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Impact of mentoring on academic performance & career self-efficacy of business students.

To enhance effectiveness of business students, mentoring is used as pedagogy for ensuring the makeover into professionals. A faculty mentoring was examined for its impact on academic performance and self-efficacy of the business students. Data was collected from 327 postgraduate business students pursuing MBA from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, North Delhi Region. For measuring career self- efficacy, the Task-Specific Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale (TSOSSO) has been administered. College Student Mentoring Scale (CSMS) has been used for measuring faculty mentoring. Faculty mentoring and career self-efficacy were found to be significantly related to academic achievement of students. Impact of mentoring of business students on their academic success and career self-efficacy has been low but results are significant.

Introduction

In today's information era, business students need to be highly skilled in order to meet the complexities and challenges of the workplace environment. Business students are anticipated to be ready for work when they enter into the market. They encounter numerous problems in the process of transition from college life to the market. To enhance effectiveness of business students for facing all environmental issues, mentoring pedagogy may be used as an effective tool for their professional development. It has a positive impact on the personal and professional growth of youth (Levinson et al, 1978). Mentor can play a significant role through providing information, direction, inspiration, and guiding them in the process of effective transition (Levine & Nidiffer, 1996). This is why number of colleges offering mentoring is increasing (Haring, 1997). Mentoring for students may be used as a strategy in college to feel them associated and involved on campus and leads to improvement in their career as well as academic results (Pascarella, Duby & Terenzini, 1983). It may offer emotional and instrumental support to achieve the goal. It also helps students to cope with unstable personal situations and make them understand the outside world (Rauner, 2000; Freedman, 1993). It has a positive impact on the career development of MBA students (Dreher & Cox, 1996).

Thus, mentoring delivers career, social, and emotional support for self-exploration which leads to academic and personal outcomes for students (Johnson, 2006; Crisp & Cruz, 2009) and guide them to become a successful professional (Schlosser, Knox, Moskovitz & Hill, 2003). Mentoring is a process of faculty-student interactions for sharing and advising which has positive effect on student self-efficacy also (Vogt, 2008). It has been found that greater frequency of contact leads to higher levels of self-efficacy (Santos & Reigados, 2002). This study attempts to examine the role of faculty mentoring as predictor of academic performance as well as relationship of faculty mentoring with business student's self-efficacy.

Mentoring & Academic Performance

Mentoring has been a prevalent area of research in the field of business, education, and psychology for the past several decades (Crisp & Cruz, 2009). Research has shown the significant benefits of mentoring in the organizations, so it is logical to accept that it also benets students in business school. Researches indicate that mentoring is important not only for business people but equally for students (Crisp, 2009; Lockwood, 2006; Gilbert, 1985; Dreher &Cox., 1996; Nora & Crisp, 2007). Mentoring has been deseribed as "a formalized process in which a more experienced individual play a supportive role of supervisor, motivator for learning with a less experienced and knowledgeable individual, to facilitate personal and professional progress" (Roberts, 2000).

Mentoring has been identified as the most rewarding and important relationship a student can have with his or her faculty. Mentoring is considered as a proven development intervention and tool for learning, training and development to cope with organizational changes (Rigsby et al., 1998; Hunt & Michael, 1983). Mentoring has been considered as a part of the business school's pedagogy to bridge the gap between the theoretical and empirical concepts of students (George & Mampilly, 2012). Mentoring also stimulates the levels of academic achievements and promotes growth among the students (Jaccobi, 1991; Waldeck et al., 1997). Mentoring has a significant impact on mentored minority as compared to non-mentored minority student's academic success (Cantwell, Archer & Bourke, 1997).

