E-Mentoring Functions versus Traditional Mentoring
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
A new form of mentoring that has emerged with development of the internet is called e-mentoring. E-mentoring uses computer-mediated communication (CMC) technology as the main way in which mentors and their protégés communicate. As such, the mentor transmits knowledge and functions to the less experienced protégé via electronic means. According to Janasz and Godshalk (2013), traditional mentoring and e-mentoring both offer the same functions: career development, psychological support and role modeling.
According to Janasz and Godshalk, e-mentoring is just as effective as traditional mentoring in offering career development and psychological support. However, there is one function that can be more effectively performed in traditional mentoring: role modeling.
In the role modeling process, the protégé identifies with and imitates the mentor, who is trusted and respected by the protégé; has a high level of expertise, power and values according to the protégé. The modeling process by the protégé is more effective in traditional mentoring because in e-mentoring the main role model - the mentor - can only be seen and heard by electronic means.
Source: Janasz, S.C. and V.M. Godshalk (2013) “The Role of E-mentoring in Proteges’ Learning and Satisfaction” Group and Organization Management Vol. 38. pp. 743-774