Identifying support functions in developmental relationships: A self-determination perspective

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10 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the content of developmental networks from the perspective of self-determination theory. We qualitatively examine 18 protégés' constellations of developmental relationships to identify specific types of developmental support functions. Our study shows that the adoption of self-determination theory leads to a theory-based classification of support functions. The results show the manner in which developmental relationships meet protégés' needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Protégés identified the importance of their developer's need-supportive functions to their success, including creating freedom, encouraging self-initiation (autonomy), emulating effective behaviors, confirming and praising (competence), and intimacy and self-disclosure (relatedness). Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are presented
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
JournalJournal of vocational behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-295923
  • IR-85643

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