Meaning in Mentoring: More Than Meets the Eye/“I”

Warhurst, Russell and Black, Kate (2019) Meaning in Mentoring: More Than Meets the Eye/“I”. Human Resource Development Review, 18 (3). pp. 349-375. ISSN 1534-4843

AAM_Warhurst_and_Black_2019_Meaning in Mentoring_HRDR.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (479kB) | Preview
Official URL:


While the literature of mentoring is extensive, the theorization of mentoring is a noted deficiency. In addressing this deficiency, this conceptual article begins with a brief critical analysis of the extensive corpus of mentoring inquiry and discerns emerging theoretical trajectories as a foundation for the distinct theoretical focus adopted. The social constructionist approach to understanding identity, and Lacanian psychodynamic identity theorizing, is critically developed. The conceptualization of identity as a discursive construct, emerging from a balance between conscious identity-work and unconscious identity-regulation, is examined. These theoretical tools are then applied to mentoring. The article demonstrates that for both mentors and protégés, mentoring involves mutually beneficial identity-work, but that this identity-work can readily go awry with both parties potentially succumbing to forces distorting desired identities and negating the good intentions of mentoring. The implications for mentoring practice are detailed, and trajectories for empirical inquiry with identity are outlined.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mentoring, identity-work, identity-regulation, Critical HRD, Lacanian theorizing
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
N400 Accounting
N600 Human Resource Management
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 13:41
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:02

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics