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    Tying leaders' identity work and executive coaching research together: an overview of systematic reviews and agenda for research

    Szekely, V. and Whiley, L. and Pontes, Halley and McDowall, Almuth (2024) Tying leaders' identity work and executive coaching research together: an overview of systematic reviews and agenda for research. Journal of Work-Applied Management , ISSN 2205-2062.

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    Purpose: Despite the interest in leaders' identity work as a framework for leadership development, coaching psychology has yet to expose its active ingredients and outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: To do so, the authors reconcile published systematic literature reviews (SLRs) in the field to arrive at a more thorough understanding of the role of identity work in coaching. A total of 60 eligible SLRs on identity work and coaching were identified between 2010 and 2022. Four were included in the data extraction after selecting and screening, and the full texts of 196 primary studies reported therein were analysed. Findings: Amongst the coachee-related factors of effective coaching, the coachee’s motivation, general self-efficacy beliefs, personality traits and goal orientation were the most frequently reported active ingredients, and performance improvement, self-awareness and goal specificity were the most frequently supported outcomes. The analysis indicates that leaders' identity work, as an active ingredient, can be a moderator variable for transformative coaching interventions, while strengthening leadership role identity could be one of the lasting outcomes because coaching interventions facilitate, deconstruct and enhance leaders' identity work. Further research is needed to explore the characteristics of these individual, relational and collective processes. Originality/value: This study adds value by synthesising SLRs that report coachee-related active ingredients and outcomes of executive coaching research. It demonstrates that the role of leaders' identity work is a neglected factor affecting coaching results and encourages coaching psychologists to apply identity framework in their executive coaching practice.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Halley Pontes
    Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2024 14:32
    Last Modified: 31 Jan 2024 15:33


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