Mentorship is a concept that has its origin in ancient Greek literature. According to Adeyemi (2011), the term “mentor” was first used as a name for the personification of Athene, who took human form to become the tutor that Odysseus chose for his son in Homer’s Odyssey. Many terminologies have recognized mentorship over time, including apprenticeship, teacher, sage, and guild, until evolving into what it is today (Dmytrenko, 2018; Maughan, 2007). Maughan (2007) observes that “these historic understandings represent the traditional practices and values regarding mentoring today: to lead, advise, tutor, and provide hands-on opportunities to promote the protégé’s career interests” (p. 23). Davis (2005) explains that mentoring is a one-to-one learning arrangement that involves a professional with expertise and a newbie with comparatively less exposure. Mentoring, according to Langridge (1998) (as quoted in Bennetts, 2003), is “the mechanism through which one individual assists another to develop and learn in a secure and sympathetic partnership” (p. 70). The expert must assist the less experienced participant in developing personal and professional skills.
Mentorship is now utilized in various organizations and institutions to ensure diversity through organized, professional mentorship programs (Dmytrenko, 2018). While Morgan and Nicholls (1998) (as quoted in Bennetts, 2003) believed that the tutor’s position is still unclear, subsequent research has revealed several spaces in society they could occupy. A mentor’s function is to provide solicited feedback, encouragement, and advice to a mentee to promote the latter’s personal and professional growth. They facilitate a personal relationship with their subject and provide direct assistance (Ellis et al., 2020). While, in some cases, their benefits and influence have been understated, it is undeniable that they are a great asset for both individuals and businesses (Bumphus, 2017). By working together with the mentee, mentors are able to bring a variety of benefits to the table, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
In today’s environment, corporate companies have turned to job mentorship services to promote overall equity (Dmytrenko, 2018). Montors in the corporate sphere have the ability to support the operation of not singular individuals but entire organizations and groups of people, which optimizes the workflow and allows people to express their potential more. The use of mentorship programs can be beneficial in addressing some of the problems of today’s business, avoiding mistakes, and making the corporate environment more fit for modern operations (Bornstein et al., 2019). Companies face several obstacles, including the exponential advancement of technology and globalization and the need to retain high-quality and employable employees (Hegstad, 2002). Consequently, several companies’ human resource departments have launched work internship initiatives to eliminate these obstacles (Hegstad, 2002). These programs and initiatives have been shown to be effective at maximizing employee work capacity while also discouraging workaholism (Sloan et al., 2020). Depending on the organization, mentorship initiatives may take various forms. That may be conventional one-on-one mentoring, in which an individual with expertise in a particular area is delegated to a young or less qualified team member. It may also be a collective mentorship in which a specific employee or expert is paired with a cohort of workers to be mentored. Mentorship, when done correctly, will have a long-term beneficial effect on the company. This research would include some benefits that a proper mentorship program will bring to the company.
Organizations are passing up essential prospects for growth and progress by not fostering equity in their leadership structure (Turner-Moffatt, 2019). In the framework of Turner Moffatt (2019), some of the steps that can help diversify leadership involve encouraging women to take on leadership positions. Proper leadership and management are the default gateways of meaningful organizational transformation and development, and encouraging people that are often systematically denied their position helps an organization be more open and flexible (Helms, 2016). When management is in peak form, other domains in the company seldom fall behind, and it is a leader’s responsibility to monitor the performance of all aspects of their departments. St. Augustine’s values, which apply to every leader, can be implemented in business leadership to achieve progress.
Research Question and Thesis
Augustine provides a relatively comprehensive approach to mentorship through his principles. They are viewed as more faith-based; they are essential in instructing beginners for targeted success in any organization today. Based on this, this current study will seek to answer how St. Augustine’s principles from teaching beginners in faith are used to guide mentorship in business. As the direct correlation between Augustine’s teachings and the business environment can be unclear, this work will attempt to make necessary correlations and connections more apparent. Therefore, the research will focus on establishing the relationship between these principles and business leadership and mentorship. This spans the identification of issues faced by business organizations and the establishment of these principles in providing a solution to such problems. During the course of this paper, the goal will be to find the proper ways of addressing issues faced by currently working businesses and their employees.
Research Method Selection
The nature of this study exposes the researcher to various methods, which can each be complemented to help in coming up with credible and reliable conclusions to the research question. Nonetheless, the researcher will use the historical-philosophical paradigm to evaluate Augustine’s principles in various timelines. Instructing Beginners in Faith will constitute the primary source material. The book will be analyzed and synthesized to demonstrate Augustine’s view in coming up with the principles and his perspectives regarding mentorship. This will enhance the emergence of key themes and help establish Augustine’s directions to the business world.
