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Intentions and Expectations are not Enough: The Reality of Organizational Improvement and Mentoring Programs

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

WIED Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

22.937.1 - 22.937.18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18293

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Cassandra Groen South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Cassandra Groen is a graduate student emphasizing in structural engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Her thesis work is in Engineering Education and she is the first student at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to research in this field.

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Jennifer Karlin South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Jennifer Karlin is an Associate Professor of industrial engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the faculty development coordinator for the university.

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Andrea E. Surovek South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Andrea E. Surovek, P.E. is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She received her B.S., M.S., and B.A. degrees from Purdue University. She earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Structural Engineering and Mechanics group at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001.

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Abstract

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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