Mentoring & Self-Efficacy

Mentoring is a process of directing and encouraging mentee to cope with challenges and complexities related to job and personal issues such as stress, motivation, work relationships, and performance (Rayle et al., 2006; Stewart & Knowls., 2003). In academics, mentoring is an established tool which may give positive impact on mentee outcome in terms of psychosocial intellect (Dubois & Neville, 1997; Vieno et al., 2007) and academic performances (Rayle et al., 2006). In an institution, psychosocial intellect is perceived as socialization process to campus life which involves self-confidence, social integration and well-being (Dutton, 2003; Santos & Reigadas 2005). Research conceals that the impact of mentoring program on student's outcome is indirectly influenced by the perceptions of self-efficacy (Rayle et al., 2006; Vieno et al., 2007). Self-efficacy is a person's belief in their capabilities to take the necessary actions to produce a specific outcome (Bandura, 1997). It has been explored that there is a positive correlation between mentoring and self-efficacy (Hayes, 1998; Day& Allen, 2004). It has been highlighted that perceived self-efficacy is related to business knowledge and career success (Bandura, 1997). Mentoring may influence the development of career self- efficacy in students by providing vicarious experiences and verbal persuasion, important sources of self -efficacy (Flood, 2012). Due to the high significance of mentoring in business and its association to self-efficacy (Dreher & Cox, 1996; Ragins & Cotton, 1999, Day & Allen, 2004) this study will focus specially on the impact of mentoring on students' career self-efficacy.

Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of a faculty mentoring program on business student's academic performance. This study has two major objectives. The first is to examine the effect of mentoring of business students on their academic performance (average percentage). The second is to explore if there is any significant impact of mentoring on student's career self- efficacy. It was anticipated that the faculty mentoring program will affect the academic success of mentees in a positive way (Cantwell et al., 1997; Folger et al., 2004). It was also expected that mentoring process positively affect the career self-efficacy of the business students (Flood, 2012; De Freitas, 2012). Self-efficacy has a well-established influence on academic achievement.

Research Design

Survey methodology has been used to test the research hypothesis. The study population consists of students pursuing MBA from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprasta University specifically from North Delhi Region to fill the questionnaire. Students were randomly selected for the survey. They are ready to join the corporate. Therefore, data extracted would be much more suitable to provide insights into the research study.

The study has a total of 397 respondents. Some have not filled the questionnaire properly while some questionnaires have missing data. Out of the 397 respondents' sample, data from 70 respondents were not complete. So, the final data include 327 postgraduate business students. Response rate of the survey was 82.3 percent. CPA (cumulative percentage average) has been used as a parameter for academic performance.

Instruments Used

The questionnaire used in the study has three parts. First part consisted of demographics and academic history of the respondents (age, year of study etc.). Second part consisted of career self-efficacy scale statements. Career self-efficacy was assessed using the Task-Specific Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale (TSOSS) developed by Osipow, Temple, and Rooney (1993). The original form of the scale was developed by Rooney and Osipow (1992). A summarized form of the scale was developed for greater competence (Osipow & Temple, 1996). The TSOSS consists of 60 items that measure four skills: verbal interpersonal skills, quantitative, logical, and business skills, physical strength and agility, and aesthetic skills (Osipow & Temple, 1996). For the purpose of this study, only interpersonal skills and quantitative skills were administered (Gault et al., 2000; Abraham & Karns, 2009) having in total 30 questions. Skills were selected based upon the studies which show that above mentioned skills are important to be successful as a business professional (Gault, Redington & Schlager, 2000; Abraham & Karns, 2009). A Likert 10 point scale has been used in the instrument.

Third part consisted of mentoring scale statements. For measuring the faculty mentoring, College Student Mentoring Scale (CSMS) developed by Nora & Crisp (2007) was administered. The scale is confined to four factors: Psychological and Emotional Support (eight items), Degree and Career Support (six items), Academic Subject Knowledge (five items), and Existence of a Role Model (six items). A Likert 5 point scale was used to calculate the scores (Crisp, 2009). There are evidences of strong validity of the scale (Crisp, 2009).

