Mentoring. Where leadership means knowledge transfer

The smart way to do business?


Term Paper, 2015

18 Pages, Grade: 2,0


Excerpt

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem statement and objective
1.2 Research methodology and structure

2 Business Context and organizational drivers for mentoring
2.1 Definitions of leadership, knowledge transfer and mentoring
2.2 Advantages and disadvantages of mentoring
2.3 Implementation of Mentoring

3 Practical example of PWC

4 Conclusion and outlook

5 Appendix

Bibliography

List of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1 Differences between coaching and mentoring

Figure 2 Advantages and disadvantages of mentoring

1 Introduction

1.1 Problem statement and objective

‘’Leaders who teach are more effective than those who tell.’’1

In an economy with constant change and competition, it is important for companies to be able to react as efficient as possible. This helps to be competitive and thus, be successful on a long-term.

Finding solutions to prevent the loss of critical organizational and business knowledge and to transfer this knowledge to the next generation is one of the topics companies are driven by. In addition, demand for continuous learning has never been larger.2

One possible approach to combat the potential loss of knowledge is mentoring. Business-based coaching relationships help to transfer knowledge and insights across generations of leaders.3 There is an increasing number of full-time professional coaches and mentors for people at work. Additionally, many managers and professionals offer coaching and mentoring within their organization or profession. Even more of them use the skills to lead and manage individuals and teams.4 Mentoring helps to keep knowledge in-house, prevent reinvention of basic concepts, reduce mistakes, and avoid the loss of hard-won organizational capabilities.

But mentoring is not the cure-all for everything. Disadvantages and advantages need to be taken into consideration as well. This assignment aims to show why mentoring can be described as a task in which leadership means knowledge transfer. It captures the essence of mentoring by showing the difference between mentoring and coaching and giving practical examples where mentoring has been implemented. Whether the given thesis ‘’Mentoring: where leadership means knowledge transfer’’ is true or not will be examined through the theoretical as well as practical background.

1.2 Research methodology and structure

This assignment is based on the thesis ‘’Mentoring: where leadership means knowledge transfer”.

The relevance of the topic as well as its problematic are explained in the first part. Additionally, the objectives, research methodology and structure of this assignment are mentioned.

The purpose of the second part is to give an understanding of leadership, knowledge transfer and mentoring. This helps to bring the individual terms into context. This part focuses on mentoring. It shows the differences between mentoring and coaching as well as factors influencing the decision to introduce a mentoring scheme or take part in a mentoring relationship. Its advantages and disadvantages are explained. Part two as well gives a brief overview on how to implement mentoring within an organization.

Part three explores how mentoring looks like in practice. It illustrates one mentoring program of PWC and shows whether the learned theory can be transferred. The final part brings together the conclusions and lessons learned which have been summarized throughout this assignment. It briefly lists the results and gives an outlook.

Regarding the research methodology expert literature, like books about mentoring, is mainly used for the theory part and company websites, for the practical part. This methodology outlines the actuality of the topic as well as its already researched theoretical background.

2 Business Context and organizational drivers for mentoring

2.1 Definitions of leadership, knowledge transfer and mentoring

Leadership is ‘’one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.’’5 There is a variety of definitions for leadership in literature and also practice. They build a construct to give a better understanding of the term for the cause of this assignment. One possible approach is, that leadership occurs when an 5 Burns, J. M. (2012), prologue. individual ‘’attempts to influence the behavior of individuals or groups regardless of the reason.’’6

Knowledge transfer aims to transfer knowledge from experienced employees or leaders on new employees as quickly and effectively as possible. This process sets the basis for being prepared in times of change in organization, for example upon merges and acquisitions or changes in product portfolio.7

Mentoring and coaching, which are both parts of knowledge management, are often used together in the same context. The need for clarification of the difference between the two terms has increased over recent times. Coaching is now a great deal and more aspirational for a much wider range of managers. This means that the merging of coaching and mentoring in people’s minds is actually more apparent now than it was before. Therefore, it is helpful to clear definitions for both activities.8 The following figure gives an overview of the differences between coaching and mentoring.

