The Practice of Mentoring: Based on Empirical Research Carried Out at Hungarian Companies

The Practice of Mentoring: Based on Empirical Research Carried Out at Hungarian Companies

Timea Juhasz (Hostlogic Ltd., Hungary) and Horvath-Csikós Gabriella (Szent Istvan University, Hungary)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1642-2.ch016
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Abstract

This abstract deals with mentoring as one of the most popular forms of knowledge-sharing nowadays. On one hand the authors give a theoretical introduction about the protocol, the types, and the participants and about the realization of mentoring; while on the other hand some results of a complex research are also shown. The research was carried out with the participation of Hungarian companies and employees, both in qualitative and in quantitative way. Although the researches cannot be considered representative, the authors of the chapter reckon that a clear view can be obtained about the Hungarian mentoring practice. In light of the results it can be stated that the respondents basically consider this form of knowledge-sharing useful, which provides a good base and support for the operation of a consistent knowledge-management system and mentoring should represent positive values and practice in this process.
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Introduction

Different organisations, institutions and companies are made up of individuals who try their best to operate in the most effective and most reasonable way. Those institutions, which split the big problems into smaller problems and manage them as smaller ones, will become severe and rigorous, especially when the organisation is in the process of undergoing a quick change.

The ’knowledge management’ means corporate policy, practice and tools, which make it possible for the individuals to understand and to get a clear view about how their job contributes to the whole of the company, what benefits they might have and how they can contribute to the more effective and more successful operation of their companies. The most important value and product of a given company is the knowledge itself. The employees have to be encouraged to acquire, to keep and to transfer knowledge. (Nemirowsky and Solomon, 2000). The employees have to learn and apply different techniques in order to be able to convert their know-how systematically into an important knowledge-source for the organisation. (Choo, 1996, Reich-Czeglédi-Fonger, 2015).

The leaders have to support the establishment of a corporate culture, where knowledge is value, where knowledge-transfer is supported and where innovation and development is considered important. However, there can be some obstacles of effective knowledge-management, such as lack of self-confidence, lack of time, lack of possibilities, and intolerance towards errors. The appreciation/rewarding solely affect those who possess the knowledge or it is simply the lack of capacity from the receiving party towards receiving the new knowledge (Davenport, 1997). It also frequently happens that the employees of the organisation acquire the offered knowledge, but later they do not utilize that knowledge (Elmore, 1990).

The effective knowledge-management requires new roles and responsibility from the leaders and from the employees as well. It is necessary that the participants of the process can observe their own work from multiple perspectives, they can phrase their opinions, they are able to make and receive critical remarks and they have to be suitable and willing to share their knowledge with each other. Its success depends on several factors, such as trust, cultural indifference, lack of reception, communicational problems and the attitudes of the participants, etc. (Bencsik, 2009).

Although at the same time, a study, which was carried out in 2014 (Bencsik-Juhász-Kovács, 2014) studied the openness of the respondents with regard to their knowledge-sharing showed that the knowledge-sharing willingness of that survey was basically average and they did not really welcome the idea to share their practical knowledge with others. The respondents were less interest-centred and expectation-oriented with their friends, acquaintances and with strangers in return of their knowledge-sharing than with acquaintances of formal relationships. (Bencsik-Juhász-Kovács, 2014).

There are several forms of knowledge sharing in corporate practice, which can become corporate protocol with more or less success or can be created spontaneously. Mentoring is one form of knowledge-transfer, which is becoming more and more popular nowadays.

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