SPSS (22.0) statistical package was used for data analysis. Statistical tools such as mean, Cronbach alpha, regression, correlation and t-test were used.

Hypotheses

H1: There is no significant relationship between mentoring and career self-efficacy.

H2: There is no significant impact of mentoring and career self-efficacy of business students on their academic performance.

Reliability of the Scales

The Cronbach alpha was calculated and evaluated to measure the reliability and validity of the scale used in the study. The Cronbach alpha for the TSOSS scale is .943 and the CSMS scale is .920 respectively. Since the reliability coefficient's values are closer to 1 the scale adopted was considered to be objectively reliable.

Descriptive statistics

Descriptive statistics (Table 1) includes minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation of raw data. Out of 327 students, there are 187 males and 140 females. Average age of the sample students is 20.5.

Academic Performance

Academic performance explained by CPA (cumulative percentage average) is given in Table 1. CPA of 16 students is less than 60%, 103 students percentage lies in the range 60-70%, 155 students percentage lies between 70.5 and 80% and 53 students having percentage more than 80. Minimum percentage of the respondent is 59, highest percentage is 89 while average percentage is 70.6.

Mentoring & Self--efficacy

Mentoring score and self-efficacy score are also given in Table 1. The range of self -efficacy scores lies from 5 to 15.8 whereas the average of the scores is 11.28. Mentoring scores range from 4.63 to 16.25 though the average score is 12.13.

Mentoring, Self--Efficacy & Academic Performance

The main purpose of the study is to explore the interrelationships between faculty mentoring (CSMS), self-efficacy (TSOSS), and academic performance (CPA). Correlation has been analyzed to measure the strength and direction of the linear relationship between variables. T-test has been used to check the statistical significance of the same. It has been found that the correlation between academic performance & self-efficacy is very low and positive (0.213) whereas correlation between academic performance and mentoring is high and positive (0.477) (Table 2). Correlation matrix indicated that mentoring and self-efficacy are also positively linked (0.319). The correlation is less than 0.5 which infer that it is weak but positive among the three examined variables.

Regression (Table 3) has been run to examine the impact of mentoring on self-efficacy. Mentoring has positive beta results on self-efficacy (0.287). The findings indicate that HI is rejected (p< 0.05) that proves significant impact of mentoring on career self-efficacy. The adjusted R-square value (6.6%) shows the variance explained on TSOSS. Thus the independent variables in this regression only explain the very low percentage of variance in students' business career self-efficacy scores. Durbin-Watson statistic has been used to analyse the problem of auto-correlation. The result (1.837) indicates that variables are not auto correlated as the value is closer to 2.

Second objective of the study is to examine the impact of mentoring and self-efficacy on the academic performance of the business students. Inter correlation shows moderate and positive association between mentoring (CSMS) and academic performance whereas correlation between mentoring and self-efficacy (TSOSS) is low but positive. Regression results also confirmed the same. The findings indicate that H2 is rejected (p<0.05) which proves that there is a statistically significant impact of mentoring and career self-efficacy of business students on their academic performance. Durbin- Watson statistic has been used to analyse the problem of auto-correlation. The result 1.820 indicates that variables are not auto correlated as the value is closer to 2. Adjusted R-square result shows that 20.3 % academic performance is explained by mentoring and self-efficacy variable.

Discussion

Findings indicate that faculty mentoring has influence on business students' academic performance and career self-efficacy. It was clear that mean values of mentoring were higher than career self-efficacy. It can be inferred that mentoring is an important tool for the academic success of the students. Further, results highlight that there is a positive but low correlation among mentoring, career self-efficacy and academic performance. It can be inferred that other factors like achievement, understanding, confidence level of students etc. can play a vital role in their academic success.

