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Determining effective mentor characteristics in inter-organizational mentoring for managers: an approach based on academics’ and practitioners’ perspectives

Nuria Gisbert-Trejo (Institute of Applied Business Economics, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain) (General Manager at CIC EnergiGUNE, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain)
Jon Landeta (University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain)
Eneka Albizu (Institute of Applied Business Economics, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain)
Pilar Fernández-Ferrín (Institute of Applied Business Economics, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 14 January 2019

Issue publication date: 31 January 2019

1007

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the essential mentor characteristics for effective inter-organizational mentoring. This kind of HR development technique, where mentor and mentee belong to different organizations, is becoming increasingly popular and so far has been scarcely studied.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a rigorous literature analysis to identify primary mentor characteristics for managers and professionals has been performed; second, a Delphi analysis has determined their relevance according to the opinion of 125 experienced mentors, mentees and program coordinators that have carried out inter-organizational mentoring processes in Spain; and third, an exploratory factor analysis has reclassified the mentor characteristics into a smaller number of factors.

Findings

In total, 29 relevant mentor characteristics have been identified and valued. The foregoing characteristics are related to seven underlying dimensions or factors that serve to characterize an effective mentor for inter-organizational mentoring programs.

Originality/value

The research extends the existing literature regarding mentor characteristics of those mentors who are engaged in inter-organizational mentoring. In addition, this work offers a valuable contribution to inter-organizational mentoring research based in a Delphi method that includes both academic and practitioner perspectives in a cultural context that may have not received previous attention. The findings can be valuable for both academics who investigate this topic of growing interest, and for practitioners who must face the selection and training of mentors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research group would like to thank the members of the Expert Group in mentoring that are collaborating with the Research Project: Iluminada Aparicio and Jesús Mari González Villambrosa (CVE); Nerea Aranguren (EHUalumni); Isabel Iturbe (AED); Oscar Garro, Araceli Cabezón and Ane Aguirre (Vesper Solutions); Sofía Barturen and Ana Arrieta (Bilbao Ekintza); Inma Ramos and Ana Artetxe (Gaztenpresa); Ainara Basurko, Lucía Graña and June Sola (Beaz); María Luisa de Miguel (Escuela de Mentoring); Carmen Mellina (PWN Network), Cristina Andrés and Xabier Díaz (Parque Tecnológico de Bizkaia), José María Menéndez and Luciano Azpiazu (Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Industriales de Bizkaia).This paper is part of the Project US17/14 "Analysis of the validity of inter-organizational mentoring as a management development instrument" financed by the General Call for Research Grants of the University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU).

Citation

Gisbert-Trejo, N., Landeta, J., Albizu, E. and Fernández-Ferrín, P. (2019), "Determining effective mentor characteristics in inter-organizational mentoring for managers: an approach based on academics’ and practitioners’ perspectives", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 51 No. 2, pp. 85-103. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-06-2018-0051

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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