June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Women in Engineering
22.937.1 - 22.937.18
Intentions and Expectations are not Enough: the Reality of Organizational Improvement and Mentoring ProgramsIn Greek Mythology, Mentor was Odysseus’s trusted counselor and served as a guardian andteacher to Telemachus (Penn State, 1992). It is from this story that the term Mentoringoriginated. Mentoring is often defined as a way to coach and guide individuals to a successfulcareer path and is used as a positive organizational tool. The intentions that organizations possessin order to implement mentoring programs are to promote a healthy work life and create a betteroutcome for organizational goals. But what happens when the incorrect methods of mentoringand implementation are used? How do organizations deal with regressive, rather thanprogressive, mentors? How does the traditional myth of mentoring skew the perspective ofmentoring and organizational improvement?Previous literature shows that a traditional dyadic mentoring scheme is not necessarily thecorrect paradigm for mentoring; pairing mentors based solely on protégé gender or departmentdoes not always result in a strong mentoring pair. Mentoring cannot be used as a solution that isthrown at an organizational problem, especially issues such as climate and equity. Rather, theorganization must identify its own characteristics and outcomes for organizational improvementand for its mentoring program and develop accordingly. Also, research has shown that mentoringprograms also need a supplementary training program for mentors and, in some instances,prospective protégés. These training programs allow for all participants within the program toclearly identify key goals and desired results for everyone involved.This paper will focus on various obstacles building mentoring programs that support sustainable,positive organizational change and possible solutions. In addition, it will identify preconceivednotions about mentoring that, if not addressed, may become obstacles. Mentoring programs thatexist within various institutions will be discussed along with corresponding training programs.Programs existing in the corporate field will also be discussed and compared to the programsthroughout academia.
Groen, C., & Karlin, J., & Surovek, A. E. (2011, June), Intentions and Expectations are not Enough: The Reality of Organizational Improvement and Mentoring Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18293
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