Thesis (DCM)

A Team Coaching Model for Developing Criticality in Undergraduate Students


This study investigates the implementation of a team coaching model in undergraduate education to facilitate critical dialogue and develop criticality in student-team work. It explored three unconnected areas: criticality, critical dialogue and team coaching. The paucity of studies in critical dialogue in undergraduate business education, the overarching definition of coaching in education, which focuses on personal development, and the limitations of critical thinking in problem-solving, support the significance of this study. The research proposes to bridge critical management studies and critical management education to facilitate critical dialogue in student-team work so as to develop criticality, that is re-conceptualised to support the need for business graduates to be able to address crisis and change. Two action research cycles were implemented at Deree – The American College of Greece, (NECHE accredited, and OU validated), during a period of 10 months and took various forms. These include eight semi-structured interviews with business faculty, reflecting on their experiences of assessed team-work in their modules; two orientation cycles to the coaching model; semi-structured interviews with the three co-coaches/co-researchers; three coaching sessions for every one of the 10 student teams that participated in the study and that were registered in the module Professional Communication; two focus group sessions; and electronic diary entries from the co-coaches and individual participants in the student-teams. The main findings of the study are that the proposed critical team coaching model can support critical dialogue and provide a fertile ground for student-teams to explore answers to questions, discover knowledge for themselves and construct knowledge through a collective dialogic process. The coaching fostered critical reflection and accountability and developed their criticality. These findings add to the theoretical knowledge of team coaching in undergraduate education, which also provides a practical framework of orienting undergraduate tutors in implementing the team-coaching model. Moreover, it enriches the literature on formal and post-formal thinking with the re-definition of criticality and the evidence-based literature on critical dialogue. The findings also will inform future academic studies in higher education into the exploration of coaching student-teams for criticality.

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Kostoulias, Georgia


Supervisors: Cox, Elaine; Jackson, Peter

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year: 2019

© Kostoulias, Georgia
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