Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships within Multicultural Organizations

Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships within Multicultural Organizations

Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships within Multicultural Organizations

Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships within Multicultural Organizations

Synopsis

The world is continually changing. As organizations become more diverse, the need to recognize and develop talent within others becomes more critical and more complex. Herein lies the fundamental dilemma that parties to these important relationships face. Based on a recent gathering in Amherst, the contributors of this volume attempted to help each other better understand the issues that they were facing in their own diversified mentoring relationships as mentors, protégés, or both. This volume is the result of their efforts.

Organized into three sections, the book focuses on the different types of mentoring perspectives--theoretical, empirical, and experiential. It addresses the following issues:

Developmental relationships --the emerging themes and theoretical models that discuss the experiences of various ethnic populations,

Empirical evidence --qualitative and quantitative research that examines the impact of diverse mentoring relationships,

First-hand accounts --experiences that recount key lessons learned in various situations, including breaking the glass ceiling, among others.

Excerpt

Sheila Wellington Catalyst, New York

Organizations require renewal. Businesses, schools, governments, and churches that exist longer than a single lifetime need regeneration. Every social group must have ways to replace its departing members with new members, and each viable group must have ways to educate the new members.

We can look at the process of organizational renewal from two vantage points: that of the organization, which must devise ways to both train and socialize its new participants, and that of the newcomer, who must assimilate enough of the organization's norms in order to survive and flourish. From either vantage point, the process by which current group members guide new ones is of both practical and theoretical importance.

When new members closely resemble old ones, guidance can be a relatively simple task. When the protégé looks just like the senior person -- only younger and more innocent -- mentoring can proceed with minimal self-reflection. If the "new boy" has a life history and life circumstances that are just like those of the "old boy," then all the "old boy" has to do is to remember what private or secret information was useful and important for him to know and then pass that information on to the "new boy."

It is when members of the new generation differ from the old in important ways that organizational renewal ceases to be semi-automatic. Guiding the "new boy" who does not look just like oneself (who, indeed, may even be a girl) and whose background may be different from one's own is a task that . . .

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