Korean Mentoring Theory

7184 Words 29 Pages
Register to read the introduction… They also continued to be the highest group of Koreans entering the United States with an occupation (Lobo and Salvo, 1998). The last fact still remains true. Although Korean immigration boomed in the 1980s, the desire for middle and upper class Koreans to immigrate to the United States have diminished since then. This may have been due to the flourishing economy in Korea in the early 1990s that created many opportunities for them to succeed in their home country. Even though the number of Korean immigrants was decreasing, the percentage of those entering through the employment preferences clause remained extremely high at 63 percent in 1994 (Lobo and Salvo, …show more content…
As reported by a white male executive, a lack of mentoring was seen as an absolute glass ceiling barrier for Asian-Americans trying to climb the corporate ladder (Woo, 2000, p. 165). While most Asian-Americans in business understand the concept and value of mentoring, the way in which to go about getting a mentor is not always understood. Traditional Asian assumptions about guidance and mentoring conflict with American concepts. In traditional Asian culture one would expect to be sought out by supervisors assuming a very active paternalistic role in mentoring their subordinate. This special mentoring relationship and attention, however, is earned by one’s concentration on performing assigned tasks not on social connections. In the typical American workplace, mentoring is more individualistic, and comes with the attitude that every worker is responsible for their own career path. The individualistic norm that is valued in American business is that the employee must take the initiative of seeking out a mentor. This is because managers often have little spare time to provide to their subordinates in individual career guidance if they are not willing to take the first step (Woo, 2000, p. 164-165). This ‘lack’ of personal initiative to seek out a mentor is often viewed as a disinterest in an Asian-American’s own career paths when it is really a cultural difference rooted in their respect for authority and strong value of

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