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AbstractThe primary objective of the study is to examine whether teachers view mentoring as an inherently contrived or collaborative enterprise. Drawing upon a micro-political framework, this study examines the relationships between contrived and collaborative collegial relationships (Hargreaves, 1991), utilizing data from a mentor teacher program in a large Southwestern district. Teacher collegiality has not been viewed within the context of shifting power relationships between teachers and administrators. Some researchers (Conley, Bas-Isaac, & Scull, in press; Hargreaves, 1991) have maintained that while some teacher collegiality mechanisms may be teacher-driven and reflect genuine teacher collaboration, others are contrived and aimed more toward promoting administrative efficiency and gaining greater control over teachers' work. The critical question is whether peer mentoring systems, such as a formalized mentoring component of a Career Ladder program, which are inherently contrived, are capable of generating teacher collaboration. The results suggest that collaborative and contrived collegiality may be complementary relationships, that is, teachers can meet their own needs and interests in what on the surface is a contrived setting.