This article applies a systems-oriented evaluation methodology to
the Strategic Collaboration Model. The Strategic Collaboration Model is
used to guide the development of mentoring-centered succession
management programs. We provide a contextual discussion of mentoring and
the model, and offer questions to assess the effectiveness of programs
using the strategic collaboration model.
Contemporary organizations have implemented formal mentoring
programs and others have acknowledged that mentoring is useful in
facilitating personal and professional development of employees. Early
mentoring research (Kram, 1983; Kram and Isabella, 1985; Levinson,
Darrow, Klein, Levinson, and McKee, 1978) and relatively recent
scholarly literature have identified mentoring as essential to fostering
career development of employees (Burke, McKeen, and McKenna, 1993;
Donaldson, Ensher, and Grant-Vallone, 2000). These studies, including
the bulk of the mentoring literature, have mainly focused on individual
development of the protege and the mentor. One area that has remained
relatively unexplored is the role and efficacy of mentoring in
succession management programs. This article addresses and explores
mentoring's role in succession management programs by applying a
systems approach evaluation to Wasburn and Crispo's (2006)
Strategic Collaboration Model (SCM). The SCM is one of the few
succession management models that incorporate mentoring as an essential
mechanism in fostering leadership development and succession.
Historically, mentoring has played a significant role in the
continuity and evolution of art, craft, and commerce (Murray and Owen,
1991). As a construct, mentoring is defined as a complex developmental
and interpersonal relationship where personal support and career
guidance are provided by a senior, more-experienced organizational
member to a junior, less-experienced member of that organization
(Carmin, 1988; Kram, 1985). Organizational mentoring has evolved and
manifests itself in two forms: (a) informal mentoring and (b) formal
mentoring. Formal mentoring can be defined as involving all of the
essential elements of mentoring. Its distinguishing characteristic,
however, is that it is a program managed and supported by the
organization. In contrast, informal mentoring is not managed by the
organization and can be characterized as naturally occurring
relationships based on attributes, attraction, and similar interests.
Pursuant to the mentoring literature, proteges derive psychosocial
benefits such as increased self-esteem, strength of an interpersonal
bond, confidence, identity and socialization (Ragins et al., 2000) and
career-related benefits such as promotion, increased compensation,
career development, and increased job satisfaction (Chao, Walz, and
Gardner, 1992; Mullen, 1998; Ragins et al., 2000; Scandura and
Schriesheim, 1994; Verdejo, 2002). Similarly, the individual benefits
for the mentor include career revitalization, social recognition,
personal satisfaction, increased power, leadership skill development,
and supervisory and training ability development (Burke and McKeen,
1997; Messmer, 2003). At the organizational level, mentoring benefits
include increased organizational commitment, employee retention,
employee motivation, leadership development, improved organizational
communication and productivity (Darwin, 2000; Hegstad, 1999; Ragins et
Contemporary organizations operate in an environment of constant
change. These changes have impacted how organizations develop employees
and future leaders (Caldwell and Carter, 1993). The practice of
mentoring has evolved from the traditional one-on-one relationship to a
constellation of mentoring relationships comprised of mentoring networks
and/or developmental networks. An individual's developmental
network is made up of the people who actively support the advancement of
his or her career by providing developmental guidance (Higgins, 2000).
Succession management is defined as any effort designed to ensure
the continued effective performance of an organization, division,
department or work group by making provision for the development,
replacement and strategic application of key people over time (Rothwell,
2000). As input to the succession management system, an organization
usually identifies its existing competencies, related to both its
leadership needs and the industry it competes in (Kramer, 1990; Butler
and Roche-Tarry, 2002). Apart from the set of required competencies, the
organization also collects data about the employees' career
aspirations, interest areas, career mobility and developmental needs
(Allison, 1993; Clark and Lyness, 1991). This information is then used
by the organization to align individual career aspirations with
organizational needs (Kramer, 1990; Butler and Roche-Tarry, 2002).
