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The Dynamics of Mentoring Relationships – how mentoring supports learning


An article by Richard Hale which is available with free access on the Virtual University Press website (see below)


Many organisations are turning to mentoring as a way of supporting the continuing professional development of managers, often relying on little more than common sense and anecdotal evidence in setting up mentoring initiatives. This article reports the preliminary findings of research into the dynamics of mentoring relationships, with a particular interest in how the match between mentor and mentee influences learning for both parties and for the organisation. It is based on an analysis of in-depth interviews with mentors and mentees in the utility organisation Scottish Hydro-Electric. Key findings are that mentoring can lead to the development of skills where training courses often fail and that similarities in learning style between mentor and mentee can speed up the development of the relationship but that contrasts in learning style may actually lead to more powerful learning. It is also shown how mentoring has had an impact on the organisation as well as individuals. There are implications for anyone setting up mentoring schemes or embarking on a mentoring relationship and for researchers in the field of mentoring.


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