Original Research

Developing and supporting coordinators of structured mentoring schemes in South Africa

Penny Abbott, Xenia Goosen, Jos Coetzee
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 8, No 1 | a268 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v8i1.268 | © 2010 Penny Abbott, Xenia Goosen, Jos Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2009 | Published: 22 October 2010

About the author(s)

Penny Abbott, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Xenia Goosen, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Jos Coetzee, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Mentoring is considered to be such an important contributor to accelerated people development in South Africa that structured mentoring schemes are often used by organisations. There are at present few sources of development and support for coordinators of such schemes.

Research purpose: The aim of this research is to discover what the characteristics of coordinators of structured mentoring schemes in South Africa are, what is required of such coordinators and how they feel about their role, with a view to improving development and support for them.

Motivation for the study: The limited amount of information about role requirements for coordinators which is available in the literature is not based on empirical research. This study aims to supply the empirical basis for improved development and support for coordinators.

Research design and method: A purposive sample of 25 schemes was identified and both quantitative and qualitative data, obtained through questionnaires and interviews, were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.

Main findings: Functions of coordinators tend to be similar across different types of mentoring schemes. A passion for mentoring is important, as the role involves many frustrations. There is little formalised development and support for coordinators.

Practical/managerial implications: The study clarifies the functions of the coordinator, offers a job description and profile and makes suggestions on how to improve the development of the coordinator’s skills.

Contribution/value-add: An understanding of what is required from a coordinator, how the necessary knowledge and skills can be developed and how the coordinator can be supported,adds value to an organisation setting up or reviewing its structured mentoring schemes.


Mentoring; mentoring scheme coordinator; functions of mentoring scheme coordinators; people development; South African context


Total abstract views: 6126
Total article views: 15912


Crossref Citations

1. Male executives' experiences of mentoring Black African women in South Africa
Caren Brenda Scheepers, Rebone Mahlangu
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal  vol: 41  issue: 9  first page: 47  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1108/EDI-11-2021-0285