Intervention such as coaching, mentoring, formal training, performance
feedback and job rotation facilitate the skill acquisition that is
required to meet the leadership needs of the organization (Beatty,
Schneier, and Glenn, 1987).
Succession management contributes to the professional development
of managers by exposing them to different developmental experiences such
as task forces, job rotations, line-to-staff switches, and turnaround or
fix-it assignments (Baldwin and Padgett, 1993; Buckner and Slavenski,
1994, McCauley et al., 1995). At the leadership level, executive
succession helps organizations groom and select the next generation of
leaders for more responsible positions. This ability to develop and
deploy leadership capabilities and talents translates into a competitive
edge for organizations (Ambastha and Momaya, 2004 as cited by Mathews,
2006). Organizations adopting formal succession management plans for
their top managerial positions have reportedly experienced a higher
return on investment than those who have not (Walker 1998 as cited by
Leadership Development, Mentoring and Succession Management
Leadership development is defined as an expansion of the collective
capacity of organizational members to effectively assume leadership
roles (McCauley and VanVelsor, 1998). Mentoring facilitates leadership
development through role socialization, reduced feelings of isolation,
professional development, increased job satisfaction, improved
leadership skills and leadership capacity building (Browne-Ferrigno and
Muth, 2004; Fagan and Walter, 1982; Scandura et al., 1996; Stott and
Walker, 1992). Organizations using succession management programs engage
in a process of continuous leadership development. Thus, it should be
noted that mentoring and succession management are aimed at leadership
development. Zey (1991) acknowledges this relationship between mentoring
and succession management by noting that organizations sponsoring
mentoring programs supplement their succession plans with the internal
pool of groomed leaders. Zey (1991) also states that "Mentoring
facilitates smooth transfer of the managerial reins from one generation
of executives to the next." (p. 93).
Wilson and Elman (1990) notes that mentoring provides a structured
system for strengthening and assuring continuity of organizational
culture. This can be crucial at times of leadership succession, as
leadership changes often require redefinition or modification of
culture. Wilson and Elman (1990) also challenges the traditional view
that mentoring is restricted to the indoctrination or inspiration of
entry-level personnel. They propose that every hierarchical level in the
organization entails socialization into a new and different subculture.
Put another way, as an employee successively moves up to a first
leadership position, and then continues up from one leadership position
to the next, socialization and resocialization is required. Thus there
is always a need for mentoring.
A Mentoring-Centered Model of Succession Management
Mentoring can be viewed as a means of increasing the effectiveness
of succession management programs. Washburn and Crispo's (2006)
Strategic Collaboration Model (SCM) incorporates mentoring as an
essential element of succession management. The SCM is a phased and
distinct model because it is mentoring-centered, and uses appreciative
inquiry to help the organization and its succession candidates. The
Appreciative Inquiry methodology is used to define and execute each
phase of a succession management program. A hallmark characteristic of
the Strategic Collaboration Model is that through Appreciative Inquiry,
it considers the candidates' developmental needs and aligns these
needs with the organization's future leadership needs. Exhibit 1
below shows the Strategic Collaboration Model (SCM).
Scriven (1967) has defined evaluation as judging the worth or merit
of something. In line with this definition, we propose a
systems-oriented approach to judging the worth or merit of SCM-based
succession management programs. The SCM can be evaluated based upon the
premise that organizations are complex open systems. Open systems have
inputs, processes, outputs, and there is an exchange with the
environment (Swanson, 1994). Moreover, a system is comprised of a series
of interdependent components (Burke, 1980). We suggest that SCM-based
succession management programs are essentially systems. Consequently, a
systems-oriented evaluation would not only assess the efficacy of such
programs but it would also permit us to determine what role mentoring
and Appreciative Inquiry plays in succession management. Exhibit 2 below
shows the application of a systems oriented approach to evaluating the
Strategic Collaboration Model. The Preconditions, Strategic
Collaboration Team formation, Interpersonal Skills Training, and
Strategic Collaboration Contract parts of the SCM can be examined as
inputs into the model. The Discovery, Design and Dream phases of the SCM
can be examined as the process part of the model. Finally, the Delivery
phase of the SCM can be examined as the outcome part of the model.
