An Investigation into the Key Components of Mentoring Interaction

Gurjee, Ridwanah orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7311-7523 (2017) An Investigation into the Key Components of Mentoring Interaction. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

[thumbnail of Thesis document] PDF (Thesis document) - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



This thesis explores and evaluates one-to-one, formal, supportive relationships of mentoring. More specifically, it focusses on the interaction between student mentors at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and their partnered mentees in various settings. The purpose of the thesis is to understand the social process of mentoring. This understanding takes place through identifying key characteristics of mentoring interaction. The aim of this thesis is to enhance understanding of the mentoring praxis.

The research framework adopts an interpretive methodological approach, incorporating qualitative methods in order to gain a detailed insight into the subjective experiences of the mentors and mentees. The methods included collecting 13 individual semi-structured interviews with nine mentors and four mentees currently enrolled within UCLan’s ‘Mentoring in the Community’ module. In addition, the analysis includes three reflective portfolios completed by student mentors as part of their assessment at the end of the 2014/15 academic year. This provided a sample of 16 participants in total that have been involved in my research.

Findings are presented in a conceptual framework model encompassing key components of mentoring interaction. This model is representative of a two-way process where mentors and mentees interact, participate and build a relationship despite the differences in socio-economic grouping, background and character.

My study found a gradual shift in the relationship from one of apprehension into an attached and emotionally connected friendship. This shift coincides with a move from an expressive to an instrumental mode of mentoring (Clayden and Stein (2005:35). The initial expressive mode of mentoring establishes a friendship and a mutual connection between mentor and mentee, enabling the mentee to become accepting of the instrumental mode of mentoring without the need for great encouragement.

The findings from the research highlighted clear positive outcomes for both mentor and mentee, particularly when drawing closer to the termination stage of the relationship. Within the mentoring process mentees receive academic and personal achievements evidenced by better grades and improved attendance. The research revealed that the mentees’ experiences also had a significant social impact, evidenced by improved relationships with family members, participation in extra-curricular activities and volunteering roles. Similarly, throughout the mentoring process mentors are developing key transferable skills, including enhanced confidence in working with people from all backgrounds, dealing with difficult situations with a confident, calm and effective manner, and improved problem solving skills.

It is evident from the research that each mentoring partnership is distinctive and unique. The mentee’s needs are featured at the heart of the process, therefore, the length of the mentoring relationship varies from one partnership to another. This accentuates that the central aim is for mentors to ‘make a difference for their mentee’ and is not based on how long their mentoring relationship should last.

Finally, this empirical research details the key components of mentoring interaction that ensure an effective, connected and engaged mentoring relationship between mentor and mentee.

Repository Staff Only: item control page