In this review and critique of mentoring theory and research, the authors identify persistent problems in the development of mentoring theory. Their conceptual analysis highlights these problems with a “thought experiment” illustrating the inability of mentoring theory and research to resolve certain fundamental issues, the resolution of which is a prerequisite for the advancement of explanatory theory. They conclude with ideas about demarcating “mentoring” from the sometimes confounding concepts “training” or “socialization.” Absent an ability to distinguish mentoring from related activities, progress in explanatory theory will remain impeded.
Bozeman, B., & Feeney, M. K. (2007). Toward a useful theory of mentoring a conceptual analysis and critique. Administration & Society, 39(6), 719-739.