Generally, evaluations are used in business and industry to judge
programs and products. Evaluations focused in the area of human resource
development are conducted to judge the effectiveness of corporate
training programs, to judge the effectiveness of performance appraisal
feedback, and to evaluate and improve retention programs for younger
employees (Fitzpatrick, Sanders and Worthen, 2004).
For purposes of evaluating the SCM, we recommend a process, or
monitoring, study. Typically process or monitoring studies focus on
whether the program is being implemented according to plan or model. The
process or monitoring study of the efficacy of SCM-based succession
management programs should be conducted using a management-oriented
evaluation approach. The management-oriented evaluation is focused on
providing information to the decision makers in corporate settings, and
is premised on the assumption that evaluative information is essential
to good decision making (Fitzpatrick et al., 2004). We recommend the use
of Stufflebeam's (1971) context, input, process, and product (CIPP)
evaluation. The CIPP evaluation can be conducted as a
management-oriented evaluation, and is based upon the basic principle of
an open system (input, process, and output). The CIPP evaluation is
capable of guiding decision making and addressing accountability
(Fitzpatrick et al., 2004).
The CIPP evaluation is useful because it helps the evaluator
generate questions about the SCM in a systems-oriented manner. The CIPP
model essentially provides for four different types of evaluations of
SCM-based succession management programs:
1) the context evaluation, which helps define the focus and
objectives of the evaluation. In this instance, the evaluative focus is
on the mentoring-centered SCM, and specifically the role of mentoring in
succession management programs.
2) The input evaluation focuses on the resources directed towards
the program. In this instance, the focus is on knowing what kind of
human financial and other resources are directed towards the succession
3) The process evaluation essentially examines the operations of
the program to determine what is working well, what is not working, and
what can be improved.
4) The product evaluation is focused on the outcomes or results of
the program. In other words, this helps to determine whether the
succession management program has achieved its stated objectives, and
whether the succession program is effective enough to warrant continued
Exhibit 3 shows how the CIPP evaluation could be applied to the
SCM-based succession management programs. Additionally it provides
evaluative questions that correspond to each CIPP evaluation. Taken
together, these evaluations will yield evaluative information that would
enable organizational developers and program managers to understand,
develop and improve mentoring-centered succession management programs.
The renewal and transition of leadership in organizations is
necessary and vital to maintain competitive advantage.
Mentoring-centered succession management programs have been developed to
facilitate this process. The systems approach evaluation proposed in
this article will help organizations to determine the role of mentoring
and the efficacy of the SCM and its related succession management
1. Allison, W. R. (1993). The next generation of leaders. Human
Resource Professional, 30--32.
2. Baldwin, T. T., and Padgett, M. Y. (1993). Management
development: A review and commentary. In C. L. Cooper and I. T.
Robertson (Eds.). International review of industrial and organizational
psychology (vol. 8, pp. 35-85). Chichester, England: John Wiley and
3. Beatty, R. W., Schneier C. E., and McEvoy, G. M. (1987).
Executive development and management succession. In K. M. Rowland and G.
R. Ferris (Eds.), Research in personnel and human resource management
(vol. 5, pp. 289--322). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
4. Browne-Ferrigno, T., and Muth, R. (2004). Leadership mentoring
in clinical practice: Role socialization, professional development and
capacity building. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40 (4),
5. Buckner, M., and Slavenski, L. (1994). Succession planning. In
W. R. Tracey (Ed.), Human resources management and development handbook
(2nd ed.), New York: Amacom, 561--575).
