Original Research

Understanding relational conditions necessary for effective mentoring of black-owned small businesses: A South African perspective

Makatleho J. Matabooe, Elmarie Venter, Chantal Rootman
Acta Commercii | Vol 16, No 1 | a327 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v16i1.327 | © 2016 Makatleho J. Matabooe, Elmarie Venter, Chantal Rootman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 May 2015 | Published: 29 March 2016

About the author(s)

Makatleho J. Matabooe, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Elmarie Venter, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Chantal Rootman, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: To gain an understanding of the relational conditions required for effective mentoring of black-owned small businesses.

Research purpose: To identify relational-based conditions for effective mentoring, which can be used to enhance business management skills of owner-managers of black-owned small businesses and eventually improve the survival of these businesses in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: By identifying relational-based conditions needed for effective mentoring of black-owned small businesses, recommendations can be put forward that could help achieve harmonious mentoring relationships and ultimately ensure effective mentoring of these businesses.

Research design, approach and method: An interpretivism paradigm was adopted and aqualitative research methodology was selected. Semistructured interviews were used to gauge the perceptions of participants about relational issues necessary for effective mentoring. Content and constant comparative analyses were used to analyse data.

Main findings: The findings revealed that conditions surrounding the knowledge and expertise of the mentor, experience and age of the mentor, approachability of the mentor, mutual respect, open communication, mutual trust and honesty, passion and patience of the mentor, mentee’s willingness to learn, alignment of expectations, as well as culture sensitivity of the mentor are to be considered for effective mentor–mentee relationship.

Practical/managerial implications: Although mentoring is important to develop management skills of owner–managers, it is equally important that the mentor–mentee relationship is nurtured to achieve the desired outcomes of the relationship.

Contribution/value-add: The alarming failure rates of small businesses in general and blackowned small businesses in particular could be improved by providing effective mentoring programmes to owner–managers by ensuring harmonious mentor–mentee relationships.


Keywords

SMEs; small businesses; mentoring; mentor; mentee

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