Furthermore, the researcher will recognize core competencies associated with the literature, such as vision casting, guiding progress, encouraging solidarity, motivating and engaging others, and follower transformation, while evaluating Augustine’s leadership (Winston, 2019). Each of these qualities can be seen in a variety of leadership styles, including servant leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf and Gene Wilkes, spiritual leadership by Richard and Henry Blackaby, transition philosophy by John P. Kotter and Michael Fullan, transformational leadership by James McGregor Burns, and Leighton Ford, and pastoral leadership by William H. Willimon. This method avoids the need to suit Augustine within a particular philosophy or paradigm while also analyzing him through the prism of fundamental values within the guild of leadership studies.
Consequently, it will be essential to understand their political, social, and cultural climate across the timeliness and link them to the world today for proper analysis of these principles. The researcher will consult other scholarly works, academic journal articles, published interviews, and other leadership books to fully address the research question from all areas.
Maughan (2007) defines mentorship as “a recommended approach for hiring, keeping, leadership growth, talent management, and succession planning” (p. 20). This study requires a careful analysis of accessible and associated resources, and it admits that there is a proliferation of this literature. This segment’s remainder is devoted to delving into the Augustinian concepts and their application to the subject under consideration.
The style of mentorship selected in each environment is determined by the organization’s needs or client (Luckey, 2009). Business organizations, for example, strive to retain and hire skilled and employable staff (Hegstad, 2002; Maughan, 2007). It is then up to an organization to adopt what type fits them and promises to help them accomplish their goals. According to Maughan (2007) and Luckey (2009), there are two primary forms of mentorship: structured and informal mentorships, while Hegstad (2002) offered two others: community and peer mentorships. Dmytrenko (2018) discovered two additional types: social networking and circle mentorship. Any of them is briefly discussed below.
As previously mentioned, formal mentorship entails a standardized partnership between the instructor and protégé based on the institution’s needs or a person delegated to manage the process. This form of mentorship’s primary goal is to help young and less seasoned employees in an organization improve their talents and abilities (Maughan, 2007). In a corporate environment, mentorship can be mutually beneficial, enhancing both parties learning (Kunaka & Moos, 2019).
This approach to mentoring is not formulated in the same manner as traditional mentorship is. According to Hegstad (2002), Luckey (2009), and Maughan (2007), informal mentoring occurs spontaneously and may not need urging or interference from management. It is rather self-selected in the sense that both a mentor and a protégé agree to participate. Luckey (2009) also states that informal mentorship can take time to evolve but, once established, can last a long time. Maughan (2007) further elaborates that previous research shows that informal mentorship is more successful than structured mentorship. According to the report, multiple companies are determined to emulate casual mentoring benefits in their structured mentorship initiatives but have had no progress.
There are frequent meetings in this methodology consisting of various mentors in a single community with another party whose job is to supervise the exchange (Dmytrenko, 2018). To participate in the curriculum, the groups must understand their goals, roles, and obligations. As argued by Hegstad (2002), community mentoring is increasingly becoming a mainstream approach to mentorship. Mentorship effort falls from the community as a whole rather than from a particular person through this strategy. This increases team members’ self-esteem and gives them a sense of belonging (Hegstad, 2002). Where there is insufficient access to mentorship tools, community mentoring improves a broad group’s growth (Dmytrenko, 2018). Community mentoring is often advantageous to group participants because it fosters coordination and cooperation among them.
According to Kram and Isabella (1985), peer or lateral mentoring is a form of mentoring in which two individuals perceived to be of equivalent pay, age, work location, or rank in an institution jointly consent to begin mentoring themselves (as cited in Hegstard, 2002). This method promotes interdependence and reciprocal exchange among the parties concerned. It can be effective in a variety of fields where both individuality and cooperation are valued (Altonji, 2019). It improves work efficiency and job satisfaction, leading to better results and outcomes (Janssen, 2016). Kram and Isabella’s (1985) research (as quoted in Hegstad, 2002) dictates that this form of mentorship lasts much longer than conventional forms.
This type is close to community mentoring in several ways (Dmytrenko, 2018). There are many protégés in a circle mentorship, with a sole tutor attending monthly sessions. The circles are made up of participants of various ages and experiences and colleagues from the same level. Any participant is granted the opportunity to suggest a subject for discussion and usually attends to the other members. The circle acts as a trustworthy confidant with protégés’ questions (Dmytrenko, 2018). Members of the process may often learn helpful experiences from the members from various organizations’ sectors.