Figure 1 Differences between coaching and mentoring

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: See Cranwell-Ward, J., Bossons, P. and Gover, S. (2004), p. 46.

There are many textbook definitions of mentoring and coaching. Coaching is seen to be more skills-related, with specific, capabilities-linked outcomes. Line managers coach staff members. This is an often-expected role. Whereas, mentoring is more positioned around the whole individual and the big picture. It is generally held that the line manager would not be appropriate as a subordinate’s mentor. This can be explained by the line manager’s performance management responsibility, which could get in the way of genuine mentoring conversations. To briefly illustrate the difference between mentoring and coaching, the following approach might be useful. Mentoring relationship is where a person would be encouraged to explore areas in where coaching might be needed. Thus, coaching is about specific development on a short-term and frequent basic. Mentoring is holistic and gives a long term and less frequent guidance. There is the difference between how to do something, the coaching, and why you do something, the mentoring. Furthermore, coaching trains new abilities, whereas, mentoring trains already existing abilities to improve them.9

Since mentoring is the topic of this assignment, it is explained in further details. Mentoring is not a new phenomenon because informal mentoring relationships have existed for centuries. However, having a concept of formal organizational mentorship is relatively new. It first became popular in the mid-1970s but not all programs were successful and the initial attention got lost. A decade later many more organization were interested in mentoring as a ‘’vehicle for transferring or handing down organizational knowledge from one generation to another.’’10 The predominant model was the mentor with the mentees role as a passive receiver of knowledge. Since then mentoring got more and more popular with the goal to expand knowledge and facilitate learning. Mentoring practice developed from a product-orientated relationship including knowledge transfer to a process- orientated relationship including knowledge acquisition, application and critical reflection. Organizations are in favor of mentoring for a number of business reasons, many of which relate to the demand to enrich or manage knowledge and relationships.11

Bringing into context the three terms leadership, knowledge transfer and mentoring, it becomes clear, that they can be aligned with each other. Mentoring can describe the situation when leaders transfer knowledge to other individuals, which is the topic of this assignment. It can be distinguished between mentoring between individuals, mentoring programs and a whole mentoring culture. Whether this comes with positive, negative or both outcomes, is described in the next chapter.

2.2 Advantages and disadvantages of mentoring

Together with critical aspects, the advantages of mentoring will be explained in this chapter. The following figure gives a critical overview of mentoring by illustrating its advantages and disadvantages, which are described in detail afterwards.

[...]


1 Fulmer, R. M. (2008), p. 59.

2 See Zachary, L. J. (2005), p. 21.

3 See Fulmer, R. M. (2008), p. 61.

4 See Connor, M. and Pokora, J. (2011), p. 7.

6 Hersey, P.H., Blanchard, K. H. and Johnson, D. E. (2008), p. 6.

7 See Anaya, C. P. (2012), p. 7.

8 See Cranwell-Ward, J., Bossons, P. and Gover, S. (2004), pp. 45-46.

9 See Cranwell-Ward, J., Bossons, P. and Gover, S. (2004), pp. 45-46.

10 Zachary, L. J. (2005), p. 2.

11 See Zachary, L. J. (2005), pp. 4-5.

Excerpt out of 18 pages

Details

Title
Mentoring. Where leadership means knowledge transfer
Subtitle
The smart way to do business?
College
University of applied sciences, Munich
Grade
2,0
Author
Year
2015
Pages
18
Catalog Number
V317771
ISBN (eBook)
9783668173248
ISBN (Book)
9783668173255
File size
466 KB
Language
English
Tags
MENTORING, COACHING, KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER, LEADERSHIP, LEADER, MANAGEMENT
Quote paper
Bianca Lederer (Author), 2015, Mentoring. Where leadership means knowledge transfer, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/317771

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Mentoring. Where leadership means knowledge transfer



Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free