Towards a framework for exploring and analysing executive coaching issues: case studies of midlife male leaders

O'Donovan Rossa, Paul (2009) Towards a framework for exploring and analysing executive coaching issues: case studies of midlife male leaders. DProf thesis, Middlesex University.

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The professionalisation of executive coaching is in its infancy, with much more research currently available about its theoretical perspective than its work-based practice, an issue that is compounded by the necessary confidentiality of coaching engagements. The development of best practice and sharing of new knowledge is thus hampered, and generalising regarding coaching practice is difficult because different populations and contexts require very different approaches. In the business context, a high proportion of leaders undergoing executive coaching are male, and there is a need to broaden and deepen insight into the nature and order of issues these male leaders are bringing to, and finding emerge in, coaching. The midlife period aged 35-50 is a key, as the development and growth of these leaders in this period impacts both the business and employees hugely. 17 case studies over a seven year period, 2000-2007, involved 15 partners and 2 directors at leading UK professional services firms. Over 1500 separate coaching issues were identified for this cohort which were then analysed to comprise 286 different themes. The top four themes - of fundamental emotional issues, leadership, self-awareness and interpersonal - accounted for 31% of issues raised in the coaching room. This raises questions concerning the scope and depth of coaching education towards preparing coaches to be able to handle the relational, psychological and real-world aspects of coaching such a population, and suggests a necessary complexity in the coach’s construction of their own integrated framework and model of professional practice, rather than the inheritance of singular or multiple modelling approaches, and the perpetration of simple prescriptive coaching. Questions are also raised about the requisite intensity of coaching interventions, and the need for both the coach and their integrated model of practice to match the client (rather than the other way round). This in turn highlights the critical but sometimes intangible elements of the client-coach relationship as key.

Item Type:Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas:Institute for Work Based Learning
ID Code:9105
Deposited On:18 May 2012 09:36
Last Modified:22 Sep 2014 12:50

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