6. Burke, W. W. (1980). Systems theory, gestalt therapy, and
organization development. In T. Cummings (Ed.), Systems theory for
organization development (pp. 209--222). Chichester, UK: John Wiley and
7. Burke, R. J., McKeen, C. A., and McKenna, C. (1993). Correlates
of mentoring on organizations: The mentor's perspective.
Psychological Reports, 72, 883--896.
8. Burke, R. J., and McKean, C.A. (1997). Benefits of mentoring
relationships among managerial and professional women: A cautionary
tale. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 51, 43-57.
9. Butler, K., and Roche-Tarry, D.E. (2002). Succession Planning:
Putting an organization's knowledge to work, Nature Biotechnology,
10. Caldwell, B. J., and Carter, M. A. (1993). The return of the
mentor. Washington, DC: Falmer Press.
11. Carmin, C. N. (1988). Issues in research on mentoring:
Definitional and methodological. International Journal of Mentoring, 2
12. Chao, G. T., Walz, P. M., and Gardner, P.D. (1992). Formal and
informal mentorships: A comparison on mentoring functions and contrast
with non-mentored counterparts. Personnel Psychology, 45, 619--636.
13. Clark, L. A., and Lyness, K. S. (1991). Succession planning as
a strategic activity at Citicorp. In L. W. Foster (Ed.), Advances in
applied business strategy (vol. 2., pp. 205--224). Greenwich, CT: JAI
14. Darwin, A. (2000). Critical reflections on mentoring in work
settings. Adult Education Quarterly, 50 (3), 197--211.
15. Donaldson, S. I., Ensher, E. A., and Grant-Vallone, E. J.
(2000). Longitudinal examination of mentoring relationships on
organizational commitment and citizenship behavior. Journal of Career
Development, 26 (4), 233--249.
16. Fagan, M., and Walter, G. (1982). Mentoring among teachers.
Journal of Educational Research, 76(2), 113-117.
17. Fitzpatrick, J.L., Sanders, J.R., and Worthen, B. R. (2004).
Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines (3rd
ed.). Boston: Pearson Education Inc.
18. Hegstad, C.D. (1999). Formal mentoring as a strategy for human
resource development: A review of research. Human Resource Development
Quarterly, 10 (4), 383-390.
19. Higgins M.C. (2000). The more the merrier? Multiple
developmental relationships and work satisfaction. Journal of Management
Development, 19 (2), 254-288.
20. Huang, T.-C. (2001). Succession management systems and human
resource outcomes. International Journal of Manpower, 22 (8), 736-747.
21. Kram, K.E. (1983). Phases of the mentor relationship. Academy
of Management Journal, 26 (4), 608-625.
22. Kram, K.E. (1985). Mentoring at work: Developmental
relationships in organizational life. Glennview, IL: Scott, Foresman.
23. Kram, K.E., and Isabella, L. (1985). Mentoring alternatives:
The role of peer relationships in career development. Academy of
Management Journal, 21, 110-132.
24. Kramer, D. (1990). Executive succession and developmental
systems: A practical approach. In M. London, E.S. Bassman, and J.P.
Fernandez (Eds.), Human Resource forecasting and strategy development:
Guidelines for analyzing and fulfilling organizational needs. (pp.
99-112). Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
25. Levinson, D.J., Darrow, C.N., Klein, E.B., Levinson, M.H., and
McKee, B. (1978). The seasons of a man's life. New York: Ballantine
26. Mathews, P. (2006). The role of mentoring in promoting
organizational competitiveness. Competitiveness Review, 16 (2), 158-169.
27. McCauley, C.D., Eastman, L. L., and Ohlott, P.J. (1995).
Linking management selection and development through stretch
assignments. Human Resource Management, 34 (1), 93-115.
28. McCauley, C.D., and VanVelsor, E. (Eds.) (1998). The center for
creative leadership handbook of leadership development. San Francisco:
29. Messmer, M. (2003). Building an effective mentoring program.
Strategic Finance, 17-18.
