Anthea Wilson and Volker Patent INTRODUCTION Mentoring is a relational process in organizations which shapes the development of employees during different stages in their tenure with their employer (Kram, 1985). Mentors play a variety of roles depending on the stage of the mentee’s career development and the formal mentoring roles they have been assigned by their organization (Noe, 2006). The type of mentoring mentees receive is dependent on the type of organization (for example, education, healthcare, management) and its particular concerns in developing future and current employees (Donovan, 1990; Putman et al., 1993; Yonge et al., 2007). There has been a lot of work focused on what makes a good mentor–mentee relationship, and on the perceptions and experiences of mentors in their work environments; however, there has been very little work on the role of trust in mentors’ experience of mentoring. In this chapter we shall examine trust in mentoring relationships with specific attention to a sample of nurses who were interviewed during a period in which they mentored pre-registration nursing students. Trust emerged spontaneously in many of the interviews, suggesting that it is a salient feature of the mentoring context. In the chapter we explore the immersion of mentors within a complex network of overlapping dyadic relationships that manifest at different stages of their mentoring activity. Our chapter contributes to the literature on mentoring and trust. First, we highlight the ways in which mentors use trust to provide students with safe environments in which they learn and develop...
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