Document Type

Article - On Campus Only

Publication Date



This article reports the results of our study of electronic mentoring (e‐mentoring) in a population of business students. As career paths have become more fluid and less predictable, a growing number of educational and business organizations have implemented traditional and, more recently, e‐mentoring programs. But practice is ahead of evaluation when it comes to e‐mentoring. We attempted to fill this gap by looking more closely at strengths and weaknesses associated with this type of mentoring. Building on research in traditional mentoring and integrating literature in computer‐mediated communication, education and management, we developed a model of e‐mentoring’s antecedents and outcomes. We tested our hypotheses using a sample of business students (protégés) who were mentored by practicing managers. It was found that perceived similarity in terms of attitudes and values is positively related to effective e‐mentoring, while demographic similarity (gender, race) is not. Moreover, effective e‐mentoring may lead to protégés’ enhanced academic performance, professional network and job opportunities. We conclude with implications of our findings and a discussion of opportunities for future research.

Recommended Citation

Janasz, Suzanne & Ensher, Ellen & Heun, Christian. (2008). Virtual relationships and real benefits: Using e-mentoring to connect business students with practicing managers. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning. 16. 394-411.