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Title: Resilience in leaders : conceptualisation and changes brought about by coaching
Author: Lawton Smith, Carmelina S.
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2012
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Resilience has emerged as a topic of growing interest in the leadership coaching context but little empirical research exists merging the three areas of resilience, leadership and coaching. Two significant gaps were identified. Firstly, numerous resilience measures exist but the leadership experience of resilience remains relatively unexplored, meaning that it is unclear to what degree leadership resilience can be integrated and consolidated with existing resilience approaches. Secondly, the broad scope of definitions and conceptualisations of resilience can mean that coaches seeking to work with resilience lack a coherent model appropriate for coaching. These two gaps give rise to a lack of common understanding about resilience between coaches and their leadership clients. As a result we know little about the degree to which coaching may influence resilience. This grounded theory study gathers interview data from eight leaders to elucidate how leaders experience resilience and what role they felt previous coaching had on their resilience. Eight executive coaches were subsequently interviewed about their experiences of executive coaching where they felt resilience was relevant. Together these perspectives shed new light on the concept of resilience in the leadership coaching context. Existing definitions of resilience often emphasise recovery or ̳bounce back‘ yet leaders in this study saw resilience as vital to dealing with the future, as well as the past. This led to a temporal perspective on resilience identifying a common thread that exists across the past, present and future. In addition, a wider conceptualisation of resilience is proposed that includes both capabilities and the capacity for resilience. Capabilities encompass skills that are often the focus of resilience training, while capacity reflects the resources required to apply these resilience capabilities. Together these aspects bring a more coherent approach to resilience. Coaching was found to already be influencing resilience in leaders in five ways and a new model is proposed to support leadership coaching practice.
Supervisor: Bachkirova, Tatiana ; Cox, Elaine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral