Miriam Grace-Rowland, Ph.D. is a 2008 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee

  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Laurent Daloz, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Michael Carroll, Ph.D., Committee Member


Mentoring Relationships, Systems Approach, Managers, Grounded Theory, Dimensional Analysis, Corporate Mentoring Programs, Learning, Workplace

Document Type


Publication Date



This was an exploratory study to understand the lived experience of those involved in mentoring relationships within a formal mentoring program in a corporate context. The researcher looked for rich detail about the nature of the relationship from the perspective of the mentor and mentee. To achieve a holistic perspective, the experience of organizational managers was deliberately included in the research. Exploration of this triadic relationship of mentor, mentee, and organizational manager has been neglected in the empirical literature. An exploration of where meaning intersected and diverged among the triad relationship members gave depth to the dimensional frame. Findings suggested that the lack of a holistic approach to mentoring in the workplace may be creating counterproductive mentoring participant behaviors. Values misalignment may be creating cultural miscues that potentially misdirect mentoring program design and policies. Findings pointed to the need for increased integration of mentoring, leadership development, cultural transformation, and organizational learning initiatives in order to better serve the aims of the corporation and increase the capacity of the workforce. The qualitative paradigm was followed for this research. Grounded theory dimensional analysis was employed to discover the dimensions of mentoring important to participants. Open-ended interview techniques allowed the participants to express their experiences in their own words. A research team experienced in the tools and techniques of this research approach collaboratively analyzed the data. As theoretical propositions emerged they were explored via a theoretical sampling method. The basic social process of mentoring among the three members of the mentoring triad and other human and non-human actors was illustrated. Metaphorical and theoretical models were developed that illustrated the participants' perspectives on the interrelated and interdependent parts of the ancient human activity system we call mentoring. The electronic version of this dissertation is accessible at the OhioLINK ETD Center,