Linking Mentoring and Social Capital: Implications for Career and Organization Development

Joyce Jack Panatda konpoothorn Kanokporn Vivien Victor

Linking mentoring and social capital: implications for career and organization development

The problem and solution

Review reveals that the integration mentoring and social capital concepts offers great promise to enhance career and organization development initiatives.

Linking mentoring and social capital: implications for career and organization development

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Career development; Mentoring; Organization development; Social capital; Social network.

Linking mentoring and social capital: implications for career and organization development

To draw the connections between the concepts of social capital and mentoring, give current trends in the workplace, social capital and mentoring remain important phenomena for HRD professionals to understand and utilize.

Linking mentoring and social capital: lmplications for career and organization development

Definition Mentoring and social capital:explicit connetions Mentoring and social capital: common constructs Mentoring and social capital: implications for practice Distinguishing mentoring and network resources:organizational outcomes

Linking mentoring and social capital: lmplications for career and organization development



Social network

Social capital

Mentoring Is the most intense and powerful oneon-one developmental relationship , entailing the most influence , identification , and emotional involvement. Two basic approaches 1.Career mentoring functions 2.Psychosocial mentoring functions

Social network



Two different ways the term social network At the broadest level, it has been used to describe a large body of literature composed of diverse streams of research . Within the social capital literature, it has been used to refer to the set of social connections between entitles.

Social capital

Capital: in the term social capital captures the idea of the creation of value in response to an investment. Social Capital : involves individuals investing in social ties to gain access to the resources of others in the group or network.

Contradictory definition----(Adler and Kwon 2002): External focus: which the definitions vary is whether they focus on the ties an individuals with other. Internal focus: the structure of the ties an individual has with other.

1. 2.

In this section the authors review the limited literature in which social capital. Mentoring versus other Developmental networks : explicitly have used social capital concepts to classify mentoring from other workplace relationship.( Higgins and Kram( 2001) differential to 4 categories base on 2 concepts Developmental network diversity (low to high) Developmental relationship strength(weak to strong)

Four categories 1. Higgins and Kram’s ( 2001) 2. Bozionelos ( 2006) 3. Bozionelos and wang (2006) 4. Taken their work together

From the mentoring and social capital literatures is by integrating them in models of career success. So they taken together for theory and research provides HRD professionals with current thinking about how mentoring and social capital variables may influence each other and shape career development.

Outcomes Bad relationships Trust Informations exchange


The studies on having multiple mentors also provide insight related to how the structure of social networks affect protégé out comes. But the more mentors also have been associated with increased role conflict. Study of peer mentoring and comparisons of supervisory VS non-supervisory mentoring are examples of how structural characteristics have been explored in the mentoring literature.

Bad relationships

The first approach is based on the idea of opportunity costs. Investigating in developing and maintaining social relationships uses resources that are then unavailable for other uses. The second approach recognizes that not all social relationships are advantageous to take a full accounting of the “social ledger”, assets (social capital) and liabilities must be considered. Social liabilities are proposed to arise from negative relationships in which at least one person dislike the other.


trust is the implanted in most descriptions of mentoring and utilized frequently in discussions of social capital.

Mentor have identified being honest and trustworthy as one of the ideal characteristics mentors should possess and mentioned trust as one of the things mentors and protégé could do to make the most mentoring relationships

1. 2.


4. 5.