Social Media Mentoring
To improve mentorship, virtual networking or distance mentorship uses online platforms such as blogs, social network pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp Messenger, cell and video conference calls, emails, and so on (Dmytrenko, 2018; Ilieva-Koleva, 2015). The schedule can include resolving either short-term or long-term criteria. Short-term needs may be focused on finishing a job, while long-term needs may be focused on career growth. Since the parties can be from everywhere worldwide, this type of mentorship increases the variety in experience and attitudes. The technique often allows the mentee to steer the exchange in the way that best serves her needs.
Advantages of Mentorship
Mentorship assists those interested in a mentorship arrangement. In an organizational environment, mentorship helps the tutor and the protégé, and the organization. Effective leaders understand that mentoring is the key to understanding and utilizing the core values and ideas of the company (Cimirotić et al., 2017). The tutor is learning and broadening their knowledge base in their expertise through directing, counseling, and encouraging the protégé. Adeyemi says of mentorship, “The application of coaching and mentoring in the workplace is a great addition to the overall advancement of the employee and organizational stage” (p. 369). As a result, these programs can be implemented as a standard procedure within the operational system.
Advantages of the Protégé
Mentorship, in the eyes of Malmgren et al. (2010) and Maughan (2007), contributes to higher levels of job development and contentment, as well as higher incomes, referencing the work of Collins (1994). Mentorship fosters a positive bond between the tutor and the mentee, which allows for more transparency and more productive interaction (Quach et al., 2020). The work environment actively accommodates and encourages the practices of mentorship, creating a stable and productive environment (Maynard-Patrick & Baugh, 2019). Professional prospects are also improved for the mentee (Eby & Robertson, 2020). The exercise frequently helps minimize, if not eradicate, a protégé’s feelings of poor self-worth and loss (Adeyemi, 2011). They are also able to acquire a variety of useful, work-related competencies that will aid them in the future (Bartels & Jackson, 2021). While some information will be filtered out, the most important knowledge will be better retained (St-Jean et al., 2017). In some fields of business and tech, women and other groups are underrepresented, and the use of mentorship can aid in resolving that. It has been noted that women in STEM fields benefit from mentoring programs (Elliott, 2020). It can help build connections in the business sphere (Shanks, 2017). When a mentee is armed with the necessary skills, their aspirations rise, and they gain access to better opportunities (Malmgren et al., 2010). By allowing a person to consider a wider range of options, mentorships effectively support their independent and continuous growth.
Advantages for the Coach
According to Adeyemi (2011), “the tutor plays a significant role in transmitting expertise to the client and assists the person in improving his personal and professional growth.” However, by assisting the mentee, the trainer benefits in a variety of areas. Mentors are motivated to continue dominating their profession while their expertise base expands, and they have continuous access to fresh concepts (Adeyemi, 2011; Maughan, 2007). As outlined by Kram (1985), they often receive career advancement and more professional networks (as cited in Maughan, 2007). Adeyemi (2011) and Allen Poteet, Russell, and Burroughs (1997) (as quoted in Maughan, 2007) say a tutor increases fellow participants’ recognition, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Adeyemi (2011) further states that another advantage is that “they have an expanded sense of being wanted and respected socially, cultivate and practice a more intimate style of leadership, achieve additional attention and support, learn different insights, expand their professional networks, and relate more to those in the organization.”
Advantages for the Company
When fully applied, effective mentoring has many advantages for an organization. The benefits are not limited to those listed in this portion. According to the results of Ilieva-Koleva (2015) and Zachary and Fischler (2015), one advantage is improved professional worker retention (2020). Workers can be laid off for a variety of factors, including poor performance and lack of experience. Mentoring helps prevent these situations by ensuring that the advisors impart as much knowledge and expertise to the mentee as necessary (Fijalkowska et al., 2017). Older and more knowledgeable employees can mentor and support newer ones (Li et al., 2018). This can allow for a natural and streamlined passage of knowledge needed (Stephens, 2019). There is also an improvement in the employees’ talents and competitive know-how, which increases their likelihood of achieving organizational objectives (Adeyemi, 2011, p. 370).
Origins of St. Augustine’s Principles
More than six centuries ago today, St. Augustine of Hippo, a priest, wrote his novel, Instructing Beginners in Faith (Immerwahr, 2009). This was about a deacon called Deogratias’s Questions, who needed a hint about how to approach Christians who came to him (the deacon) to pursue redemption (Immerwahr, 2009). It is apparent that the deacon was desperate for a remedy to the congregants’ troubles, so he requested assistance. Instead of counseling him about what to suggest to non-believers, the Bishop was lenient and kind enough to go ahead and clarify how to say it in his journal (Immerwahr, 2009). When dealing with those who came for redemption, the deacon was given seven rules to observe.
