Author(s): Darlene F Zellers, Valerie M Howard, Maureen A Barcic
In this review, the authors trace the evolution of mentoring programs in the United States in business and academe, provide insight on the challenges associated with the study of mentoring, and identify the limited research-based studies of faculty mentoring programs that currently inform our understanding of this professional development practice in American higher education. The findings indicate that the sophistication of research has not advanced over the past decade. However, evidence does suggest that academe should be cautious in overgeneralizing the findings of studies conducted in corporate cultures. Although mentoring is recognized to be contextual, only recently have investigators considered the impact of organizational culture on the effectiveness of corporate mentoring programs. More rigorous investigation of this practice in higher education is warranted. As more studies point to the need to foster an employment culture that supports mentoring, understanding faculty mentoring programs within the context of their academic cultures is critical.