Towards understanding facilitation of coaching principles in a junior leadership development programme

Beck, Lydiamarie (2011-12)

Thesis (MPhil) -- Stellenbosch University, 2011.


The key objective of this research study is the development of junior leaders in the information, communication and technology (ICT) industry by means of formal leadership development programmes, complemented by the application of coaching principles as part of the facilitation and delivery process. In order to remain competitive in the local ICT sector, a leading listed company in South Africa identified the development of human capital as one of its key success criteria. As a knowledge-intensive industry, this organisation is predominantly reliant on the collective human capital of the company for survival, sustained growth and competitiveness. The objective of the programme evaluation is to establish whether the programme, in the form it has been presented during the past few years, has met the set organisational goals via the application of coaching principles, such as: providing insight into personal and business environments, as a voluntary process in a non-judgemental environment. Relationships are built on respect, ethics and trust. Time for reflection and providing feedback in a non-prescriptive manner are principles that a credible and knowledgeable coach will apply, thus ensuring that learning and development takes place. Coaching contracting must have measurable, set objectives and direct the individual toward a desired outcome. Coaching was not part of the original design and development of the programme, either as an enabler or as part of the content. The literature review positions business coaching as a collaborative partnership to develop the client’s performance and potential, personally and professionally, in accordance with the goals and values of the organisation. Furthermore, developing a coaching competency with line managers, will ensure that an internal coaching capability is established, which will assist delegates both during the programme and in their future career development. To eliminate any possibility of bias, triangulation was included in this programme evaluation study. The qualitative research included semi-structured interviews with all stakeholders, conducted via various means, such as focus groups, individual interviews and self-administered questionnaires. The programme evaluation study established that, although the objectives of this junior leadership programme were met and coaching principles were applied, sub-questions that surfaced during research, raised issues that need to be addressed. Improvements are required in order for the programme to be sustainable and support the growth strategy of the organisation. The recommendations are that development programmes should have an integrated organisational focus, involving all the stakeholders; and that the selection process, for individuals attending these programmes, should not only be more comprehensive, but line managers should be more involved.

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