The Mentoring Compass: Directing Knowledge Toward the Future

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Virginia Tech

In 1983 Merriam published a critical review of mentoring literature. Since that time a preponderance of mentoring literature has continued to flow. The purpose of this study was to expand on Merriam's article with a critical literature review of mentoring literature published since 1983. Additionally, this study built upon Merriam's work by focusing on the dynamics of the mentoring relationship as it applies to career development in the business community. Merriam's four criticisms were reviewed and revealed only minor changes since 1983.

The literature review was augmented with interviews in the business community in order to look at how mentoring is currently practiced in the field. The interviews consisted of both open and closed-ended questions, which were qualitatively analyzed. After conducting the interview phase of this study, it became apparent that mentoring is valued and respected within the business community as a career development and succession planning strategy. However, it is also apparent that further research is needed with a larger population of diverse organizations. Additional evaluation of organizational dynamics mentoring program goals needs to be further examined in order to validate the viability of mentoring as a career development resource. A concluding section highlights areas for future research on mentoring.

Development, Mentor, Career