Contribution of coaching to the adjustment of black African professionals to living and working in Cape Town

Tapela, Valerie (2016-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.


ENGLISH SUMMARY : The aim of this research assignment was to explore how coaching contributes to the adjustment of black African professionals to working and living in Cape Town. In a world where there is mobility and freedom to live and work where one wishes it is of great interest to note that Cape Town reports challenges of attracting and retaining black professionals, particularly at senior management level. Business quarters and prior studies relating to this suggest that coaching be seen as a strategic contributor to any attraction and retention efforts. With this suggestion, this study aimed to understand how coaching contributes to the adjustment of those individuals who are working and living in Cape Town. A qualitative research methodology was used, and within that a phenomenological case study design was undertaken. The research data was gathered using semi-structured interviews from eleven participants. These participants were a combination of the following community of professionals: coaches who have worked with relocated black African professionals, black professionals who have moved to Cape Town for work purposes, and lastly, the purchasers of coaching services HR professionals in Cape-based organisations. The findings were taken from all three groups and indicate that coaching contributes positively to the adjustment of black professionals. Several factors point to this conclusion and are reported in this study. Participants pointed out particular skills and competencies that they feel they learnt through coaching and those have helped them with adjusting to the new environment, new roles and new identities. The study closes off with insights and recommendations for coaches, black African professionals and HR professionals for ensuring that coaching contributes to the adjustment of black African professionals to life and work in Cape Town. Key findings in this research assignment suggest that openness and explicit naming of the issues at hand is key for the coaching to contribute to adjustment: Openness to sharing and revealing the experiences the black professionals are having; openness by the coach to engage with issues raised around the experiences, race and how that is playing out in the professional’s work and life situation; lastly the openness of the HR professionals to hear what the individual is challenged by and what help they might be needing. Coaching is seen to add to the effectiveness of the black professionals in the workplace; thus the organisation benefits from them being supported in this manner. The skills learnt enhance their leadership qualities and help them to discern between what in their culture works and how they can integrate that with what is useful in others’ cultures; which all translates into being an effective leader.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Geen opsomming beskikbaar.

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