Baby Boomers versus Generation X: A study of the unique mentor roles and functions perceived by two generations of women

by Robertson, Megan E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 136 pages; 3557429


The purpose of this study was to test the theory of mentoring functions by comparing women in business from the Generation X and Baby Boomer generations to determine the mentor roles and functions each perceived to have most impacted their career advancement. A sample of 250 women in business, 125 each from the two generations, was used for this quantitative study.

The Mentoring Functions Questionnaire (MFQ-9) developed by Castro and Scandura (2004) was implemented to determine any similarities or differences between the two generations of women. This study focused on the roles and functions developed by and expanded upon in seminal research by Kram (1983; 1985) and Burke (1984) who identified the three functions provided by a mentor which include career, psychosocial, and role modeling.

Overall, the results were inconclusive regarding which mentoring function was perceived to have most facilitated either generation of women's career advancement. Further research is suggested to identify any specific differences between the two generations. As percentages, both generations of women in business indicated that the mentor each perceived to have most facilitated their career advancement was female. However, the only statistically significant results were for the Generation X participants with regard to mentor gender.

Recommendations for future studies on the topic of mentoring, women in business, and generational issues are presented.

AdviserJanice Spangenburg
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsWomen's studies; Management
Publication Number3557429

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