participants (n = 100), mentorship tension was associated with negative job outcomes. These results extend research by [Covaleski, M.A., Dirsmith, M.W., Heian, J.B., & Samuel, S. (1998). Administrative Science Quarterly 43, 293-327] identifying the use of mentoring as an organizational control mechanism in the public accounting profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-387
Number of pages17
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005

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