Exploring the Impact of Mentoring Relationships on the Development of Self-Initiated Expatriate Employees Working in China

Johnson-Tyas, Isaac
(2021) Exploring the Impact of Mentoring Relationships on the Development of Self-Initiated Expatriate Employees Working in China. Doctor of Business Administration thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Purpose - The purpose of this thesis is to develop a greater understanding of how mentoring relationships exist between self-initiated expatriate (SIE) employees (employees who decided themselves to work and live abroad without a pre-determined timeline for returning to their home country) and how these relationships facilitate development. Mentoring relationships have been shown to have many positive benefits for employees, but the characteristics of mentoring relationships and the development benefits of these relationships between SIEs has not received much attention. This thesis contributes to this gap in the literature by elaborating on the characteristics of mentoring relationships and discussing their implications for development for Western SIEs working at a Chinese company in China. Methodology - A participatory action research (PAR) method is used in which participants and the researcher work together in the design, data collection, and data analysis. This was achieved through grouping six participants into three mentoring pairs and then exploring the mentoring experiences of the individuals, pairs, and group of participants during three PAR cycles. Data triangulation is achieved through collecting data from multiple sources including one-on-one interactions, observed pair interactions, and focus groups. Social exchange theory was used as a guiding theoretical model to understand mentoring relationships. Findings - The data has evidenced that three major themes characterize the mentoring relationships of self-initiated expatriate employees: communication, trust, and value. These themes were then discussed in terms of the benefits of mentoring which have previously been identified by researchers. These themes are also discussed in terms of social exchange theory which contributes to a more refined understanding of how mentoring relationships can be viewed as socially constructed cost-benefit exchanges involving varying perceptions of value. Implications for Practice - This thesis contributes to practice by highlighting the importance of communication, trust, and value in both the development of mentoring relationships between self-initiated expatriates and in facilitating professional development for SIEs. By emphasizing the identified themes and the creation of a mentoring program for SIEs, this thesis offers firms employing SIEs an important tool that can facilitate professional development. Future research is suggested to explore the professional development benefits of mentoring relationships between SIEs in different countries.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Business Administration)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mentoring, mentor relationships, self-initiated expatriates, participatory action research
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 10:41
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:24
DOI: 10.17638/03143499
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3143499