Revealing darkness through light: Communicatively managing the dark side of mentoring relationships in organisations

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Carr, Kristen; Heiden, Erica P.
article description
Existing research has indicated that mentoring in organisations serves a variety of beneficial functions, including socialising new employees, increasing employee self-esteem and competence, and teaching them how to navigate organisational politics. Although the benefits of mentoring are clear and well documented, there is a potential ‘dark side’ to mentoring that has the potential to result in role confusion, interpersonal conflict, the loss of individual power, and diluted organisational culture. It is our purpose in this paper to reconceptualise the role of communication in mentoring as a way to illuminate this dark side of mentoring within organisations.