Original Research

Problematising current coaching strategies from a worldview perspective

Maria E. Coetzee, Theo Veldsman, Aletta Odendaal
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 49 | a2034 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v49i0.2034 | © 2023 Maria E. Coetzee, Theo Veldsman, Aletta Odendaal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2022 | Published: 02 March 2023

About the author(s)

Maria E. Coetzee, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Management and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Theo Veldsman, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Management and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Aletta Odendaal, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Leaders need goodness-of-fit with the context in which they are leading, and coaching is considered an effective strategy to achieve this.

Research purpose: To critically problematise current dominant coaching strategies in terms of their underlying worldviews, in order to assess their potential effectiveness and relevance in enhancing context‒leadership goodness-of-fit, given the emerging context faced by leaders.

Motivation for the study: The current ever-changing context of leaders requires different thinking, including with regard to coaching. The framework of the coaching landscape, with its associated building blocks, provides the conceptual framework for the review of current coaching strategies. Three dominant worldviews that have historically influenced the thinking in social sciences are employed in this review, namely Newtonian, general systems theory and complexity or chaos (second-order systemic thinking).

Research approach/design and method: This was a critical conceptual study aimed at problematising the worldviews informing the currently dominant coaching strategies.

Main findings: The problematising of the worldviews underlying the dominant coaching strategies revealed that these strategies are not always informed by a worldview congruent with that demanded by the qualities and features of the world that leaders currently face. There is a pressing need for a coaching strategy informed by a complexity or chaos (second-order systemic) worldview, which better meets the emerging contextual demands and requirements imposed on leaders in practice.

Practical/managerial implications: A different coaching strategy, called systemic coaching, is proposed.

Contribution/value-add: The proposed systemic coaching strategy is highly suitable to bringing about improved goodness-of-fit between the leader and the emerging context.


Keywords

Leader‒context fit; coaching strategies; worldviews; newly emerging world; systemic coaching strategy

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