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Leadership Development through Executive Coaching: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Rajasinghe, Duminda Roshan (2018) Leadership Development through Executive Coaching: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This study explores the experience of executive coaching in a case study organisation from the perspective of both the coachee and the coach. My initial research question was “how do leaders who experience executive coaching make sense of their development?” However, my critical, reflexive and reflective engagement with the research process helped me to realise that the study addresses “how do leaders interpret their dyadic executive coaching experience?’ This is a more inclusive research question that represents my particular interest in the process of executive coaching. I critically evaluate both academic and practitioner literature placing a particular emphasis on how executive coaching works, thereby providing a narrative form of a conceptual framework for my study. The literature review emphasises that the question of ‘how executive coaching works’ is under-researched. Therefore, my aim is to develop a deeper understanding of the way in which executive coaching works. This qualitative research is conducted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. I use purposive sampling to recruit five participants and conduct two semi-structured interviews with each respondent. The interviews are transcribed verbatim and subjected to line by-line analysis. My findings comprise seven themes, namely that coaching: helps to create understanding; develops opportunity; generates motivation; encourages action; supports the entire learning process; ensures continuity; and tackles specific problems. These themes appear as a narrative that demonstrates how executive coaching works. This narrative offers a unique contribution to the literature. This study also demonstrates that executive coaching is used to tackle problems that leaders face. It reveals that an organisational agenda exists in executive coaching despite claims in the literature that the agenda is led by the coachee. I also found that coachees become coaches themselves due to their executive coaching engagement and that coaching results in contagious and continuous development within the case study organisation. These appear as theoretical contributions in this study. Moreover, incorporating IPA into coaching research, together with the innovative research design, also stands as a contribution to research methodology. My findings may also serve as an evidence base to inform future coaching practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > University of York St. John
Depositing User: Mr D.R Rajasinghe
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 13:37
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2018 13:37
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21478

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