Although previous studies have offered empirical and anecdotal support for academic mentoring, there are still considerable gaps in understanding the specific actions or components that are present in these relationships. Research has shown that academic faculty mentors provide all of Kram’s (1988) mentoring functions to their graduate student protégés. Despite numerous claims to the presence of “friendship” in graduate student-faculty advisor mentoring relationships, others question if friendship is even possible within this context. Thus, there is ambiguity about the role of this particular function in academic mentoring. In our attempt to reconcile results from a previous study on graduate student-faculty advisor mentoring and better understand the potential role and temporal development of friendship within this domain, we sought clarification in the existing literature. To our surprise, the literature lacks consensus on the topic and requires additional scholarly attention. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to share insights from our previous study examining mentoring in academia, summarize empirical findings and conceptual advancements on the topic of friendship in graduate student-faculty advisor mentoring relationships, and propose directions for further inquiry in this area, in the hope of strengthening academic mentoring relationships.
Beres, J. L., & Dixon, J. C. (2016). Examining the Role of Friendship in Mentoring Relationships between Graduate Students and Faculty Advisors. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 9, 111. https://doi.org/10.22329/celt.v9i0.4440