Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 403–424 | Cite as

Enacting Effective Mentoring Behaviors: Development and Initial Investigation of the Cuboid of Mentoring

  • Kurt KraigerEmail author
  • Lisa M. Finkelstein
  • Lebena S. Varghese
Original Paper


Our understanding of how to maximize the benefits of mentoring relationships for employee development has been limited by a vague understanding of what effective mentors are actually doing and how they are doing it. To begin to remedy this, we conducted one qualitative interview study of well-respected mentors to uncover the breadth and detail of their behaviors, and one quantitative study to see how a subset of these behaviors would be endorsed under two moderating conditions. Our qualitative study consisted of 28 interviews followed by detailed coding and analysis, and yielded a new framework of mentoring behaviors we named the cuboid of mentoring. This framework provides a rich set of behavioral statements that could be mined for research and practice purposes. Our quantitative investigation used a policy-capturing approach to investigate the extent to which experienced mentors endorsed mentoring objectives and behaviors under different conditions. This study showed that mentoring actions are purposeful, and the methodology demonstrates a paradigm for further study of boundary conditions of mentoring behaviors and supports conclusions from the qualitative study regarding how mentors think about the objectives and behaviors of mentoring.


Mentoring Mentoring relationships Mentoring behaviors 



The authors are grateful to Keaton Kraiger and Jacob Bovee for the construction of the online materials that support this manuscript.


This research was supported by The U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Contract W5J9CQ-12-C-0040; original title, “Specification of Effective Mentoring Behaviors for Leadership Competency Development and Adaptability”). The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this paper are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy, or decision.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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