About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9750-9759
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.2425

Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain


C. Bjursell

Jönköping University (SWEDEN)
It has long been known that mentorship programs can provide both vocational and psycho-social support and development opportunities for program participants. There exist a number of different guides regarding mentorship and mentorship has proven itself to be a superior way to learn ‘on the job’. One explanation is that mentors can provide individual support to mentees so as to help them understand and create meaning from their experiences. Another explanation is that mentors can help mentees to formulate their professional identity. It has been reported that traditional educational approaches are not efficient when it comes to meeting an organizations’ needs. With a traditional training approach (i.e. education that is based on a fixed curriculum that is not adapted to a particular problem or to an organization), it might be difficult, or even impossible, to apply what one has learned when one returns to one’s workplace. The reasons for this are the barriers that can be found at the management and organizational level. These include a lack of strategic clarity, an authoritarian management style, a politically-charged environment, and conflicts between functions. Education and training in mentoring programs are often based on problem-oriented learning in a specific work setting. Problem-oriented learning that takes place at the workplace, as an alternative to traditional courses, has many advantages; for example, such learning can be linked to everyday tasks. In addition to job-specific knowledge and skills, mentorship may require further development of the mentee’s critical thinking skills, social competence, and specific knowledge (for example, technical skills) that are not available within the workplace. Participation in a mentoring program can bring benefits to both the mentor and mentee; including a positive career development and job satisfaction. Moreover, one should not forget that career development and personal growth often involves learning on behalf of both the mentor and mentee; mentoring can develop deeper understanding of different parts of the business and this approach can allow different perspectives on work-related problems to emerge, in relation to, or beyond, the topic being treated.

This paper will focus on E-mentorship as a specific set-up for working with mentorship. E-mentorship and mentorship systems have been studied before but not to a large extent. In one organisation, an ICT system had replaced the middle managers as mentors. The replacement of mentors with such systems is probably something we will see more of in the ongoing digitalization of the workplace. The ICT mentorship system resulted in the responsibility for assimilation into the organization being transferred to the newly employed person (and not middle management, as was previously the case). The digitalization of mentorship, however, can benefit from knowledge gained from traditional mentorship programs. At the same time, this digitalization process can allow for the introduction of new and innovative ways of working with learning in organizations. It can also provide opportunities for further adjustments within mentorship programs, especially in relation to the context in which they are to be implemented. The replacement of mentorship programs with IT systems is something we will probably see more of. Learning in the context of traditional mentorship programs is still required, but in combination with new and innovative ways of working.
author = {Bjursell, C.},
series = {13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2019 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-08619-1},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2019.2425},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2019.2425},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {11-13 March, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {9750-9759}}
AU - C. Bjursell
SN - 978-84-09-08619-1/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2019.2425
PY - 2019
Y1 - 11-13 March, 2019
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2019 Proceedings
SP - 9750
EP - 9759
ER -
C. Bjursell (2019) E-MENTORSHIP FOR LIFELONG LEARNING, INTED2019 Proceedings, pp. 9750-9759.