Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Jean Kabongo, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Richard Tarpey, DBA

Committee Member

Tianxia Yang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Mullarkey, Ph.D.


Dynamic Capability, Mentorship Program Frameworks, Organizational Development, Qualitative, Strategic Management, Talent Resources


In an exploratory, qualitative, traditional dissertation, this study proposes a framework for mentoring within federal government contractor firms. It seeks to understand how government contract firms draw value from their mentorship experiences and which aspects of mentorship programs are more important for this market segment. Two key issues have been identified: (1) government contractor firms are applying incompatible mentorship frameworks; and (2) managers responsible for developing their organizations’ capabilities through the implementation of mentoring programs are unaware of the characteristics unique to work groups within their firms. Observance of a federal government contractor firm struggling to implement a mentorship program, coupled with over 20-years of personal mentorship experiences inspired this qualitative interview study. Ensuing discussions with federal government industry subject matter experts and review of the strategic management literature helped describe the applicability of mentorship as a capability for the firm and develop a semi-structured interview protocol. Participant responses were analyzed using inductive coding methods and thematic interpretations. Insights gleaned from the interviews revealed mentorship programs can bridge professional networks and enhance cross-functionality within the firm. The study also revealed there is an abundance of tacit knowledge within organizations, which formal mentoring programs were distinctively suited to maximize and integrate into wider business processes. These insights were utilized to develop a mentorship program framework better aligned to federal government contractor firms.