Management Department


Date of this Version



Published in Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2011, Vol. 10, No. 3, 409–429.


While practitioners and scholars tout the importance of mentorship in leader development, few studies have empirically determined whether mentoring actually positively impacts a leader’s development, and if so, in what ways. In a longitudinal field experiment, we examined how a targeted mentorship program that unfolded over 6 months enhanced the development of protégés’ leader efficacy and performance. Results showed that the targeted mentorship intervention increased protégés’ level of leader efficacy more than a comparison intervention that was based on a more eclectic leadership education program delivered in a group setting. Leader efficacy then predicted rated leader performance. Both protégés’ preferences for feedback and trust in the mentor served as important moderators in contributing to the development of leader efficacy. Findings from this longitudinal field experiment could be used by educational institutions and other organizations to enhance their mentorship programs in content, focus, and evaluation of impact.