Coaching versus mentoring: Are there any differences?

Magnus Klofsten, Staffan Öberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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This paper focuses on two major concepts in entrepreneurship training, namely coaching and mentoring. A study of these concepts reveals at least two schools of thought: (1) coaching and mentoring are two parallel, distinct activities that can be used to support each other and (2) coaching and mentoring are not separate activities – coaching is considered part of the mentoring activity or mentoring part of the coaching activity. Data from 36 university-based training programmes and 450 coaching and mentoring cases at 7 Swedish universities were analysed. We used a check-list to gather information on 21 items linked to these four distinctive groups: (1) Structural issues (mission, form, and task), (2) Process issues (connection to programme content, meeting environment, problem solving, assessing the opportunity or idea, operative role, confidentiality, and networking), (3) Relationships (extent, meeting, initiative, homework, documentation, and follow-up) and (4) Character of the coach and mentor (background and experience, engagement, integrity, social skills, and role or ethics). Coaching and mentoring differed markedly, for example, in mission, problem-solving, and use of generalist versus specialist competence. Similarities occurred in the areas of opportunity or idea assessment, meeting environment, operative role, and confidentiality agreements. The authors are convinced that the coach and the mentor have different roles for supporting the young individual to be a better entrepreneur. Coaching and mentoring are parallel activities that complement each other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference 2008
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9789036526685
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2008 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 21 May 200823 May 2008
Conference number: 16


Conference16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2008
Abbreviated titleHTSF


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