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The Development of Mentoring Relationships: An Attachment Theory Perspective

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-1-78714-709-6, eISBN: 978-1-78714-708-9

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 20 July 2017

Abstract

This chapter discusses how attachment theory, a theory that provides insight into the processes through which psychological and emotional bonds are developed in relationships, can be useful for understanding mentoring relationships. We develop a conceptual model emphasizing how attachment-related constructs and their relationships with mentors’ and protégés’ behaviors and emotions influence each phase of a mentoring relationship. Recognizing reciprocity in the mentoring process, the model also explains how the interpersonal dynamics of the mentor–protégé relationship influence the benefits gained by both partners. Propositions for future research on mentoring relationships are provided. We contend that examining mentoring through the lens of attachment theory can increase our understanding of the underlying factors or mechanisms that determine individuals’ involvement in mentoring relationships and differentiate successful from unsuccessful mentoring relationships. The research and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, S., Greenberger, D.B., Noe, R.A. and Fan, J. (2017), "The Development of Mentoring Relationships: An Attachment Theory Perspective", Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 35), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-730120170000035003

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited