Mentoring in Japan: A Systematic Review and Conceptual Model

Masaki Hosomi, Tomoki Sekiguchi, Fabian Jintae Froese

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


While mentoring plays an important role in Japanese working places, formal mentoring programs have only recently been introduced. This chapter provides an overview of the development of mentoring in Japan and presents a conceptual model to comprehend mentoring in Japan and beyond. The chapter begins with the illustration of how the characteristics of Japanese organizations and Japanese-style human resource management (HRM) promoted the naturally occurring informal mentoring in the Japanese workplace in early years. In response to the stagnating economy and declining demographics during the last few decades, many Japanese firms adopted Western-style HRM practices, including formal mentoring programs. We provide statistical data to demonstrate the widespread adoption of formal mentoring programs in recent years. We then report the results of the systematic review of the academic literature on mentoring in Japan, suggesting that research on mentoring in Japan is still in the early stage. Based on the historical overview, current data and the systematic review of the academic literature, we develop a conceptual model of how the sociocultural and economic context as well as organizational characteristics influence the adoption of Japanese-style naturally occurring informal mentoring and/or Western-style formal mentoring practices. We conclude this chapter with practical and theoretical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMentorship-Driven Talent Management
Subtitle of host publicationThe Asian Experience
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781789736915
ISBN (Print)9781789736922
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© their respective authors, 2020.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mentoring in Japan: A Systematic Review and Conceptual Model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this