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To enlarge the focus on international mentoring beyond traditional company-assigned expatriates, this conceptual paper examines important contexts and dynamics of…
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.
Many expatriates have difficulty building a social network that includes locals in Denmark, and they often find themselves in an “expatriate bubble” where they meet mostly…
Many expatriates have difficulty building a social network that includes locals in Denmark, and they often find themselves in an “expatriate bubble” where they meet mostly with other expatriates. This is unfortunate because much culture learning can be gleaned from interacting with host country nationals, and a lack of contact can negatively influence expatriate well-being and satisfaction. This chapter first focuses on how expatriates build a social network when they are abroad. Interviews with five self-initiated expatriates show key factors that influence the building of a social network, such as attitude and motivation, similarities with the other, location, and cultural differences. Denmark, in particular, seems to be a difficult place to make local friends, compared to many other countries globally. Three main cultural characteristics might explain this difficulty: the homogeneity of Denmark in terms of culture and language, the value of equality that is engrained in Danish mentality, and Denmark being a specific and deal-focused culture. The chapter ends with recommendations for expatriates who do wish to connect with Danes.
The qualitative study examines the development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Contact with a local host is a way of helping…
The qualitative study examines the development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Contact with a local host is a way of helping expatriates deal with the challenges of an international assignment. Since the quality of contact with the host is pivotal to benefit most from this experience, the purpose of this paper is to examine which factors influence contact quality.
The authors conducted a case study analysis of 33 expatriates and ten accompanying partners who were put in touch with a local host, with whom they undertook a broad range of activities during a period of nine months.
Nine factors influenced the development of the contact (similarities, motivation, benefits, anxiety, expectations, busy schedules, suboptimal timing, communication breakdown, and cultural differences). Key factors were similarities, motivation, and benefits.
While some of the factors (e.g. similarities) are predictable according to the Social Penetration Theory, four factors were uniquely applicable to purposely created relationships such as contact with a local host: motivation, expectations, anxiety, and suboptimal timing.
The study provides suggestions that could stimulate the contact with a local host, making the intervention more valuable for organisations who wish to support their expatriates in this way.
This longitudinal study is one of the first to examine in detail the process of development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Furthermore, the study is new because it also examines unsuccessful relationships.