Mentoring can be traced back to Greek history, where the Mentor, a friend, and advisor of Odysseus, was entrusted with the upbringing of Odysseus's son, Telemachus, while Odysseus was fighting in the Trojan War. This is where Mentor became Telemachus' teacher, coach, counselor, and protector, building a relationship with him based on affection and trust (McQuade, Davis & Nash, 2015, p. 319). He was essentially the designated authority and stand-in father to Telemachas'. Mentor was delegated by Athene, the Goddess of Wisdom, to stand by Telemachus and his journey to grow up and find his own identity (Wright, 1992, p. 45). Mentoring may have started back during ancient Greek times, but most of the research on mentorship has only been conducted within the past two decades (Halgas & Stoner, 2007, p. 109). As old as mentoring is, it is only now being recognized and accepted by major business corporations such as colleges, universities, schools, and various other agencies because it is finally considered an important trait of one's overall career and development (Gerstein, 1985, p. 156).
The first publication of the study of mentoring did not appear until 1990 when it was published in JAP. The authors concluded that individuals who had extensive mentoring support reported receiving more promotions and higher incomes and were much happier with their pay and benefits than those who did not indulge themselves in mentoring support (Allen et al., 2017, p. 329-30). A lot of the early research was done on demographic factors. Later on, researchers began to investigate other individual differences that would influence the mentorship process. In 1994, researchers realized that it was not just demographic factors but it also depended on personal characteristics. Specific examples of people who received a superior amount of mentoring than those of lesser individuals are those with internal locus of control, higher self-monitoring, and higher emotional stability (Allen et al., 2017, p. 330). Other relevant themes of the research consisted of formal mentoring and informal mentoring. "Subsequent meta-analytical research demonstrates that informal mentorships are more beneficial than formal mentorships, but the difference is small" (Allen et al., 2017, p. 330). A lot of the early research was focused heavily on the mentee or protege. Research then began to focus on the mentor, and researchers found the cost and benefits of being a mentor. Then, they found that in the future, after being mentored, the individuals who were a mentee are more likely to become a mentor (Allen et al., 2017, p. 330). Eventually, a shift happened in studies where researchers started to question whether mentoring was just all positive. Therefore, research began looking at the negatives of mentoring.
In the 2000s, many new themes and advancements emerged. After a decade of studies that have been published, a lot of the work could now be analyzed. This is when...