Trust appears to be an important driver of cooperative behavior. (Nahapiet &Ghosal 1998) HRD initiatives designed to enhance cooperation will foster trust and interventions to improve trust will generate increased cooperation. (Nahapiet&Ghosal 1998) Trust is considered fragile when individual make the decision to take a risk or be vulnerable on a transactionby-transaction basis. Strong ties are the type of network resource that builds trust. A strong ties has been described as friendships. Strong ties may not be necessary to generate trust. Generalized trust may exist in communities or organizations when individuals are thoroughly connected with weak ties. (Leana & Van Buren, 1999)

Informations exchange

The concept of information is central to several of social capital, within the mentoring literature, the concept of information exchange between mentors and protégé. Mentors’ information seeking was significantly associated with the extent to which the mentor was influenced by his or her protégé Mentors’ perceptions of whether the protégé thought information seeking was appropriate, perceived protégé competence and by career mentoring.

how relationship management by HRD might be used to efficiently and effectively enhance career and organization development ---the role of mentoring in social networks ---informal and formal relationships

The Role of Mentoring in Social Networks

The finding of previous literature review: 1. a lot of attention has been paid to the individual outcomes of social relationships, specially the achievement of career-related outcomes 2. traditional mentoring and social networks do not contribute to the same career outcomes while only the instrumental network resources contribute to career attainment 3. national cultural context is a critical factor to consider when examining the relationship between mentoring and network resources

The Role of Mentoring in Social Networks

Implication for HRD professionals 1. not find the relationship, but to consider the interventions that equip the support with knowledge and skill 2. present rearch findings suggest that a longterm objective for HRD professionals would be to adjust their effort to foster the development of traditional mentoring relationships, alternative developmental networks, or other network resources depending on the type of career-related outcomes that best meet the strategic objectives of their organization

Informal and Formal Relationships

Informal relationship: develop on their own between partners. This happens when people with a common interest simply find each other. There may not be a clear beginning or a clear end,its all about good practice and professionalism indeed Formal relationship: refers to assigned relationships, often associated with organizational mentoring programs designed to promote emplyee development

Informal and Formal Relationships

The informal mentoring often associate with favorable career outcomes which has encouraged the creation of formal programs in which mentor-protege relationships are created or fostered by organizations. Initial research findings suggest that formal mentoring relationships have significant potential to achieve career outcomes equal to informal mentoring ( Ragins, Cotton, &Miller,2000) Several studies suggest these benefits are not realized(Hezlett&Gibson,2005; Wanberg at al., 2003)

Trust is a key factor in establishing social ties,maybe can bridge the divide between informal and formal mentoring Therefore, whether HRD are interested in supporting informal social ties or establishing formal programs, they should provide processes to address and training to prevent negative workplace relationships.

Mentoring and social capital literatures is the impact that focus on relationship building can have on organizations and, the effect that organizational actions can have on the fostering of relationships

Traditionally, most of mentoring literatures and much more social capital literatures has emphasized individual outcomes, rather than organizational outcomes such as retention and productivity outcomes.

Traditional mentoring or network resources maybe valued differently in terms of investment to achieve career goals.

Several recent studies of mentoring have begun to focus on organizational outcomes. Allen & O’Brien’s suggests that HRD practitioners may want to consider establishing formal mentoring programs as an attraction vehicle for “best fit” candidates in an organization that value learning.

Some scholars of social capital have viewed social networks from the perspective of the community or organization.

The negative consequences of an emphasis on social capital should also be considered in that social capital maybe exclusionary, leading those who are not members of the integrated group or networks to feel alienated from the work environment (Akdere, 2005).

The literatures on social capital and mentoring indicates that cultures supportive of social capital would likely also support the organizational investment required to promote mentoring (Hegstad, 1999; Hezlett & Gibson, 2005).

Regardless of whether the HRD professional’s goal is to foster career development or organization development, social network tools (Hatala, 2006) could be employed by HRD practitioners to assess the potential utility of fostering traditional mentoring relationship versus other network resources.


First: social capital constructs have been utilized to attempt to differentiate mentoring from other kinds of supportive, development relationships. Second: social capital and mentoring concepts have been utilized together to develop more comprehensive models of career development.


This article analyzed four key constructs that have been considered in both literatures: outcomes, bad relationships, trust, and information exchange. Recognize the intensity of traditional mentoring relationships, a key consideration in exploring practice implications focused on the social capital concept of investment .

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