Who Is a Mentor? A Review of Evolving Definitions and Implications for Research

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mentoring, careers, training, development


The authors’ review of the mentoring literature describes how the construct has changed since Kram’s influential work in the early 1980s, the implications of such changes for the field, and suggestions for the future. In addition to highlighting changes over time in the topics mentoring researchers have studied, the authors provide an in-depth review of the way researchers have defined mentoring and the implications of those definitions. They identified approximately 40 different definitions used in the empirical literature since 1980. The discussion of definitions is followed by a delineation of the core attributes of all mentoring relationships and recommendations for specific information that researchers should collect about the relationship. The authors conclude by describing research trends and directions for future mentoring research.

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Haggard, Dana L., Thomas W. Dougherty, Daniel B. Turban, and James E. Wilbanks. "Who is a mentor? A review of evolving definitions and implications for research." Journal of management 37, no. 1 (2011): 280-304.

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Management and Information Technology