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Broadening international mentoring: contexts and dynamics of expatriate and HCN intercultural mentoring

Marian van Bakel (Department of Business and Management, University of Southern Denmark - Campus Slagelse, Slagelse, Denmark)
Vlad Vaiman (School of Management, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, USA)
Charles M. Vance (College of Business Administration, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Arno Haslberger (Business School, Middlesex University London, London, UK)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 21 December 2021

Issue publication date: 8 February 2022




To enlarge the focus on international mentoring beyond traditional company-assigned expatriates, this conceptual paper examines important contexts and dynamics of intercultural mentoring involving traditional expatriates and host country nationals (HCNs), with both as mentors and mentees.


This conceptual paper explores how intercultural mentoring in different contexts can guide the individual professional development of expatriates and HCNs, and in doing so, contributes to MNC knowledge management and organization development.


Major contributions of this paper include increased attention to the role of culture in mentoring, and an illumination of important intercultural mentoring opportunities and imperatives involving traditional company-assigned expatriates and HCNs, who are key global talent players in MNC knowledge management and overall operations performance. This paper also provides practical recommendations on how organizations can facilitate mentoring within a global context, as well as suggestions for viable avenues for future research, including further extending the global talent reach of international mentoring.


This paper emphasizes the importance of taking the intercultural context into account when planning and managing mentoring in MNCs and outlines how culture can affect mentoring relationships involving traditional company-assigned expatriates and HCNs. This contextual aspect has often been neglected in the extant literature, yet can be crucial for the success of mentoring relationships that cross cultural borders. With its inclusion of HCNs, this paper also expands the picture of international mentoring beyond the traditional focus on company-assigned expatriates.



van Bakel, M., Vaiman, V., Vance, C.M. and Haslberger, A. (2022), "Broadening international mentoring: contexts and dynamics of expatriate and HCN intercultural mentoring", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 14-35.



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