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Mentoring: What we know and where we might go

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-0-76230-973-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-184-2

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 13 November 2002


Mentoring has been recognized as a key developmental resource in organizational settings. As a result, we have seen a concomitant increase in research on mentoring covering a wide variety of issues. Overall, researchers are in agreement that mentoring is beneficial both to individuals' careers and to their social-emotional well-being. However, studies also suggest that these effects are not necessarily always present, and that the nature of mentoring relationships is indeed complex. Despite the burgeoning literature in this area, there have been few attempts to integrate the work on mentoring. In this paper, we provide an overview and discussion of the current mentoring literature, and potentially beneficial new research directions. Specifically, the evolution of the concept of mentoring relationships, the theories and perspectives that have been employed in the literature, individual differences included in mentoring research, the benefits of mentoring relationships, formal mentoring programs, and methodology issues are reviewed and discussed. The paper concludes by presenting a new direction for future mentoring research based on the psychological theory of attachment.


Noe, R.A., Greenberger, D.B. and Wang, S. (2002), "Mentoring: What we know and where we might go", Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-173.



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