Managing Boundaries in the Multiple Relationships Created by Mentorship
Rankin, Pressley R.
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Boundaries define the spaces or domains in which one lives her or his life. They also define the roles that one enacts in each domain, e.g., being the boss at work or being a spouse at home. Leaders are most often responsible for creating some of the rules that define the boundaries within the work domain. Additionally, socially constructed ideas about a role (faculty) or a domain (the university) automatically suggest the boundaries that are in place and how one should behave. However, in a mentorship relationship, the ideas about what is appropriate are not as clearly defined (Barnett, 2008; Clark, Harden, & Johnson, 2000). This chapter will explore the nature of boundary setting in mentorships where there is a power differential and a strong chance of multiple relationships (PDSCMR), like program director to a faculty member. The specific example discussed here will be faculty/student mentorship, which best illustrates the complexity that can emerge in PDSCMR mentorships.