Original Research

Inspired moments - Possibilities beyond management through integral coaching

J. M.C. Everson, C. M.B. O'Flaherty, G. Howard, D. Loos
Acta Commercii | Vol 6, No 1 | a96 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v6i1.96 | © 2006 J. M.C. Everson, C. M.B. O'Flaherty, G. Howard, D. Loos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2006 | Published: 06 December 2006

About the author(s)

J. M.C. Everson, University of Cape Town: Graduate School of Business, South Africa
C. M.B. O'Flaherty, University of Cape Town: Graduate School of Business, South Africa
G. Howard, University of Cape Town: Graduate School of Business, South Africa
D. Loos, University of Cape Town: Graduate School of Business, South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose: The primary purpose of this paper is to investigate whether an integral coaching intervention underway in a multinational, fast-moving consumer goods organisation can support the creation of an environment that encourages new ways of thinking and learning. This would be underpinned by increased self-understanding amongst leaders and managers. Such self-awareness is argued to lead to enhanced relationships within the workplace for both managers and their subordinates.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A qualitative research methodology was adopted using the grounded theory approach to data analysis. Open coding was utilised to identify the emergent themes. These themes were in some cases self-reported and in other cases reported by middle management on the changes noted in the behaviour of senior management. The research findings are based on a high internal generalisability as the sample was drawn from a cross-functional sample. Because this survey was carried out within a single organisation, these results lack external generalisability.

Findings: Firstly, the individual managers themselves express a greater sense of commitment, fairness and purpose both from each other and their line managers. Secondly, managers claim an improved ability to delegate, trust, communicate, and to operate effectively in team contexts resulting in improved team and cross-functional dynamics. The final impact observed was a shift in the cohesion, freedom and openness to diverse inputs in the organisation.

Implications: This research highlights the key contribution that integral coaching can make in helping managers see beyond the limitations of traditional management towards the inspiring possibilities of powerful conversations and human connections in the workplace.

Originality/Value: Whilst the results of this paper are specific only to the South African organisation under study, the research nevertheless shows a strong direct link between a coaching intervention and subsequent changes in behaviours and organisational outcomes


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