These ideas became known as the Seven Augustinian principles. While they were designed for deacons, these ideals apply to all aspects of life. For instance, John Immerwahr, a professor at Villanova University, admits that he considered these concepts highly beneficial and relevant in his capacity as an instructor (Immerwahr, 2009). He claims that these ideas apply to any of his teaching interactions. Much like the professor recognized that these concepts were pertinent to his situation, this study is persuaded that some of the principles (as quoted in Immerwahr, 2009) will help answer the thesis issue.
Augustinian Teaching Principles
As previously mentioned, the teachings were initially developed for the inquiring deacon to educate pagans in their quest to become born-again Christians. However, as the professor had observed, they appear to be generic in some cases, so this study would examine the rules to see whether they apply to company mentoring. A company mentor is, by definition, or should be, a pioneer in the eyes of his mentee or community of mentees. The tutor may find himself in a position close to that of the deacon who addressed Bishop Augustine, in which case these concepts would come in handy. The tutor will discharge his mentorship duties with a bit of interpretation and internalization of these lessons. As can be shown, the bond between a tutor and a mentee is complex, and if it performs as expected, it brings out the best of all parties.
Immerwahr (2009) has condensed and paraphrased some of the quotes when this study continues to look at the values outlined in the text Instructing Beginners in Faith (as translated and edited by Raymond Canning and Boniface Ramsey). This segment defines the Augustinian concepts and then discusses how business mentors should use them to achieve performance in different business fields, including leadership.
As a tutor responsible for guiding, counseling, and providing emotional guidance to a protégé, it is imperative for them to provide an atmosphere that encourages the latter to understand and gain as much experience as possible. To ensure total professional growth in a mentee, it is critical that a trainer respects due process rather than utilizing loopholes and quick fixes to achieve the established goals. The proper practice should be to develop a dynamic tutor-mentee partnership in which the mentee enjoys learning from the mentor and vice versa. According to Immerwahr (2009), receiving constructive reviews from the protégé motivates the instructor to encourage their subjects with more helpful material further.
A collaboration between a mentor and a mentee in a business mentorship atmosphere will bring more benefits to both if the former is objective in developing a competitive climate in which all of them prosper. Malmgren et al. (2010) argue that through counseling and providing psychosocial assistance to the mentee, “mentors receive fulfillment not only by altruistically enhancing the health of their protégés but also by improving their wellbeing” (p.622). As said in the same post, a reward on the part of the protégé would often imply that a company benefits because the mentee would become more involved in the organization’s affairs.
A large body of research indicates that a mentor-protégé partnership is fraught with difficulties that make it unsuccessful. A study conducted by Raabe and Beehr (2003) (as quoted in Shore, 2017) highlights that “they also observed that there is a perception problem between mentors and mentees in organizations, including those with mentoring services supervised by a program manager” (p. 6). They contribute this to the assumption that “a mentee believes they created a good impact, while the trainer believes they did not” (p. 6). Regardless of demographic disparities, a trainer should be attentive to providing a mentee with the most significant preparation and instruction possible. The mentee is supposed to offer their tutor an appreciative hearing when actively contributing to encourage and empower the latter.
St. Augustine tackles the boredom that may arise by constantly educating generations of mentees on the same topics repeatedly. A trainer may find the exercise exciting and full of captivating challenges at the mentorship program’s start. At this time, there is a possibility of learning on the part of the tutor. Over a lengthy time of mentoring the protégé, an unavoidable lethargy sets in. In an essay by Schaeffer (2020, para. 10), St. Augustine’s original words are quoted as follows: “We always find it quite tiresome to go through constant matters which are deeply common and suited to children.” According to the essay by Schaeffer (2020, para. 11), St. Augustine’s approach to this dilemma is to “find pleasure in getting old stuff fresh again.”
When a tutor notices a mentee’s enthusiasm for understanding a new and challenging idea, they are obligated to refresh their mentorship skills. It is also recommended that mentors not dismiss thoughts, theories, or subjects that are dull to them as though they cannot assist a mentee. The trainer feels rejuvenated as a result of revealing it to the protégé.
The tutor-mentee partnership should make it possible for the mentor to feel delighted and motivated to exchange details that seem to them (the mentor) to be common knowledge. In this manner, the beginner employee may discover new material (which could be attractive to them), while the instructor will refresh their understanding of the idea. As a result, mentors do not dismiss some knowledge because they believe it is unimportant to the protégé.
A tutor, acting as a tutor to the protégé who also happens to be the subject, can constantly devise refocusing the mentee’s interest if they are overwhelmed (Schaeffer, 2020, para. 12). According to the same post, the issue of student distraction is not only a modern one, but it also occurred during the period of St. Augustine. St. Augustine describes a listener who initially pays unwavering attention to the material presented before they ‘gape’ and ‘yawn’ and openly displays inattentiveness symptoms. In a business sense, for example, during a structured mentorship conference, a mentee can initially be engrossed in absorbing content presented by a mentee, only to lose focus later on. At this stage, it is the mentee’s responsibility to refocus the protégé’s interest for beneficial learning to continue.
