Public management mentoring: A three-tier model

Barry Bozeman, Mary K. Feeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Despite the abundance of literature discussing the individual and organizational outcomes of mentoring, this general literature remains virtually silent on the role of mentoring in the public sector. The authors review and critique the mentoring literature, indicating its limitations for understanding mentoring in a public management context. In particular, the authors highlight the interdependence of organizations, the opportunity structures of the public sector, and public service motivation that mediate the outcomes of mentoring in the public sector. The authors then present a three-tier model that focuses on public management mentoring outcomes. The three-tier model marries the unique context of public sector work to the extensive mentoring literature and lays the groundwork for a theory of public management mentoring. The authors employ the model to generate propositions about public management mentoring outcomes. These propositions should prove useful for theory development but also for application in public sector mentoring relationships and programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-157
Number of pages24
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Interdependence
  • Mentor
  • Mentoring outcomes
  • Public management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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