01 February 2019
© the Author(s)
Published by Oxford Brookes University
In this issue of IJEBCM we present six peer reviewed academic papers and a book review. Papers cover a range of coaching and mentoring topics including the first three that focus separately on individual, group and organisation. Papers four and five report on behaviours and the final paper on the experience of receiving coaching via Skype. As ever our papers have a truly international dimension, with authors from Europe and North America and research participants representing at least five continents.
Our first paper is from McGill, Clarke and Sheffield from the University of Derby in the UK who utilised semi-structured interviews and Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to explore the experiences of leaders who received coaching during recent transitions into C-suite roles (Chief Executive Officers and direct reports) within global organisations. Leaders experienced significant change, challenge and emotional turmoil in the transition to their new roles. They valued the coaching, which led to lasting benefits in terms of confidence, capabilities and strengthened identity. This leads the authors to advocate for the efficacy of confidential, one-to-one coaching as an effective, supportive intervention, as opposed to alternative internal or group-based interventions.
An exploration of peer group mentoring is the subject of our second paper. Skaniakos (University of Tempere) and Piirainen (University of Jyväskylä) from Finland undertook a meta-analysis of two primary studies in a university context to gain understanding of peer group mentoring. Whilst the two studies offered different perspectives on the same phenomenon, the meta-analysis allowed them to broaden the picture of the phenomenon and create a new level of understanding. They report on how social activity forms places for learning communities and application to working life; with community enabling and development becoming feasible at the third level of group mentoring phenomenon, after individual group participation and professional development with others.
Our third paper shows how mentoring can impact at organisational level. Hallmon and Tapps from Missouri State University report on how the benefits of a systematic mentorship programme can address a lack of diversity and inclusion in membership agencies and communities. Using a recreational agency in the USA as a case study, they demonstrate how a formalised mentorship programme could help the organisation to engage in discussions to strategically address diversity and inclusion.
Our next paper explores how coach behaviours impact the coaching relationship. In particular Gettmann and Edinger (Meehan School of Business, USA) and Wouters (Antwerp Management School, Belgium) utilise qualitative and quantitative methods to explore ‘contracting’ the coaching engagement as an important foundation for an effective relationship. They present a preliminary measure, the Contracting Inventory Scale, and identify nine behaviours to help investigate the contract connection to the coach-client relationship. This enables them to conduct a detailed investigation of the impact of contracting behaviour on the coaching relationship, processes and outcomes. Whilst they advocate that there is more work to be done, they have taken a step in moving beyond examining who a coach is as it impacts the coach-client relationship by empirically examining what a coach does that might have an impact.
The next contribution also looks at behaviours. Wierts, from the University of British Columbia, and Wilson and Mack from Brock University, Canada, investigate Motivational Interviewing (MI), a communication strategy to facilitate behaviour change. Using a non-experimental design they investigate awareness and use of MI by coaches in Canadian university sport. Overall, the results of this study indicate less than one-third of the university sport coaches providing data for the study were aware of, and/or using, MI in communicating with athletes when coaching sport. The secondary aim of this study was to determine if male and female coaches differed in their reported awareness and use of MI when coaching university-based athletes in sport. Overall, the results of this investigation provide no support for any systematic differences in awareness and/or use of MI reported by male or female coaches operating in university sport programs across Canada.
For our final paper in this issue Deniers, from Germany, also utilises Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to conduct a study exploring the impact of the camera in Skype coaching on coachees’ experiences of being coached. The analysis of participants’ accounts of being coached via Skype shows that the camera is felt to be the defining element of the process. The effects of the camera are ambiguous: it serves as an enabler of contact, it is perceived as a means of surveillance or its presence can create an atmosphere of being on stage or a film set. It shows that the presence of a camera in the coaching encounter impacts the self-image of the coachee as well as their perception of the coach and their experience of the space the coaching takes place in.
Finally the book review is presented by Ana Paula Nacif who introduces us to Positive Psychology Coaching in Practice edited by Suzy Green and Stephen Palmer (2018) and published by Routledge. Nacif outlines how the book is a good introductory text for coaches that provides the reader with an overview of the different topics currently being researched in positive psychology and how they can be applied in a coaching context.
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