Since a mentee would be a new employee compared to the counselor, influences such as lack of education, low pay, and work level, among others, may have a detrimental effect on their mental state. During mentorship discussions, their thoughts are prone to wandering away from the current moment to consider those troubling facets of their lives. This is why a coach must be careful enough to recognize and respond to this. A mentor can exploit the listener’s feelings to regain their focus, according to Schaeffer (2020, para. 13) on St. Augustine’s instructions about how to restore lost concentration. While keeping on track with the topic at hand, consider using humor and amusing tales to make them chuckle a little. The same article also suggests giving an overwhelming, tragic, or stunning example. While doing so (inducing emotions), the mentee is diverted from their boredom and will, as a result, regain constructive listening.
When opposed to a tutor, a mentee could have certain disadvantages, including but not limited to:
- becoming a new employee of a company organization,
- lack of or no experience in a particular profession,
- low pay,
- low work level or rank,
- young age.
These characteristics can lead to feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem, which may impair their success and professional growth. It is a mentor’s responsibility to expel those emotions to promote successful learning. As a result, it is imperative for a trainer to devise methods of allowing a mentee to articulate themselves to ease their fears. When it comes to questioning, a trainer can pose open-ended questions that would not frustrate the protégé. A tutor can also be a good listener and answer a mentee’s inquiries, answers, or suggestions with modesty. When referring to a mentee’s issue, Vaynerchuk (2017) believes that “to be a genuine mentor, you must deploy empathy and modesty and recognize it’s about the mentee. To be an effective tutor, you must be willing to counsel from a sincere willingness to assist the other person” (p. 1). Engle (2019) states that “first, mentors can be outstanding listeners” (p. 1). Most people would accept that there are already cultural gaps in perceptions, traditions, and views. Coaches need to consider their subjects’ worldviews and performance strategies. Listening and responding thoughtfully will help prevent mistakes that may have far-reaching implications.
Augustine says actual learning occurs when an instructor is familiar with the student’s backgrounds and personalities. Similarly, a tutor should be eager to discover as much as possible about the mentee. Data such as professional growth objectives, personal preferences, history, favorite teaching and learning types, and so on. As a result, the trainer will have unique coaching based on how much they know about their mentees. According to Immerwahr (2009), taking the time to learn specifics regarding a learner is critical since the method is dependent on the latter’s weaknesses, skills, and encouragement.
This theory suggests that learners become interested in real-world interactions and applications that affect either the tutor’s or their own lives. Similarly, when engaging a mentee, it is the mentor’s responsibility to use this pedagogical tactic to pique the mentee’s attention. A mentee can use personal life stories and narratives influenced by the discourse’s meaning. Crites (1971) makes the following claim (as quoted in Rymarz and McLarney, 2011): “…stories are so powerful on a variety of levels because human nature is essentially narrative in type… One of the most appealing aspects of life-story narratives is that everybody is acquainted with them in some way or another, and as a result, they are intrinsically engaging.” As quoted in Rymarz and McLarney (2011), narratives are powerful because they are lengthy and concisely convey abstract concepts.
Aside from offering a wealth of content to the learner, attention should be provided to creating a diverse and conducive learning climate. In the same way that a tutor would consider what knowledge to convey to the mentee, they must often think about how much information the mentee is receiving. This can be accomplished by motivating a protégé to raise questions about complex subjects. Simultaneously, the instructor is encouraged to ask didactic and non-didactic questions to measure the protégé’s learning success. The tutor must find ways to eliminate all detrimental attitudes such as apathy, aggression, and a sense of enthusiasm so that active and beneficial learning will occur.
Justification of Study
This literature review primarily introduces mentorship and the entire program and its benefits to organizations, mentors, and mentees. This precedes the discussion on Augustine’s seven principles and how they are linked to leadership and mentorship in the business world. Indeed, there is no doubt about applying each of the teaching principles and their contribution to the various available mentorship programs. The programs equip mentees with the skills and competencies required for extensive practice (McConnell et al., 2019). The evidence available is overwhelming to underpin the notion of business mentorship through his seven pedagogical principles. However, the literature does not capture Augustine’s pastoral work on his success as a teacher, mentor, and leader. Nonetheless, this study will examine these principles in the business context through given current and former leadership and mentorship theories to determine the precision of how these principles fit. This will also enable the study to look at Augustine’s shared character traits to understand how each of the tenets works in his view, which underpins the basic features of preaching and leadership to enhance such characteristics.
