Management education in a pluralistic world needs to consider new approaches and curriculum changes, if its graduates are to provide effective leadership in a multicultural, multinational global economy.
Recently, the Asian Academy of Management was established in the Chinese University in Hong Kong because of the long felt dissatisfaction among both academics and managers in Asia that western models of management are inadequate in Asian cultures.
The recent proliferation of international Executive MBA programs recognize the need to produce managers that are able to function in different cultures. The present paper proposes that the mentoring approach contributes to the development of cross-cultural competences in managers. There is a substantial body of literature that demonstrates the benefits of mentoring in higher education and mentor. These benefits include faster promotion and higher incomes. The present thesis is that mentoring in management education yields additional benefits.
First of all, mentoring helps over the cultural gaps between professors and ethnic minority students. To be a mentor is to someone committed to the well-being and success of the protégé. Such a caring attitude not only provides a good role model, but also provides a safe environment for minority students to lean.
Secondly, the mentoring approach is the preferred approach of education in most Asian cultures. For example, Confucius mentored a small group of disciples; the in small business, the boss mentors his or her apprentices. Mass production in education is a western phenomenon. Secondly, mentoring emphasizes certain skills that are important in a multicultural environment; these include active listening, becoming aware of one’s own assumptions and world views; understanding the beliefs and values systems of other cultures; developing relationships with people other cultures, and adopting the appropriate communication strategy in negotiation and conflict resolution.
Thirdly, mentoring moves management beyond the realm of technology and number crunching into the realm of personal development and spirituality, because a mentor is concerned with the growth of the whole person. The paper will also discuss how this approach can be implemented in management education.