Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeris, Laurel

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Mentoring in the professions


Over the last three decades, mentoring as a management development strategy has been the subject of extensive study. Benefits to the protégés and their organizations, the stages of development of the relationship, and the operation of mentoring in a wide range of organizations have been examined, and much has been learned. The term “mentor” has become synonymous with trusted advisor, friend, teacher, and wise person. As the director of the mentoring relationship, this critical partner is the focus of this study. The relationship between mentor and protégé is a complex one, comprised of roles, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. A relationship generally passes through a series of phases from the initial development to its strengthening and eventually its conclusion and redefinition. The partners to the mentoring relationship (mentor and protégé) begin to define their roles through adopting behaviors that have been defined as being typical. Building identities for the performance of their new roles requires protégés and mentors to learn about expectations, purpose, and each other. Mentors create career, professional, and mentoring identities in the world of work and manage the integration of multiple identities in the construction of their life stories. This study examined the stories thirteen women mentors told about how their careers developed, how mentors and role models influenced the choices they made, how they came to establish relationships with their protégés, and how they came to know and understand their identities as professionals and mentors. Narratives of choices and control of the steps these women took in building careers and building relationships became stories of the performance of mentor identity. An emerging and evolving identity was formed that came to be the role these mentors would play in their relationships with their protégés. The learning that occurred for these women as they have come to know themselves in the many roles of their lives has been a process of striving to understand how change, challenge, support, and, most importantly, relationships have shaped not only their career paths but their life paths.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [254]-264).


xvii, 279 pages




Northern Illinois University

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