Moreover, the study is relevant because Augustine’s challenges, which more or less led to his establishment of the principles, are still present today. Though the context might have shifted, the study still portrays the essence of having a proper predestined means of ensuring that employees obtain a practical purpose in their various duties from communication with a mentor.
Additionally, several companies are dealing with a slew of issues, including accelerated globalization, technological innovation, succession planning, and professional and high-performing employee acquisition and employment. Both of these problems must be met in the most effective forms imaginable for them to succeed. This study is positive in suggesting mentorship as one successful means of coping with these issues after doing an in-depth review of previous research. It is, therefore, aware of the perceived flaws in the leadership structure of most modern organizations. As a result, it includes specific guidelines on how to enhance this critical environment within an organization. A particular quest for documents that offer consistent guidance on implementing Augustinian ideals of mentorship and leadership in a company setting yields satisfactory results. As a result, this work will serve as the foundation for further studies on the subject matter it investigates.
Businesses are also still going through recruitment and retention of a skilled, high-quality, competent workforce. This impedes the organization’s performance due to the lack of consistency and the impact it has on the relationship between these workers and the organization. This is more or less similar to the essence of the relationship between a student and a teacher. It determines the probability of the organization retaining the good personnel that it has employed. According to Roberts et al. (2019), this relationship makes employees want to remain contracted to the given organization for a lifetime. Mentorship programs exist to realize the full potential of an interaction between the mentor and their mentees (Pfund et al., 2016). If the managers and the organization’s leadership take up the mentorship role, they are sure to have an organization rich in quality workers.
Furthermore, there is the issue of changing technologies. Studies show that technology exponentially increases the rate and speed of production, including all other business processes. This means that with every emerging technology, employees have to be fast to adopt it. Augustine noted that it is essential to have a connection between what is learned and experience. As such, new technology poses a scenario where there is no experience, and workers have to start afresh to get to know the craft that involves trends in the market. This is similar to what students experience, and thus, mentorship promotes understanding from both views, and the principles potentially solve this issue.
The issue of leadership underdevelopment has also been prevalent and has been identified by several studies. It is an issue that has been critiqued by postcolonial economics and development tasks along with the benchmarks of human development. Wilson draws attention to this issue and how it impacts an organization’s success, especially when it comes to transitions and skills development. Junior staff not being prepared to take up more demanding positions has been an issue dominant in the business world. According to Augustine, it is essential to help individuals overcome their fears, which is leadership. Therefore, they should be equipped and trained as required to ensure that they overcome such obstacles. Greenleaf notes that huge organizations have fallen merely because of the lack of proper training to take up leadership positions. Therefore, they cannot run operations when their seniors retire or move to start their ventures.
In addition to these concerns, there are inadequacies in succession planning strategies. Shore (2017) argues that this often leads to unhealthy competition among employees translating to power struggles to occupy the vacant position. These often lead to volatility in the work environment leading to employees feeling unmotivated. Moreover, it puts an organization at risk of biases and resistance, leading to adverse effects on its business operations. Augustine elaborates that this is more or less similar to creating a positive learning environment and resetting students’ attention. In this way, the students can be prepared to learn according to the given school’s culture, which is often more productive than their home environment (Oginni, 2018). Similarly, employees, through these principles, get to know the organization’s succession culture, which is also done through mentorship.
From these issues and those in the literature, it is evident that these issues are connected in one way or another, making them unique and complicated. The change in technologies relates to the type of skills required for an employee, and this skill requirement is linked to the planning for succession, which refers to leadership underdevelopment. This creates a continuous cycle that can all be stopped by mentorship regarding what is proposed through Augustine’s principles. Given the relevance of these principles in teaching and faith, it is essential to understand them from businesses’ perspectives and how they can be internalized and externalized to have the best outcomes and ensure success.
Delimitations and Assumptions
The current study holds that the seven Augustinian pedagogical principles are essential in mentorship for business to ensure business operations success. However, it assumes that some other factors and regulations are necessary for successful mentoring outside these principles. For instance, there are such issues as mutual respect and trust. Sensitivity and confidentiality underpin the kind of relationship that exists between the mentor and the mentee. This extends to setting the ground rules and boundaries that address the power differentials between the two. Therefore, to adequately analyze these principles in the business context, this study will consider these factors.
The other assumption is that weather conditions or people change. It does not always reflect a mentor’s accuracy or a mentorship program. In this regard, Augustine’s principles’ effectiveness is evident in various perspectives, including manager-employee interactions, client involvement in mentorship, and, most importantly, the accomplishments of individuals who followed these principles. The notion that the regulations are a reflection of success is upheld, and the study strives to prove that the same can be translated into the Business setup.
