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Mobility and mentoring: Supporting socialisation in international service firms

J Gannon International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2020

Mentoring is often identified as a flexible practice that supports the socialisation of newcomers. Within international organisations high levels of managerial mobility creates specific issues in relation to expectations of serial socialisation. This article explores the forms of mentoring which Human Resource Management (HRM) executives’ advocate to help socialise managers in an international industry. In-depth interviews were utilised to identify the ways in which mentoring is used formally and informally to support the socialisation of managerial resources. The results highlight the contribution mentoring can make as part of the recurrent socialisation managers face, in particular where international companies require high levels of mobility. The implications for HRM practitioners and other executives are evident in the capacity formal and informal mentoring has to abet frequent socialisation, enhance managers’ professional networks and act as organisational glue. Further research is warranted on the exact mentoring experiences which managers themselves value in their international careers and the extent to which organisations can capitalise on mentoring interventions.

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