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Underdevelopment of the Mentoring Theory

Apparently, there are several significant problems in the mentoring theory development. Bozeman and Feeney (2007) from the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia focus their article on identifying these persistent issues and critiquing this theory, as well as a number of existing findings that are not useful. The conceptual framework is used for this study; namely, the researchers analyze published sources, find a relationship between them, and suggest their own ideas that may contribute to the theory.

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The authors decided to use two research methods for their paper, and Secondary Data Analysis is the first of them. To identify the problems in the theory and critique findings that lack necessary information, it is needed to analyze existing literature. Second, Bozeman and Feeney (2007) highlight the issues and voids with the help of a “thought experiment” that makes it possible to prove that the mentoring theory and research cannot solve particular persistent problems.

In a conclusion, the authors claim that the mentoring theory remains underdeveloped. In their judgment, the reason for that is “a failure to confront some of the lingering conceptual gaps in research and theory” (Bozeman & Feeney, 2007, p. 735). Therefore, further studying, as well as “demarcating mentoring from the sometimes confounding concepts of training or socialization,” are needed (Bozeman & Feeney, 2007, p. 719). Unfortunately, the existing literature is not enough to answer the questions and solve the problems in theory.

This article is a high-quality overview that builds on criticism and discussion of many studies. The paper is supported by sources, leaves no unresolved issues, and also brings new ideas and proposals to the mentoring theory. Since my research topic is about the lack of mentorship of African American women, this article is of great significance. It allows suggesting that an increase in the mentorship of African American women may be achieved by solving a more global problem: the underdevelopment of the mentoring theory. As soon as researchers continue enhancing it, it will be possible to address the issue of my research topic.


Bozeman, B., & Feeney, M. K. (2007). Toward a useful theory of mentoring: A conceptual analysis and critique. Administration & Society, 39(6), 719-739.

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