30. Mullen, E.J. (1998). Vocational and psychosocial mentoring
functions: Identifying mentors who serve both. Human Resource
Development Quarterly, 9 (4), 319-331.
31. Murray, M., and Owen, M.A. (1991). Beyond the myths and magic
of mentoring: How to facilitate an effective mentoring program. San
32. Ragins, B.R., Cotton, J.L., and Miller, J.S. (2000). Marginal
mentoring: The effects of type of mentor, quality of relationship, and
program design on work and career attitudes. Academy of Management
Journal, 43 (6), 1177-1194.
33. Rothwell, W.J. (2000). Effective succession planning: Ensuring
leadership continuity and building talent from within (2nd ed.). New
34. Scandura, T.A., and Schriesheim, C.A. (1994). Leader-member
exchange and supervisor career mentoring as complementary concepts in
leadership research. Academy of Management Journal, 37 (6), 1588-1602.
35. Scandura, T.A., Tejeda, M.J., Werther, W. B., and Lankau, M.J.
(1996). Perspectives on mentoring. Leadership and Organization
Development Journal, 17 (3), 50-57.
36. Scriven, M. (1967). The methodology of evaluation. In R.E.
Stake ( Ed.), Curriculum evaluation. (American Educational Research
Association Monograph Series on Evaluation, No. 1, pp. 39-83). Chicago:
37. Stott, K., and Walker, A. (1992). Developing school leaders
through mentoring: A Singapore perspective. School Organization, 12 (2),
38. Stufflebeam, D.L. (1971). The relevance of the CIPP evaluation
model for educational accountability. Journal of Research and
Development in Education, 5, 19-25.
39. Swanson, R.A. (1994). Analysis for improving performance: Tools
for diagnosing organizations and documenting workplace expertise. San
Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
40. Verdejo, T. (2002). Mentoring: A model method. Nursing
Management, 33 (8), 15-16.
41. Wasburn, M.H., and Crispo, A.W. (2006). Strategic
collaboration: Developing a more effective mentoring model. Review of
Business, 27 (1), 18-25.
42. Wilson, J.A., and Elman, N.S. (1990). Organizational benefits
of mentoring. The Academy of Management Executive, 4 (4), 88-94.
43. Zey, M.G. (1991). The mentor connection: Strategic alliances in
corporate life. In Mentoring and the Future of the Corporation (pp.
201-215). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Ray K. Haynes, Indiana University, School of Education, Department
of Instructional Systems Technology
Rajashi Ghosh, University of Louisville, College of Education and
Human Development, Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human
Exhibit 3. Applying the CIPP Evaluation to the Strategic Collaboration
Evaluation Type Evaluation Focus and Questions
Context Mentoring as primary developmental process in
* What role(s) does the mentor play?
* Does the mentor listen effectively?
* Does the mentor provide effective feedback?
* Does the mentor manage team conflict effectively?
* How is feedback given?
Input Determining the resources directed at the program:
* Is the organization's leadership committed to
* Do the organization's leaders serve as mentors?
* Do the organization's leaders communicate that
succession management is an integral part of their
* Have financial resources been committed to the
* Have human resources (program manager) been committed
to the program?
* Have mentors been formally identified?
* Have proteges been formally identified?
* Has the strategic collaboration team been identified?
* Has a curriculum been developed for training mentors
mentors and proteges to be effective in each role?
* Have contracts and codes of conduct governing
mentoring relationships been developed?
Process Examining program operations:
* Is there a formal process for monitoring mentoring
relationships in the strategic collaboration team?
* Are contingencies planned for compatibility issues in
the strategic collaboration team?
* Have individual and team competencies been identified
and shared amongst the team?
* How do we leverage competencies to meet
* Are initiatives identified and executed based upon
competencies and organizational needs?
Product Examining program outcomes: Is a mentoring-centered
succession management program functioning in the
* Has the next generation of organizational leaders
been identified groomed?
* Does each potential organizational leader have a
career development action plan?