Enacting Effective Mentoring Behaviors: Development and Initial Investigation of the Cuboid of Mentoring


Our understanding of how to maximize the benefits of mentoring relationships for employee development has been limited by a vague understanding of what effective mentors are actually doing and how they are doing it. To begin to remedy this, we conducted one qualitative interview study of well-respected mentors to uncover the breadth and detail of their behaviors, and one quantitative study to see how a subset of these behaviors would be endorsed under two moderating conditions. Our qualitative study consisted of 28 interviews followed by detailed coding and analysis, and yielded a new framework of mentoring behaviors we named the cuboid of mentoring. This framework provides a rich set of behavioral statements that could be mined for research and practice purposes. Our quantitative investigation used a policy-capturing approach to investigate the extent to which experienced mentors endorsed mentoring objectives and behaviors under different conditions. This study showed that mentoring actions are purposeful, and the methodology demonstrates a paradigm for further study of boundary conditions of mentoring behaviors and supports conclusions from the qualitative study regarding how mentors think about the objectives and behaviors of mentoring.

Publication Title

Journal of Business and Psychology