Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Interdisciplinary Studies (Graduate)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Terri A. Scandura - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Tarek M. Khalil - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Robert T. Plant - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Amie L. Nielsen - Committee Member


Organizations are seeking ways to become more innovative as a response to increased global competitiveness. While innovation is clearly important, many strategies have been attempted with this goal but no clear method has proved successful. This study shows that firms who are considered to have innovation as one of their core competencies utilize mentoring to facilitate and cultivate innovation. Utilizing a qualitative, case study approach, interviews were conducted with key stakeholders at four major U.S. companies considered to be among the most innovative in the world. The transcripts, archival data, and popular magazine and newspaper articles were included in the content analysis. Findings support that mentoring is a key aspect of creating and sustaining a culture of innovation at large U.S. corporations.


Innovation; Mentoring