Analysis also indicates that there is a significant impact of mentoring on career self-efficacy. Though the variance explained is very low but it is significant. This result is very important for the educational organizations/institutions. It can be inferred that mentoring program should be a part of curriculum of business students. Results also indicate that when both mentoring and career self-efficacy are considered as factors, academic performance will get improved. It helps the job seekers to establish their edge over the competitors. Thus, the discussion emphasizes on the need for educational institutions to implement mentoring programs in a way that improves their students' academic performance and consequently helps them in getting jobs in the current complex environment.

Conclusion

Mentoring provides valuable experience (Bandura, 1997) and verbal advice (Fagenson-Eland et al., 1997) which are the important sources of self-efficacy. In higher education, mentoring has become the matter of intense academic study and extensive research due to its significance (Clutterbuck, 1992). The study shows moderate evidence of higher academic performance of mentored students. Mentoring includes the transmission of academic skills, communication and trust which leads to psychosocial ease that enables a student to grow academically and socially (Redmond, 1990). The results of the study also support the same. Business schools should be able to create a learning environment through faculty mentoring so that students can get the exposure to the practical aspects of today's fast changing environment. Mentoring can be an effective tool to transfer the adequate knowledge, attitudes, skills and abilities to succeed in this turbulent social environment. The relationship of mentoring and self-efficacy have been found positive but low (Flood, 2012). Same result has been supported in the earlier studies also (Hayes, 1998).

Faculty can therefore, make an effort to understand the need of business students. Faculty, through mentoring, can help them in enhancing their capabilities, skills and potential. They can also help students in improving their academic performance and to achieve a better job in the real market.

Implications

This paper presents important findings which can help understand how faculty mentoring can enhance the efficacy, potential, capabilities and skills of the students. This ultimately helps the students in the real market to get selected in the corporate. The finding of the paper is important for the educational institutions, faculty of higher studies and for the students. The result proves that mentored students could be at a better place in the job market after improving their academic performance. The study is also important for the prospective employees or job seekers especially for those who are inexperienced and ready to join corporate as they can understand the significance of mentors and can take steps to find one.

Limitations

First limitation of the study is that our findings cannot be generalized to a wider area as it is confined to a specific area only. Second limitation of the study is that research has not considered the other factors such as personal characteristics like achievement motivation, competencies in study skills, social, demographic characteristics of the students that can affect academic performance (Cantwell et al., 2001; Le et al., 2005). In essence, future research is needed to repeat results in more generalizable situations so that researchers can find out more about the impacts of other personal characteristics like achievement motivation, competencies in study skills, and social, demographic characteristics of the students and their impact on academic performance.

Rachna Jain (E-mail:jain.rachna@rediflmail.com) & Bharti Chaudhary (E-mail: bhartimaims @gmail.com) are Assistant Professors, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, Delhi 1100 85. Neetu Jain is Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. Email: drneetujain76@gmail.com.

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Table 1 Descriptive Statistics

          N    Minimum   Maximum     Mean    Std. Deviation

CPA      327     59.0      89.0    70.611           8.5684
TSOSS    327     5.00     15.80    11.2870         1.71878
CSMS     327     4.63     16.25    12.1357         2.05203

Table 2 Correlation Matrix

           CPA    TSOSS     CSMS

CPA      1.000
TSOSS     .213    1.000
CSMS      .477     .319    1.000

Table 3 Regression Results of CSMS

Model            Un-standardized      Standardized
                  Coefficients        Coefficients

                   B    Std. Error           Beta         t    Sig.

1 (Constant)   8.765          .659                   13.296    .000
TSOSS           .287          .059           .262     4.890    .000

Table 4 Regression Results of CPA

Model               Un-standardized     Standardized
                     Coefficients       Coefficients

                     B    Std. Error            Beta        T    Sig.

1 (Constant)    46.619         2.662                   17.511   .000
TSOSS            1.056          .197            .274    5.348   .000
CSMS             1.054          .180            .299    5.845   .000
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Author:Jain, Rachna; Chaudhary, Bharti; Jain, Neetu
Publication:Indian Journal of Industrial Relations
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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