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Executive Briefing Paper - Essay Example

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Executive Briefing Paper

Mentorship is not new to Burberry, although its experience is largely external, philanthropic, and along the line of corporate social responsibility. Presently, the Company is a corporate sponsor of IntoUniversity, a charity organisation dedicated to educating the youth through mentoring. Through its local learning centres, some of Burberry’s employees and managers are already dedicating time and effort as volunteers mentors and e-mentors, to Britain’s poor but deserving ‘young people [who] are inspired to learn’ (IntoUniversity, 2010). In 2011 alone, Burberry associates volunteered 5,500 hours of mentoring. For one particular Burberry associate, more than 200 young students were mentored globally in programmes ranging from three months to three years (Burberry Annual Report 2011/12, p. 64). Recent studies have highlighted the use of internal mentoring, as a technique to improve performance and enhance competitiveness. It is believed that by adopting internal mentoring, the firm will benefit competitively. II. Proposition This paper proposes that Burberry engage in internal mentoring throughout the organisation until the highest levels, in order to enhance its competitiveness. Mentoring is seen as a tool not only for implementing social development programs external to the firm, but is also perceived as an effective instrument in pursuing the company’s strategic goal of remaining competitive. The viability of mentoring in Burberry will be discussed. III. Theoretical background Mentoring is ‘an intense and complex relationship where the mentor plays the role of peer and parent’ and functions as ‘teacher, advisor, sponsor, and friend’ (Ehrich & Hansford, 1999, p.93). Academic literature states that mentoring improves individual behaviour and performance, particularly in the training and encouragement of the young. However, the impact of mentoring on firm behaviour and outcomes has not been established, particularly in the highest policy levels. Offstein, Shah and Gnyawali (2011) propose a model whereby the board of directors (BOD) mentors the chief executive officer (CEO), for the purpose of improving the CEO’s ability and motivation to ‘competitively engage the firm’ (p. 75). In the diagram that follows, the mentoring role of the BOD is depicted in terms of sponsorship, protection, and coaching or counselling. By providing legitimacy, a proper sense of discretion and risk-taking, and knowledge and learning, the mentoring exercise is expected to lead towards a greater firm competitiveness. Competitive behaviour is defined by their magnitude and complexity. Source: Offstein, Shah and Gnyawali, 2011, p. 80 According to the theory by Offstein, et al. (2011), competitive actions are ‘purposefully directed, specific, and observable.’ The model adheres to the principle that companies that undertake bold and complex competitive actions benefit as a result, because such actions disturb the status quo and establish new rules by which the competitive stage is reset. According to Schumpeter (1934) in his seminal study, first mover advantage (i.e., the advantage of being the first firm to undertake an innovation that defines a new competitive environment) generates abnormally high profits, until such time as other firms catch up and themselves pursue innovative actions in an effort to overcome the market leader. From the executive levels, mentoring by CEO to his division heads, and from them to the ...Show more


Executive Brief Mentoring in Burberry I. Overview Burberry (hereafter, is a leading brand in luxury apparel. Operating in the U.K. but exporting its principal products around the world, the Company has just announced a 6% rise in profit for the first half of the year, despite the sluggish economy…
Author : jonathonwolff
Executive Briefing Paper essay example
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