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The Mentoring Relationship as a Context for Psychological Contract Development


Dana L. Haggard, Department of Management, Missouri State University, 901 South National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65897. E-mail:


This study examined the mentoring relationship as a context for the development of psychological contracts and investigated the obligations that mentors and protégés feel that they owe and are owed in the mentoring relationship. By using psychological contract theory, we develop new insights into the dynamics of the mentoring relationship and extend psychological contract research by applying the theory to a relation outside the employer–employee context. Results indicate that both parties perceive that they owe and are owed obligations, and these perceptions are influenced by the formality of the relationship and the supervisory status of the mentor. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.