However, the study is limited by the proliferation of available materials. Currently, the internet is filled with mentorship-related materials ranging from websites to books, articles, and dissertations. This limits the scope of the literature. Additionally, it is tedious and time-consuming to examine and organize all these materials to have a satisfactory synthesis. In this way, the researcher may miss specific essential arguments and concepts regarding the study. Moreover, the various materials portray varied views, which may be dilemmatic as each of the materials provide valid points for their opinions. Therefore, the researcher may face specific ethical issues in choosing the best way to approach the study.
Furthermore, there could be some element of bias generated from the study from the available literature. This will arise mainly because some of the studies were conducted on one or a few organizations. Moreover, these materials are dependent on the authors’ experiences with the given organizations that they study. In this way, their views may not entirely depict these principles’ applicability as required. Moreover, the principles’ success in a few studied firms might not represent the guides in the entire business setup. Specific organizations may have employees who embrace the regulations more than others that might be more resistant to such mentorship.
A final challenge is the lack of good primary sources to substantiate these principles’ applicability claims. Most of the literature is obtained from the book Beginner’s Faith, which means that there is still a need to ascertain that the regulations are necessary and well applicable in a business setup to ensure the given mentorship’s achievement. This limits the coming up of a strong argument mainly due to the differences in context between Augustine’s application of teaching principles and the application of mentorship.
Justification of Title
The title chosen for the current study is “The Notion of Mentorship in Business Through the Prism of Augustinian Seven Pedagogical Principles.” This title captures the essential elements of the thesis and the research questions, which are the seven principles developed by Augustine. The specific area mentioned makes the reader know the particular context and applicability within which the research will focus. This gives the researcher perspective and narrows the scope of the study to its relevance in the business world. As such, the researcher notes the given diversity that Augustine’s principles are applied.
Additionally, the understanding of these principles for mentorship provides the foundation upon which they are used to ensure proper transition in the business world. This sets the stage for various developments and improvements in the organizational setup to provide a good relationship between employees and their mentors. Finally, understanding and applying these principles articulate a kind of leadership change and development that is deserved by organizations following what the Bishop wrote.
The first chapter will look at the literature on mentorship, including its historical relevance. This will include introducing the concept and following through on its development over the years, including how it depicts itself in various contexts and the resources involved. It will consider the multiple perceptions of mentorship, focusing on the unique characteristics that contribute to its distinctiveness related to the business world. Furthermore, it will capture the various mentoring outcomes, including a summary of early Christian mentoring. The second section of the chapter will focus on the methodology and the approach to ensure that the research questions are answered as required and the research objectives are achieved. This will provide a conclusive capture of the introduction from a wholesome view to ensure that readers understand the context and essence of mentorship from a Christian and business view. This will also enhance the understanding of the nature of mentorship.
Chapter two will then address mentoring before Augustine, Augustine’s mentors, and the specific lessons he advances. This will capture the different mentorship forms for the other mentors before Augustine and their mentorship principles. The researcher will then evaluate the prominent conditions of mentorship and regulations. Looking at his mentors will involve assessing their impact on his mentorship life and how they played in ensuring that his principles and mentorship were aligned adequately as required. These will provide a proper foundation for the discussion on the particular lessons advanced by Augustine that are to be applied in the subsequent chapters. This will include an introduction to the specific principles and the nature and significance of their application. The lessons will encompass the given forms of mentoring that he advances and his views on leadership and their relationship to these duties and arrangements.
Chapter three will then look at mentorship in the business world. Here, the researcher will define mentorship as viewed by various business scholars and assess how it fits the mentorship’s general view. The researcher will then proceed to look at the importance of mentorship in businesses today. This will then provide a base for discussing the need for better mentorship in the business world. This way, the challenges that arise in enterprises due to the lack of proper mentorship will be evaluated and assessed to see how adequate mentorship can help solve their shortcomings. As such, the researcher will contextualize the main elements of the topic and link them as required in the subsequent chapters. The researcher will also address how these needs are essential in improving leadership and management skills for the success of a business.
Chapter four will then build on the issues discussed in the previous chapters. This will primarily entail a detailed discussion on the application of Augustine’s lessons to mentoring. The researcher will look at how Augustine views mentorship in various forms. This will extend to discussing his seven principles and seeing how they can be applied in multiple everyday contexts. The discussion will be culminated with a discussion on their application to business. This will be the crucial chapter in ensuring that the given objectives and research questions are covered as required. A discussion on his view of a mentor as a disciple will also be essential to contextualize leadership and the mentor-disciple relationship nature.
Chapter five will then offer a summary of findings relating to Augustine’s principles, providing solid evidence for the claim that they can adequately be applied to business mentorship. This will include discussing the given concepts and how essential they are to developing sound business mentorship programs. Along with suggestions for further study, the chapter will conclude with a list of implications that the researcher will apply in given business contexts. This will help provide the author’s perspective on Augustine’s legacy in line with what he inaugurated as a paradigm shift. As such, the given issues will be adequately and comprehensively addressed.
