ERIC Number: ED307669
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Mentoring for Administrative Advancement: A Study of What Mentors Do and Think.
Mertz, Norma T.; And Others
Despite a profusion of mentoring publications, much information on the subject is opinion-based, retrospective, and reflective. In examining mentoring for career advancement, researchers have focused largely on proteges' experience. This study examined mentoring as a mechanism for career advancement, focusing on the mentor's perspective and seeking to identify what mentors did, why they did it, and how they saw the process before, during, and after the experience. The study also tries to identify whether special problems or issues arose as a result of cross-race and cross-gender mentoring. Using qualitative research methods, including indepth interviews and diaries, 25 subjects were chosen from three kinds of organizations--higher education, industry, and government. Only 15 actually participated. Mentors gathered at a symposium to discuss the role of mentoring in their careers, to explain their perceptions of the process, and to reflect on issues, problems, and other factors. After each mentor had selected a person in his/her organization with advancement potential and monitored this mentor-protege relationship for 3 months, a second symposium was arranged during which both groups shared their experiences. Two major findings emerged. There was enthusiastic agreement concerning the importance of mentoring. Mentors fell into two groups: "true believers," who used mentoring as an organizational tool; and "mystics," who felt mentoring should be a veiled process for a select few. Most mentors studied fit the latter category, which raises questions about mentoring relationships and their effects on career advancement. Results also raised serious questions concerning the value of mentoring for women and minorities. (30 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).