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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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