This research will aim to determine how Augustinian concepts may be extended to business mentoring and leadership. It is often considered different facets of mentorship, such as its origins and styles. It will also emphasize the advantages or results of mentorship for a counselor, mentee, and organization. A part of the study will illustrate some of the problems confronting contemporary market organizations and how they can be addressed following Augustinian values. To demonstrate how Augustinian principles can be applied to business mentorship and leadership, each of the seven principles adapted from Immerwahr (2009) will be stated.
For mentorship to provide the desired outcomes, both the mentor and the mentee must enter into a partnership that maximizes reciprocal gains for both parties. Additionally, companies could not execute mentorship services objectively but only for the sake of formality. A mentor’s mentor-mentee partnership position is to direct, encourage, instruct, and advise the mentee on matters about the mentee’s personal and professional life. A mentee is supposed to be friendly, appreciative, and eager to learn as best as possible from the tutor.
Previous analysis has established some of the obstacles modern businesses pose, such as the necessity for businesses to hire and maintain employable, high-quality, and well-performing workers. A plan for succession of positions in a company was also listed as an obstacle. According to the report, insufficient leadership skills in corporate organizations remained an obstacle. Current companies must now deal with rapidly evolving technologies, which necessitates trained personnel who can quickly adapt to these developments.
Finally, this research will make several suggestions that could be taken into account when designing mentorship initiatives. It will recommend mentor preparation before taking on mentorship positions, evaluating mentorship initiatives, introducing incentive systems to high-performing mentorship pairs (mentors and mentees), doing an in-depth requirements review before initiating a mentorship initiative, and institutionalizing mentorship organizations.
As shown by a number of studies, mentoring is becoming a widespread human resource practice across numerous business, government, and academic institutions worldwide. However, no regulatory guidelines have been developed for the introduction of mentorship initiatives. This, according to the findings of specific studies, has not resulted in the expected outcomes of the process. If such organizations make an effort to render mentorship an essential part of their operations, some of the issues they face can be appropriately addressed.
This study will demonstrate that corporate organizations must institutionalize mentoring if they want to achieve tremendous progress in their activities and avoid the obstacles that a lack of it poses. Following a comprehensive analysis of the literature, this dissertation is satisfied that the following guidelines will help company organizations improve their mentorship services.
First and foremost, mentors are provided with extensive preparation programs before being appointed mentees (Adeyemi, 2011; Steinbauer et al., 2020). Not all higher-level managers are eligible or appropriate for the mentorship position. Steinbauer et al. (2020) state that mentors should be trained in legitimate leadership, legal, artistic, and logical thinking abilities. Furthermore, according to Hegstad (2002), this preparation can take the form of an introductory session before starting the curriculum or an in-depth training session that builds the requisite mentoring competencies.
Second, mentorship should be institutionalized inside a business. Previous research indicates that modern firms do not place a high value on mentoring, and as a result, the outcomes of the mentorship partnerships that are created are unappealing. This research argues that it is beyond time for organizations to start integrating mentoring, whether structured or informal, into their curriculum to continue reaping mentoring benefits. The aim should be to develop effective mentorship initiatives and incorporate mentorship into the business’s purpose and strategy.
Until launching a mentorship initiative in an organization, program planners can conduct a rigorous needs assessment. A needs assessment can decide if a mentorship initiative will bridge the difference between current and desired results (Hegstad, 2002). The needs review is required to assess the actual state of staff and the institution to determine if the mentorship initiative can be encouraged or hampered.
This study proposes that mentorship activities be reviewed by both the instructor and the mentee. A client is sent an assessment form either regularly or at the mentorship term’s conclusion. In a sample type, the individual should be able to assess the curriculum based on its efficacy, the tasks they performed during the exercise, the obstacles that hampered the mentorship partnership’s progress, and, if necessary, include recommendations on how to change the program. The experiences obtained from this assessment exercise will improve future services and focus on removing obstacles. This study developed a sample assessment form that can be applied to any random evaluation.
Another suggestion in this study is to provide prizes and praise to good participants and teams. When participating pairs are recognized for outstanding success, they become inspired, and this inspiration will extend to other aspects of their work. They (a tutor and a mentee) have work fulfillment and a long-term friendship with the other side. When a tutor is appointed another mentee, they are expected to repeat the prior results. They were recognized for improving their odds of receiving higher appreciation from their boss. A mentor would most likely carry on a mentorship position with new hires in the hopes of starting a partnership that would work in the same way that theirs did. Overall, the company would benefit, and its workers will be dedicated to it.
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