IACM 2022 Abstract Book »
The Detrimental Effects of High-Status Mentors for Low Performers
Although people look to those at the top of their organization for mentorship, we find that mentors’ status has a detrimental effect on mentee outcomes, particularly for poor performers. A study of managers (N = 130) revealed that higher status mentors were less motivated to help low performers compared to high performers, leading them to spend less time mentoring low performers. To investigate the consequences of these tendencies, a large-scale field study at a professional services firm (N = 68,937) revealed that low performers were more likely to depart their organization when paired with a higher status mentor than a lower status one. Taken together, these findings illuminate the role of status in mentoring relationships with implications for how mentors and mentees can be matched in practice.