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A study of the ways that coaching supports navigating organisational complexity through narrative and interpretation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amy Stabler


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This working paper takes as its premise Western’s (2012) call for greater critical exploration of the relationship between coaching for individual change and its implications for organisational or other macro-social change. Using Tsoukas and Hatch’s (2001) narrative approach to organisational complexity, the paper explores how four coaches use interpretation and narration as methods of complex meaning making in their dyadic coaching practice with people switching sectors. The paper suggests that coaching, and coaches reflecting on coaching, employs narrative methods to create a space for making meaning about complexity that allows coachees to better navigate organisational uncertainty. It concludes that coaching is an HRD practice that is uniquely suited to the complex future of work.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stabler A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 20th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice across Europe

Year of Conference: 2019

Online publication date: 24/06/2019

Acceptance date: 08/04/2019

Publisher: UFHRD