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Engagement, inclusion, knowledge sharing, and talent development: is reverse mentoring a panacea to all? Findings from literature review

Sanghamitra Chaudhuri (College of Management, Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA)
Sunyoung Park (School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Karen R. Johnson (Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 1 June 2021

Issue publication date: 26 May 2022




The purpose of this study is to systematically review the practice of reverse mentoring and draw a timeline of the research over the past two decades. Considering the novelty of this intervention, this paper proposed an agenda for future research on this burgeoning topic.


By adopting narrative literature review and Gregory and Denniss’ (2018) four-step process, this paper reviewed 54 studies grounded in conceptual, literature review and empirical research published between 1998 and 2020.


The articles included in the literature review on reverse mentoring research were summarized according to journal publications, research methodologies, contextual settings, theoretical framework, purpose and outcomes. Reverse mentoring studies are dominantly published in educational journals using primarily qualitative and conceptual approaches to explore both academic and business contexts within the USA and Europe. Theories frequently used to frame and examine the need of reverse mentoring included social exchange theory and leader-member exchange theory. The fundamental purpose of reverse mentoring research is to transfer knowledge and to bridge the technology divide between intergenerational groups. Reverse mentoring has been used to promote inclusivity between multiple generations in relation to gender, ethnicity and culture.


As per the knowledge, this is the first-ever comprehensive English summary of reverse mentoring research done in the past two decades. Findings from this research can be used to better understand reverse mentoring research trends and directions.



Chaudhuri, S., Park, S. and Johnson, K.R. (2022), "Engagement, inclusion, knowledge sharing, and talent development: is reverse mentoring a panacea to all? Findings from literature review", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 46 No. 5/6, pp. 468-483.



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