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Title: Exploring the experience of simultaneous individual and group coaching of female leaders in a multinational organisation
Author: Bonneywell, Sally
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 7353
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2016
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Organisations face a constant requirement to develop leaders who are equipped to lead effectively in a highly volatile and uncertain environment. Executive Coaching is increasingly being used as a way to develop leaders, however very little is known about the impact of using simultaneous individual and group coaching to address organisational issues. This case study is situated within GSK, a large multinational organisation in the healthcare sector, and concerns how combined individual and group coaching was used to address an organisational priority - that of the development and progression of female leaders. The study sought to explore how the simultaneous use of individual and group coaching was experienced by female leaders. Qualitative research was conducted from an interpretivist and social constructionist perspective using case study methodology. Semi-structured interviews enabled the collection of data from female participants who participated in coaching, their coaches and members of the Steering Team who were organisationally responsible for the initiative. The data were subsequently analysed using thematic analysis. The findings identify the perceived value gained from the individual coaching by the female leaders who cited many developmental benefits including increased self-esteem, self-leadership and self-awareness. Additionally, the individual coaching enabled highly specific and personal development ranging from strategic and transformational changes to pragmatic ways to become more effective leaders. Group coaching enabled connection to others, a shared sense of identity and a safe environment in which to develop. The group sessions enabled the women to cover topics they would not have done on their own and to benefit from feedback from the other participants. The findings also bring to light the synergistic value of experiencing both individual coaching and group coaching simultaneously - having both types amplified the impact of the coaching enabling sustainable changes and development to occur. The combined coaching approach demonstrated considerable utility as a development mechanism for the organisation as it had the power to impact a broad range of stakeholders in different ways and through the ripple effect created in the organisation. A framework for a combined coaching approach highlights the key factors required for organisational success, along with recommendations as to the transferability of the mechanism to other situations and organisational settings. The study contributes to understanding the potential of combined individual and group coaching, female leader development in a large, complex multinational organisation and the combined experience as a development mechanism for organisations. The implications of this research expand knowledge on the extant literature on individual and group coaching within organisations and female leader development.
Supervisor: Gannon, Judie ; Myers, Adrian ; Iordanou, Ioanna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral