Developing Leaders through Mentoring: A Brief Literature ReviewReport as inadecuate

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Our rapidly-changing, ambiguous, global business arena demands a unique and evolving set of insights and capabilities by which leaders may effectively navigate this new terrain. Mentoring can accomplish exactly that, as its processes orient, train, and advance the skills, knowledge, and experiences of aspiring leaders. Best utilized, mentoring is one important component in a larger, strategic initiative to build a cohesive and collaborative workforce, develop agile and savvy global leaders, and create a continuous learning culture that can effectively adapt to organizational and global change. The key research questions that were considered for this literature review evaluating 15 scholarly articles on mentoring pertain to its best practices in three areas: 1) The unique traits and behaviors that effective mentors demonstrate; 2) the most productive relationship structures that exist between mentors and proteges; and 3) the concrete developmental outcomes that mentoring produces for the protege, the mentor, and the sponsoring organization? This literature review, focused on the evolution of mentoring within the organizational context, spans the period from 1985 forward. It presents the theoretical frameworks that underpin the study of mentoring and analyzes the historical evolution of mentoring theory. Additionally, it demonstrates the structures, functions, and outcomes of mentoring relationships that benefit proteges, mentors, and organizations, and notes how mentoring tangibly contributes to the practice of leadership. Finally, it identifies the design limitations and theoretical shortcomings of the existing research, and makes recommendations for the future study of mentoring.

Descriptors: Futures (of Society), Mentors, Lifelong Learning, Organizational Development, Literature Reviews, Leadership Effectiveness, Global Approach, Best Practices, Interpersonal Relationship, Leaders, Educational History, Leadership Training, Workplace Learning, Theories, Research Problems, Research Needs

Author: Leavitt, Carol C.


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