The encouragement and positive regard with which communicative abilities and technologies were held by mentors and mentees in this study is definitely indicative of a potential motivating factor.
There is also some indirect evidence that communication was facilitated in a broader sense, with the social connectivity and the security and confidence established by the mentor/mentee relationship easing other relationships and helping others, especially mentees, to become more engaged in the overall social scheme and professional relationships of university life. In this way, communication benefits of the mentor/mentee relationship might extend well beyond the relationship itself, and again denote indirect benefits derived from the relationship in terms of personal and professional development and growth. These benefits would be clearly influential in motivating active participation in mentoring programs, however further research would be required in order to more reliably establish the extent of these benefits and the mechanism of their creation or instigation.
Knowledge transfer and information sharing is one of the most concrete and straightforward as well as explicit elements of almost any mentor-mentee relationship, and could be considered the foundation and fundamental purpose of such relationships (Swap et al., 2001). Even without explicit mentoring relationships, knowledge transfer is seen as a direct benefit and a motivating factor in seeking out many professional and collegial relationships, and evidence clearly shows that a variety of clear benefits can be obtained via relationships and interactions that are explicitly built on some level of knowledge transfer (Swap et al., 2001). The degree to which knowledgability and the capability to transfer and acquire knowledge were cited as positive effects of the mentor/mentee relationship by the respondents in this research is definitely significant, especially as these were elements that the respondents brought into the discussion on their own. The commonality of this subject-originating themes is definitely worthy of attention and consideration, though again further research would be necessary to determine an actual mechanism by which this functions and an understanding of the extent of the benefits created via such relationships and knowledge transfers. A differentiation between social knowledge and what would be considered professional or institutional facts -- the concrete means of functioning in new environments -- would also likely be worthwhile if not necessary in pursuing this line of research.
The unique nature of the college experience for the mentees in the program was a major element of the mentor/mentee relationship for the subjects in this research, and clearly had an impact on both mentors and mentees. This is not an aspect that shows up frequently in research regarding mentorship, and thus the novelty of novelty in mentoring makes it an area for abundant original research. Understanding the influential and mediating factor that uniqueness and the newness of the overall experience has on one is going through has on the mentor/mentee relationship and its effects could yield highly practical insights into the functioning of these relationships and of other interactions in similar atmospheres. Though this, the research would be able to contribute directly to understandings of how to motivate participation in mentoring programs and the spread of mentoring programs in other organizations.
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